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, Apple's next iPhone likely will feature a radical redesign, like the iPhone 6 was to the iPhone 5S.
However, a number of early leaked claim that the iPhone 7's design won't be as radical as many are expecting. Analysts, too, are expecting an incremental update and don't think the iPhone 7 will be able to give Apple's smartphone business the boost it's after, even though Tim Cook claims we won't be able to live without it.
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.
However, a newer leak out of Macotakara allegedly shows off the plus-sized model (below), the iPhone 7 Plus, with a protruding camera lens on its backside, alongside an iPad Pro-style Smart Connector that could be used to accommodate a Smart Keyboard add-on.
This leak adds further weight to the rumours that the iPhone 7 will feature a design largely similar to the iPhone 6S before it.
The newest iPhone 7 leak comes courtesy of NowhereElse.fr, and debunks all of that talk that the next iPhone won't be that different. While it doesn't show off the phone itself, the leak does reveal an alleged case for the next iPhone (below), hinting that it 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.
While the iPhone 7 won't look much different to its predecessor, there's talk that the handset will be tougher than before.
Chinese media is reporting that the next iPhone will have a strengthened and waterproof frame, and has been backed by a report from TrendForce which claims that Apple will kit out the iPhone 7 with "hardware innovations" such as water resistance. TrendForce also said in its report that the next iPhone will ship with 3GB RAM.
The next iPhone is expected to be thinner than the iPhone 6S, which could be made possible by ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack port.
A report from Fast Company, and previous reports from Macotakara, suggested that the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack from its upcoming iPhone 7 will see the handset support only wireless or Lightning-compatible headphones. Apple reportedly won't offer Lightning-enabled EarPods with the next-generation iPhone, instead opting to sell a pair of noise-cancelling Lightning headphones separately.
With the headphone jack gone, there's talk that Apple will fill the extra space with an additional speaker, equipping the iPhone 7 with stereo sound.
Don't get your hopes up, though as a new leak out of MyDrivers claims to show the circuitry for the iPhone 7 and, according to people in the know, this includes components for supporting a 3.5mm headphone port.
Apple is expected to launch two versions of its next smartphone: the 4.7in iPhone 7 and 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus.
The display on Apple's next smartphone might be the first on an iPhone to use Samsung's OLED screen technology, according to Korean website ETNews, which should offer a boost in vibrancy and power efficiency. However, this is unlikely, with newer reports pointing to OLED debuting on 2017's iPhone 7S, which will also reportedly feature an iPhone 4-esque glass design and alongside built-in iris-scanning technology.
There's the usual chatter that the iPhone 7 will feature a higher screen resolution, but no specifics have yet leaked. Thanks to the inclusion of 3D Touch, though, the next iPhone could be the first to come without a physical home button.
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.
We don't yet know much about the iPhone 7's camera set-up, but 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.
We're also going to go out on a limb and assume that the iPhone 7 will ship with Apple's yet to be announced iOS 10 operating system, which will likely be announced during the firm's WWDC keynote on 13 June. µ
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