APPLE'S NEXT FLAGSHIP 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.
The iPhone 6S was unveiled on 9 September, and it's likely that the iPhone 7 will see a similar launch date next year. We're going to put our money on 7 September 2016. You heard it here first. Apple's iPhones typically go up for pre-order a few days after they are announced, with an in-store release taking place two weeks later.
Apple has kept prices stagnant for its past two iPhone releases, so if this continues the iPhone 7 will start at £539 going up to £699 for the 128GB model.
Specs and rumours
If history is anything to go by, you'd expect Apple's next iPhone likely to offer a radical hardwaro overhaul.
It's time to lower your expectations, as multiple reports and early leaks claim that the iPhone 7 won't offer many upgrades compared to the iPhone 6S before it.
Tim Cook might be claiming we won't be able to live without it, but a report from the Wall Street Journal has heard that the only real difference between the iPhone 7 and its predecessor will be its lack of headphone jack. This, 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 likely won't offer Lightning-enabled EarPods with the next-generation iPhone, instead opting to sell a pair of noise-cancelling Lightning headphones separately.
Chinese media echoed remarks that this could make for a tougher iPhone, reporting that the next iPhone will have 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.
The image (above) depicts the iPhone 7 with a near-idental shape and a very similar overall design to the iPhone 6S before it, albeit without the unsightly plastic antenna lines and rear-facing camera hump.
These reports seem to debunk a leak from Macotakara, which allegedly shows off the plus-sized iPhone 7 Plus model (below) with a protruding camera lens on its backside and an iPad Pro-style Smart Connector that could be used to accommodate a Smart Keyboard add-on.
Another iPhone 7 leak out of NowhereElse.fr, reveals an alleged case for the next iPhone (below), and suggests that while changes likely will be minimal, the upcoming smartphone will feature a four-speaker setup 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 pack OLED display panels, but newer reports are pointing to OLED debuting on 2017's iPhone 7S, along with iris scanning technology and a Touch ID sensor baked into the screen.
On the inside, the iPhone 7 could be the first iPhone to pack 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 out of Bloomberg, which reports that Apple will use Intel's LTE modem chips in some iPhone 7 models.
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. According to KGI, via 9to5Mac, the 5.5in handset will feature a dual rear camera, using Linx Imaging algorithms to combine the photo data into final images. The snapper is also tipped to feature a 3x optical zoom, optical image stabilisation and a wide field of view.
In order to make sure the iPhone 7 Plus meets these image processing requirements, Apple reportedly will equip the handset with 3GB RAM.
Rumours point to Apple phasing out the 16GB version of the smartphone with the arrival of the iPhone 7, despite speculation that the shift was to happen with the iPhone 6S.
Wireless charging is unlikely to make a debut, though, with rumours pointing to this debuting on 2017's iPhone 7S.
The iPhone 7, once available, likely will be offered in the same colour options as the iPhone 6S: Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold.
While we don't yet have many specifications nailed down, we do know that the iPhone 7 will ship with Apple's iOS 10 operating system, which it announced during WWDC in June. This brings with it Siri support for third-party applications, a revamped Messages app and the ability to delete the Stocks app. µ
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