IT MAY STILL be a few months away, but that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill churning out speculation about Apple’s next-generation iPhone, set to land as the iPhone 7 or the iPhone 6S
Here, we round up everything we know about the so-called iPhone 7 so-far, including specs, price and release date. Keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll update it with every new detail, feature and rumour that comes our way. More after the slice….
However, one rumour out of Yahoo News claims the firm might have something more radical than usual planned, claiming: “Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve for 2016.”
9to5Mac seems to have killed these rumours, having obtained the first pictures of the so-called iPhone 6S (below).
These pictures, if legit, show that the iPhone 7 (or 6S) will feature the same design as its predecessor. The report notes that it will be the same size, connectors and antenna lines, although adds that it will come with a tweaked internal mounting structure. There is talk that the next iPhone will be tougher than its predecessor, however.
Rumours suggest that Apple might opt for a scratch-proof sapphire display in the next-generation iPhone, such as that found on its smartwatch. Production problems reportedly prevented the iPhone 6 launching with a sapphire screen, but speculation claims that Apple has teamed with Foxconn to get the tough displays ready in time.
In terms of screen size, there’s talk that Apple will release multiple variations of the iPhone next year, one with a 4.7in screen and one with a 5.5in screen. Some rumours claim that Apple will also release a smaller 4in model, aimed at customers with dainty hands.
Separate rumours via Patently Apple claim that the firm could follow in the footsteps of the Galaxy S6 Edge by adding a curved display, and others claim the firm could debut its first ‘flexible’ smartphone in the form of the iPhone 7.
The Wall Street Journal (paywalled) reports that the display on the iPhone 7, curved or not, will feature the same Force Touch technology introduced in Apple’s first 12in MacBook, technology that a touch-sensitive surface to register degrees of pressure as well as movement. According to the report, this would make way for new applications such as “a piano-playing app that would make different sounds when touched lightly or more heavily”.
The report claims: “Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan’s IC design industry.
“The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button.”
The iPhone 7 is expected to be available in the same white, space grey and gold colour options. There’s also talk that the iPhone 7 will be available in pink, but we’d take this with a pinch of salt, while another report claims that Apple will introduce a new “rose gold” colour (below).
The iPhone 7, we’ll assume, will run Apple’s next iOS release, iOS 9. This was unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, bringing with it a number of performance and usability enhancements, and is now available in public beta.
iOS 9 also brings with it some new features. This includes a battery saving mode that allows users to squeeze an extra three hours of life out of their smartphone, and a feature called Proactive Siri that sees Apple’s virtual assistant taking on Google Now and Cortana with context-based suggestions.
The release of iOS 9 later this year will also mark the debut of a new Apple Maps (below) app with public transport directions and Apple News, the firm’s Flipboard competitor.
Apple Music will also be included, having been introduced in Apple’s iOS 8.4 software released.
Under the hood, the iPhone 7 is expected to feature an A9 chip manufactured by TSMC. Previous speculation had suggested Apple would go look to Samsung to supply innards for its next-gen iPhone, but it has apparently since dumped it due to the unforseen popularity of the Galaxy S6.
This will be paired with 2GB RAM, according to a report from Technews.tw, the same as inside the iPad Air.
In terms of storage, the iPhone 7 reportedly will be the first to dump the current 16GB storage version, and instead will be made available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models, according to a report at Micgadget.
It will also be made available with LTE, with reports saying that it will offer 4G speeds twice as fast as its iPhone 6 predecessor.
It’s been reported by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber that the next iPhone will have “the biggest camera jump ever”, featuring a two-lens system which apparently brings it up to digital SLR quality. He suggested that Apple might opt for Sony’s new 21MP image sensor, the Exmoor RS.
A report out of KGI Securities points towards a 12MP rear-facing camera for the iPhone 7.
Weight has been further added to rumours of an upgraded camera with Apple’s acqusition of LinX, a firm that specialises in high-end smartphone camera tech.
Beyond that, we don’t know much about the iPhone 7 yet, although some speculate that it might be the first iPhone to launch with wireless charging.
According to a leaked Vodafone memo, the iPhone 7 will go on sale on 25 September, with pre-orders set to kick off a wee earlier.
According to Kuo, Foxconn will handle some 60 to 70 percent of the new iPhone 7 orders, with a 4.7in model accounting for two-thirds of orders, with the remaining third being for the mooted 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple is expecting the iPhone 7 to break sales records. The Wall Street Journalthat the firm has asked suppliers to manufacture between 85 million and 90 million units combined of two new iPhone models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays by 31 December.
Again unsurprisingly there are no details regarding the cost of the iPhone 7 yet, but it’s likely to be priced similarly to last year’s iPhone 6. Available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB variants, the smartphone costs £539, £619 and £699 respectively.
If Apple reveals a larger-screened iPhone 7 Plus handset, expect this to be more expensive at £619, £699 and £789.