APPLE'S NEXT SMARTPHONE, widely expected to arrive as the iPhone 7, is expected to make its debut in September, following the March unveiling of the iPhone SE.
The iPhone 6S arrived last year as Apple's incremental 'S' release, which means the iPhone 7, along with the iPhone 7 Plus no doubt, is expected to bring radical updates to the firm's smartphone line-up.
We've rounded up everything we know about the iPhone 7 so far, and will update this article whenever we hear more.
Notorious Twitter tipster Evan Blass, better known as Evleaks, has spoken, and is claiming that the iPhone 7 will be released in the week beginning 12 September.
iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016
Apple traditionally positions its major hardware releases for Fridays, so this suggests a release date of 16 September for the next iPhone.
There's no word yet as to when we'll see an official launch, but it's likely Apple will plan an event for early September.
Apple has kept prices stagnant for the past two iPhone releases, so if this continues the iPhone 7 will start at £539 going up to £699.
Specs and rumours
If history is anything to go by, you'd expect Apple's next iPhone to offer a radical hardware overhaul. It might be time to lower your expectations, though, as despite Tim Cook's claim that we won't be able to live without it, multiple reports and early leaks claim that the iPhone 7 won't offer many upgrades compared with the iPhone 6S before it.
While a small update is likely on the cards, there's some chatter than Apple will announce three smartphones this year: the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro (above), although we'd advise to take this rumour with a pinch of salt.
The iPhone 7 is expected to look pretty similar to the iPhone 6S, and the iPhone 6 before that, a a video leak (below) shows off Apple's upcoming model compared to its predecessor.
Fresh leaked images (below) have given us our closest look at the smartphone yet, showing that beyond its redesigned antenna lines, it'll feature the same unibody aluminum chassis as its predecessors.
While it seemingly won't look much different, new rumours claim that the iPhone 7 will be the first Apple smartphone to ship in a darker Space Black model (below). This same rumour suggests that the Home button might be tweaked and will feature haptic feedback to simulate a click, using the same approach as Force Touch.
Apple will reportedly releaseWhat isn't pictured in these two images is the headphone jack, or lack thereof. The Wall Street Journal has heard that Apple will ditch the 3.5mm port, which in turn will reportedly make the handset 1mm thinner than the iPhone 6S and a bit more waterproof.
This ditching of the headphone jack was first reported by Fast Company, which noted that Apple won't offer Lightning-enabled EarPods with the next-generation iPhone, instead opting to sell a pair of noise-cancelling Lightning headphones separately.
While the iPhone 7 will look largely the same, Chinese media has remarked the iPhone 7 could be Apple's toughest smartphone yet, with Apple set to kit it out with a strengthened and waterproof frame. A report from TrendForce weighed in on the matter too, claiming that Apple will kit out the iPhone 7 with "hardware innovations" such as water resistance.
These reports seem to debunk a leak from Macotakara, which allegedly shows the plus-sized iPhone 7 Plus model (below) with a protruding camera lens on its back and an iPad Pro-style Smart Connector that could be used to accommodate a Smart Keyboard add-on.
Another iPhone 7 leak from NowhereElse.fr reveals an alleged case for the next iPhone (below), and suggests that, while changes will be minimal, the upcoming smartphone will feature a four-speaker set-up similar to the iPad Pro and an overhauled rear-facing camera. As well as depicting a bigger camera sensor, the leak shows the flash positioned below it.
Apple is expected to launch two versions of its next smartphone: the 4.7in iPhone 7 and 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus. There's the usual chatter that the iPhone 7 will feature a higher screen resolution, but it's unlikely.
Some early rumours courtesy of ETNews had claimed that these two iPhones could be the first to use OLED displays, but newer reports point to OLED debuting on 2017's iPhone 7S, along with iris scanning technology and a Touch ID sensor in the screen.
On the inside, the iPhone 7 could be the first iPhone to use Intel chips, according to reports claiming that Intel has a 1,000-strong team working to ensure that the 7360 LTE modem chip makes its way into the iPhone 7, ousting the Qualcomm 9X45 LTE chip used in the iPhone 6S.
This has been backed up by a report from Bloomberg, which said that Apple will use Intel's LTE modem chips in some iPhone 7 models.
Apple will reportedly also equip the handset with it's yet-unannounced A10 chip, which early benchmark scores show will offer the same amount of power as the iPad Pro's A9X processor. This will reportedly be paired with 3GB RAM.
Rumours point to Apple phasing out the 16GB version of the iPhone with the arrival of the iPhone 7, despite speculation that the shift was to happen with the iPhone 6S. A leak via Weibo has claimed that the 64GB model could also be canned, and that Apple will release the iPhone 7 in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options.
With bigger storage will come a bigger battery, according to prolific tipster and journalist Steve Hemmerstoffer who claims that Apple will introduce a larger 1,960mAh battery with the upcoming iPhone 7 - 12.5 per cent bigger than the 1,715mAh battery inside the iPhone 6S.
We don't yet know much about the iPhone 7's camera set-up, but early speculation points to the iPhone 7 Plus seeing a bigger upgrade in the photography department.
We don't yet have many specifications nailed down, but we do know for sure that the iPhone 7 will ship with Apple's iOS 10 operating system announced during WWDC in June. This brings Siri support for third-party applications, a revamped Messages app and the ability to delete the Stocks app. µ
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