Everything we know about Apple’s upcoming superphone.
Apple’s September iPhone 7 launch feels like a long way off, but any seasoned gadget fan knows that the rumour mill will only pick up steam as each day passes.
As always, it’s best to take the rumours with a pinch of salt, but they’re still useful in painting a rough picture of what we can expect to see come launch day.
We’ll be updating this preview with all the latest news, as and when we get it, so don’t forget to check back for your regular iFix.
HIT THE ROAD JACK
Given that the iPhone 7 is coming off the back of an ’s’ version, we expect to see some design changes.
It’ll come as no surprise to hear that the iPhone 7 is expected to be even thinner than the current 7.1mm iPhone 6s, and analyst Ming Chi Kup reckons Apple could trim down its new handset to as little as 6mm. If true, then we're concerned that the battery capacity won't be up to scratch, even with Apple's expected optimisations.
The iPhone 7 could be so thin in fact, that it could also lose its 3.5mm headphone jack altogether, forcing people to snap up Bluetooth or Lightning port-compatible headphones. It sounds ridiculous, but multiple sources have predicted the death of the headphone jack, so we’ll have to wait and see if Apple really does have the guts to axe such a well-established port.
As for the handset itself? Expect to see the return of an all-metal body, with - according to Digitimes - new waterproofing powers to boot.
It’s also possible that Apple will kill off the iPhone’s physical home button in favour of a 3D Touch alternative, although we’re not sure how likely it is that such a drastic change will occur.
We don’t see Apple straying from the 4.7in and 5.5in screen sizes that currently grace the Phone 6s and 6s Plus. What we could (hopefully) see however, is an increase in the resolution, to at least 2K.
Apple has lagged behind in the resolution wars behind its Android rivals for quite some time now, and we imagine that iPhone 7 will finally be the handset that catches up.
While Apple has also had links to producing OLED iPhone displays, analysts don’t expect them to feature in Apple handsets earlier than the iPhone 8.
3D Touch will of course be sticking around too, hopefully reaching its full potential by the time the iPhone 7 release date rolls around. Get cracking, developers.
Given how long it took Apple to move on from an 8-megapixel camera to a 12-megapixel one, we doubt we’ll see another increase this time round.
That’s not to say that we won’t see other improvements though. We could see an increase in the sensor size and aperture, which would provide improved performance in low light conditions. It would also be nice if the iPhone 7 had optical image stabilisation, as currently that’s a feature that remains exclusive to the larger Plus brother.
Less likely, is the addition of an extra lens, as outlined in a patent filing. One lens could have an increased focal depth, resulting in digital zoom that won’t pixellate your shots to death. Simultaneous 4K and 1080p footage could also be captured, with one lens focusing on slow-motion video during the shoot.
POWER IN SPADES
It should come as no surprise to you when we say that the iPhone 7 will be the most powerful iPhone to date.
Apple has increased the power of each and every successive handset, and the iPhone 7 could really up the ante with a hexa-core A10 chip, at least according to the folks over at Chinese site Weibo.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see a RAM increase, given Apple’s past history of slow memory upgrades, but that hasn’t stopped analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from predicting that the iPhone 7 Plus will have an extra boost to 3GB of RAM.
All that power should be more than enough to keep the as-of-yet unreleased iOS 9 moving along, although there’s been little information on what new features the new OS will bring, at this time.
PRICE AND RELEASE DATE
The iPhone 7 should roughly be priced at around the same $1100 price point as the existing base model iPhone 6s, but that price could still fluctuate either way.
As usual, we expect Apple to reveal the new iPhone in the second week of September, with an actual release date set for around two weeks after.