Earlier this week, Apple sent out invites for the unveiling of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus on September 7th (i.e. next week). The launch of the new iPhones will finally put an end to months of speculations and leaks surrounding the handsets.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come at a time when the smartphone market has slowed down in the United States and Europe, and $400 smartphones like the OnePlus 3 have become increasingly good. Nonetheless, if you are still excited about the upcoming iPhones from Apple, we have done a rumor roundup of the handsets to give you an idea of what to expect at their unveiling next week. After all, it’s good to keep your expectations in check so as to not feel disappointed with the final product.
Same Design, but better
Apple usually follows a two-year design cycle refresh with its iPhone lineup, but this year is somewhat going to be an anomaly. Instead of a huge design refresh, Apple will only be slightly tweaking the design of the iPhone 6/6s for the iPhone 7. This involves repositioning the antenna lines at the rear to the top and bottom edges that will help in giving the rear a cleaner look. Perhaps the most controversial design change on the iPhone 7 is Apple’s decision to drop the 3.5mm audio jack. Instead, the freed up space is now occupied by what looks like a secondary stereo speaker, though it is unclear if it is actually a speaker or is only present for aesthetic purposes. The camera cut-out at the rear of the devices is also bigger to accommodate the larger camera sensor, with the iPhone 7 Plus featuring two such cut outs for its dual 12MP sensors.
On the flip side, the biggest improvement to the design of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is the addition of water-resistance. Leaks suggest the handsets coming with an IPX7 certification that would make them water-resistant in up to 1m of fresh water for 30mins. This will allow iPhone 7 owners to use their phone near a pool or any water body without worrying about any kind of water damage. Thousands of people damage their iPhones every year by dropping it in water, so the water-resistance feature of the iPhone 7 is going to come in handy for them.
iPhones have long been regarded to have the best smartphone camera on the market. Over the last couple of years, the iPhone’s camera prowess has been overtaken by flagship offerings from Samsung and LG. The Galaxy S7’s 12MP shooter runs circles around the iSight shooter of the iPhone 6s, especially in low-light.
With the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is giving the camera hardware on the iPhone a huge upgrade. Leaks point to the handsets coming with a larger 12MP camera sensor with bigger 1.3u pixels. This will be paired to a wide f/1.9 aperture that will allow the upcoming iPhones to take photos with DSLR-like bokeh effect. Apple’s event invite for the iPhone 7 also pretty much hints at the bokeh capabilities of the upcoming iPhones.
The larger iPhone 7 Plus will come with dual 12MP shooters at its rear for improved dynamic range and other effects that are unknown for now. However, if Android smartphones with a dual lens setup at their rear are anything to go by, we should see the iPhone 7 Plus offer the ability to refocus after shooting an image, shoot in monochrome, and more. As for the smaller iPhone, while it will only come with a single 12MP sensor, leaks point to it finally featuring OIS that should reduce shakes while recording videos.
To make up for the same design, Apple plans on offering the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in a new color. Leaks and reports are not clear on the color shade exactly, but the latest leak indicates Apple using the same glossy black finish that it used on the 2013 Mac Pro. A Space Black iPhone will definitely look stealthy and sexy, and might just make many people get over the disappointment of Apple not giving the iPhone 7 a major design refresh.
The lack of a 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 and its Plus sibling is also going to be a cause of pain point for many. If leaks are anything to go by, Apple plans on bundling a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter for free with all iPhones. While an adapter will make things easier, it will eventually meet the same fate that most adapters meet: get lost in oblivion.
Rumors also suggest that Apple may bundle wireless EarPods, dubbed AirPods, with the iPhone 7. If the rumor turns out to be true, then Apple will probably not get that much criticism for removing the headphone jack. However, that seems unlikely to me since wireless earphones cost quite a lot and can increase the bills of materials significantly for Apple. It is, however, possible that we will see Apple launch AirPods and sell them separately.
Capacitive Home Button
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are expected to come with a capacitive ‘Force Touch’ home button. Unlike the physical home button that Apple currently uses on the iPhones, a capacitive button would be more reliable in the long run. Leaks suggest that the ‘Force Touch’ home button will simulate the feeling of being pressed similar to how Apple uses it on the MacBooks to give the feeling of the trackpad clicking when pressed, even though they physically don’t.
A10 Chip and More RAM
Like every year, the iPhones this year are also expected to come with faster A-series chip from Apple. Dubbed A10, not much is known about Apple’s upcoming mobile AP except that it will be faster than the beastly A9X chip found inside the iPad Pro.
As for the amount of RAM, leaks point to the smaller iPhone 7 coming with 2GB RAM while the larger iPhone 7 Plus being upgraded to 3GB RAM. This is likely due to the extra camera related features that Apple is going to include on the iPhone 7 Plus that require more RAM and horsepower.
Last year, Apple had to reduce the battery capacity on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus by a small margin to accommodate the 3D Touch haptic feedback engine. This year, leaks suggest that thanks to component size reduction and the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack, Apple will include a slightly larger battery on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The 4.7-inch iPhone is rumored to come with a 1960mAh battery — up from the 1715mAh battery found on the iPhone 6s (almost 10% increase). The iPhone 7 Plus is rumored to come with a 2910mAh battery, an increase of 5% compared to the iPhone 6s Plus and same as what is found inside the iPhone 6 Plus.
32GB Base Storage
Rumors about Apple adding a 256GB storage option for the iPhone have been doing the round since the last year or so. This year, though, the chances of the company offering the iPhone 7 Plus with a 256GB storage option are pretty high since the Cupertino company now already offers the iPad Pro with a similar storage option. The mass production of 256GB NAND chips is also going to help Apple further in this regard.
As for the base storage, leaks and analysts suggest that Apple will finally be offering the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with 32GB of base storage. Maybe after years of criticism, the Cupertino company has finally realised the crime it has been committing all this while by selling iPhones with 16GB storage space?
A new release of iPhone is accompanied with a new release of iOS. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are not going to be any different in this regard. The handsets will be running iOS 10 out of the box that comes with major new features like a redesigned and more powerful iMessages app, Raise to Wake, a new lock screen, interactive notifications, and more.
Read: Top iOS 10 features
While Apple unveils all major new features of iOS at WWDC itself, it keeps a major feature under wraps that ties in nicely with a major hardware upgrade on the new iPhones. This year, it is likely that we will see Apple unveil a new camera app for iOS 10 whilst launching the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to go along with their powerful new cameras. If not a new camera app, we should likely see Apple unveil a new feature in iOS 10 that has to do something with the powerful new 12MP shooters on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
iPhone 7 Pro? iPhone 6SE?
There have been rumors and leaks suggesting that Apple is working on an iPhone 7 Pro with Smart Connector. While it is possible that the company had some prototypes in testing, it is not going to launch the iPhone 7 Pro this year. Launching a separate variant of the iPhone with just the Smart Connector makes little sense due to the lack of demand and usefulness.
There were also rumors of Apple calling the iPhone 7 this year as the iPhone 6SE due to the relatively minor design changes it was going to introduce with them. However, these leaks have been squashed in recent times, and if Apple’s event date (September 7th) is anything to go by, the upcoming iPhones will be called the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
So, what are your expectations from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus? Do you plan on upgrading to them from your current iPhone? Or are you going to wait for a few months before deciding? What do you hope are features that Apple includes on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus?