The next-generation iPhone was expected to be a major update until the rumors started flowing in saying otherwise. Apple is usually updates their phone design every other year, but next year is the tenth anniversary of iPhone. Instead of revamping the design this year and having a modest update on the anniversary, they have decided to flip it to make this year a modest update and next year a complete revamp. Based on what we have heard so far, here are our expectations for iPhone 7.
This year’s iPhone is expected to follow Apple’s tradition and have a single numbered name. In 2014 we saw the iPhone 6, last year was the iPhone 6s, so this year should be the iPhone 7. The display sizes that Apple introduced in 2014 will remain with the iPhone 7 having a 4.7″ display and the iPhone 7 Plus having a 5.5″ display. Rumors for an “iPhone Pro” this year will likely be held off until next year when Apple completely revamps their lineup. We also hope/expect Apple to drop the number from the name and just called next year’s iPhone the “iPhone.”
The iPhone 7 will have the relatively same design as the iPhone 6s, but have a few changes. We expect to see the familiar curved glass display and a curved 7000 series aluminum rear shell with protruding camera. For the changes, the back case of the phone will have less visible antenna bands with only one on the top and one on the bottom. There will no longer be two additional bands going across the back. Also, the camera on the iPhone 7 will have a larger lens, be closer to the left edge, and have a slight bevelled appearance. The iPhone 7 will a single rear camera while the iPhone 7 Plus will have a dual rear camera. To make up for the single camera on the smaller iPhone, Apple will be changing the current image stabilizer of iPhone 6s to the optical stabilizer of the iPhone 6s Plus. This means that the iPhone 7 camera will keep the picture or video stabilized during shooting instead of after. The quality of the sensors are unknown at this point, but at least we will have a 12MP sensor with 4K video recording like on the iPhone 6s.
The most important (and perhaps controversial) change of the iPhone 7 will be the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. The reasoning behind this move is because it will allow the phone to be up to 1mm thinner and Apple is moving forward with other technology. Like the floppy disc drive and the CD drive, old technology is removed in favor of newer ones. For the CD drive it was streaming music and now for the headphone jack it is wireless headphones. Apple is apparently designing wireless EarPods that will be included in the box with the new iPhone and they are planning to sell Lightning-powered headphones and a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter in their store. To solve the trade-off between listening to music with Lightning headphones to charging the device, Apple will add wireless charging to its lineup of phones that do not have a headphone jack.
The iPhone 7 Plus may also have a Smart Connector, but this rumor seems to go back and forth every week. If it does come with one, it may be used for smart accessories like battery cases, keyboards, and other accessories.
For the internal specifications of the iPhone 7, we only know for sure that the phone will be powered by the A10 processor with M10 coprocessor. A post in September 2015 suggested that the processor would have six cores, but we have not heard any rumors about it since. The iPhone 7 is expected to have 2GB of RAM like its predecessor and the iPhone 7 Plus will have 3GB of RAM to account for the dual cameras. The phones will start will a minimum storage size of 32GB, and increase exponentially with a 128GB size and a 256GB size. The phones will also have a slightly larger battery capacity, but the same battery life is expected.
The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are expected to be announced in September 2016 at a special media event. The event is normally held a week or two after the ending of Apple’s Back to School promotion which was just announced to end on September 5th. We will likely see an announcement date around mid-September and the phones will be released in late September.