It’s only just turned February and there’s already rumours flying around about Apple’s upcoming phone, the iPhone 7.
T3 is here to separate fact from fiction, with everything we definitely (maybe, possibly) know about the handset. Starting from the most certain, to something only J.K Rowling could dream up:
- Samsung Galaxy S7: evolution, not revolution?
1. It’ll be here in September
This one’s a no-brainer. The iPhone 5 was released in September. The iPhone 5S was released in September, the iPhone 6 September, and the iPhone 6S September. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the iPhone 7 should present itself in September (but it WILL make me look foolish if that’s not the case).
According to a ‘reliable source’, Apple may be bringing the iPhone 7 out earlier than previous years. How much earlier? We have no idea.
There will be an Apple Event in March, but this may be where we first see theiPhone 7 Mini.
2. It’ll cost the same as the current 6S
The cost of a new iPhone generally follows the same convention every new model. If that’s the case this year, the iPhone 7 will cost around the same as the current iPhone 6S (and the iPhone 6S will get a $100 price decrease).
Following that logic, the iPhone 7 will cost around £539 for the cheapest option with the least memory. And range up to £699 for the top spec model.
3. You’ll get a new version of iOS
Previous new iPhones have shipped with brand new versions of iOS, so we expect the iPhone 7 to come running iOS 10 (as we’re currently on iOS 9).
Details about new features in iOS 10 are surprisingly scant, so expect it to be a minor update rather than a revolutionary jump.
4. The rear case will be sleeker
Whereas the iPhone 6S looked a lot like the iPhone 6, the iPhone 7 should be sporting a new design. Exactly how different is difficult to imagine however, as the iPhone 6 seems like peak Apple design.
There are some rumours that suggest Apple will ditch the camera bump and antenna lines. This will make the rear casing completely smooth and uninterrupted. That makes complete sense in our eyes.
5. The screen will be sharper with no bezel
Most of Apple’s rivals have a QHD or 4K display, the iPhone 6S doesn’t even have a 1080p HD screen, so a bump in resolution for the iPhone 7 would make sense.
This rumour comes from DigiTimes, who have been speaking to a supply chain source, who suggests that Apple will make a jump back to glass-on-glass screens. This would allow a boost in resolution, and the ability to have a bezel-less display. iPhone 7 Edge, anyone?\
UPDATE: Possibly water-proof as well?
6. Did someone say hexa-core?
Every iPhone comes with a speed boost, and we can’t see that changing with the iPhone 7. There have been rumours on Weibo that the next iPhone will come packing the hexa-core A10 chip (up from the dual-core processor in the 6S).
Whether those turn out to be the exact details, who knows… But it will be faster than the current model.
We can also expect to see 2GB RAM, but that’s it for internal specs – there’s not much else nailed down yet.
7. There won’t be a headphone jack
Some reports suggest the iPhone 7 will be thinnest device Apple has ever made, and that involves ditching the bulky 3.5mm headphone jack.
That means you’d have to buy Bluetooth headphones, which would annoy a lot of people.
Alternatively you’d have to by Lightening Cable headphones, which currently, very few manufacturers sell.
Does Apple think the consumer is ready for the jump to Bluetooth or Lightning? It’s certainly a bold move…
Other rumours suggest Apple may opt to include a smaller, 2mm headphone jack. Apple has a patent for this. Which would then require you to use an adapter, or buy new headphones… which is even more of a pain.
UPDATE: The current headphone jack may be replaced by a second speaker, giving the iPhone 7 stereo audio. This is according to a leaked memo from Apple Insider. It should also ship with lightening-port headphones.
8. You’ll be able to charge it wirelessly
Apple is apparently testing a prototype with wireless charging. That rumour comes from Weibo.
But that’s not the only model Apple is testing. Other prototypes include multi-Force Touch, a fingerprint scanner in the screen, and USB-C connector.
No one knows which of these will make it to the market… if any.
9. Dual Camera?
Trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities believes the larger iPhone 7 Plus may have a dual camera setup. But that’s just speculation, and we can’t see that happening…
Apple tends to keep camera components for a long time, so expect the same 12MP camera module carried over from the iPhone 6S.
Obviously, the camera will be improved in some way, so maybe optical image stabilisation will be standard across the range?
10. People will start queuing in July
This one’s a guess. In 2014 we saw a Japanese blogger start queuing in February for the iPhone 6, but anticipation for the 6S was somewhat less extreme.
Considering the iPhone 7 is a major update, people could get really excited… we’ll see. Care to hazard a guess?
Think we’re wrong about anything? Let us know in the comments below…
Moving away now from the rumours and speculation. Here’s what T3 WANTS to see in the iPhone 7:
We’ve got some thoughts about what’s still lacking in the iPhone and how Apple might go about improving upon the iPhone 6S. That’s not to say the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are bad – but we think Apple can still do better.
1. Two-day battery life
Apple is promising that the iPhone 6S has the same battery life as last year’s model, though the size of the battery has actually got smaller. If you’re going to be using your device a lot during the day, then it’ll need charging every night, and that’s before the battery starts to degrade with age.
Getting smartphone batteries right is hard, but we dream of a 2016 where we can charge our iPhones every two nights rather than every one – imagine the possibilities! You could go and stay at a friend’s house and not even take your charger with you.
2. Home screen widgets
Users have been asking for home screen widgets since the dawn of iOS and we think it’s finally time for Apple to sit up and take notice: the world has moved on from a standard grid of icons and iPhone owners should at least have the choice to mix things up a bit.
If we can’t get widgets we’d love to at least see some extra customisation options built into the iPhone operating system – what about being able to hide or uninstall native apps (like the Apple Watch one)? Please Apple?
3. Decent flash photography
The decision to set up the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus screen as a front-facing flash is a stroke of genius, and we hope Apple now turns its attention to the True Tone flash component around the back.
Yes, it does a job, and yes, iPhone photos are very good already: but photography is all about light, and up until 2015 smartphones just haven’t been good enough to create artificial light that looks easy on the eye. It’s a challenge for sure – but we think the Apple engineers are up to it.
4. Improved sound
The iPad Pro has a substantial speaker system installed so fingers crossed Apple brings it to the iPhone 7 as well. On the new, larger iPad, four speakers automatically adjust the sound balance based on the orientation of the device and the way you’re holding it.
That’s the sort of smart, innovative thinking we’ve come to expect from Apple and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t try and bring it to the iPhone (where the audio has always been good rather than great). Is it too much to ask to improve the quality of the bundled headphones at the same time?
5. Better screen resolutions
Those iPhone screens are great – sharp and colourful – but having pioneered the Retina approach, Apple’s displays are starting to show their age. The new 4.7-inch iPhone 6S remains at a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi) while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus clocks in at 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi).
Compare that with The Google-Motorola Nexus 6 – released almost a year ago – which packs in 1440 x 2560 pixels across its 5.96-inch screen (a ppi of 493). Then there’s the Galaxy S6, launched earlier this year, offering the same number of pixels in a 5.1-inch display (that’s a whopping 577 ppi). Keep up Apple!
6. Wireless charging
Apple’s in danger of getting left behind here as other manufacturers build support for wireless charging right into their handsets (it’s possible on the iPhone but you need a special adapter to make it work). Whatever the logistical challenges we hope Apple manages to overcome them.
You can’t really appreciate the beauty of wireless charging until you’ve tried it out for yourself: you pop your phone down on the side and it already starts charging up. There’s no hunting for cables, no messing around with ports, and it’s strange that a company as forward-looking as Apple hasn’t yet included it.
7. More storage
In this day and age it’s almost criminal that anyone should have to put up with a paltry 16GB of storage space – but that’s the case on the new handsets and we think that’s a shame. With photo and video sizes going through the roof, not to mention HD content from iTunes and elsewhere, we think the minimum should be 32GB.
Games are getting bigger and more demanding in terms of storage too, and we all know the problems that can be caused by a lack of free space (trouble installing updates for one). At the top end of the scale we’d love to see a push right up to 256GB as well.