After Apple have released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mere months ago, but that hasn’t stopped speculation about the firm’s next smart phone, which for now we’re referring to as the iPhone 7.
Here, we round up everything we know about the so-called iPhone 7’s availability, including price and release date. Keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll update it with every new detail, feature and rumor that comes our way.
Speculation suggests, as does Apple’s typical two-year cycle, that the iPhone 7 – or iPhone 6S – won’t look much different to its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus predecessors.
Apple is expected to retain the LTPS-based LCD panel for the handset’s display, despite venturing into OLED screens for the Apple Watch.
This move led for some to speculate that Apple indeed would also use OLED tech for its next smartphone, but this now seems unlikely.
According to an investor note from JP Morgan analyst Narci Chang, the Japan Display facility could have the capacity to churn out almost 100 million 5in LTPS LCD panels each year, thanks to a $1.4bn down payment from Apple, hinting that the firm will stick with traditional LCD screens for its next iPhone.
While the screen tech unlikely will change, rumors suggest that Apple might opt for a scratch-proof sapphire display in the next-generation iPhone, such as that found on the Apple Watch. 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 rumors claim that Apple will also release a smaller 4in model aimed at customers with dainty hands.
Separate rumors via Patently Apple claim that the firm could follow in the footsteps of the Galaxy S6 Edge by adding a curved display.
The Wall Street Journal (pay walled) 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, enabling 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 smart phone is expected to feature the same sculpted aluminium body as the iPhone 6, and likely 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.
The iPhone 7, we’ll assume, will run Apple’s next iOS release, iOS 9. This is expected to debut at Apple’s WWDC conference in June, but won’t be that exciting, according to a report on 9to5Mac, as it will focus on bug fixes and stability improvements rather than new features.
Despite this, there is talk that iOS 9 will feature an overhauled Maps service, and a split-screen mode for iPad users. We can also assume it will include the Apple Watch app that debuted alongside iOS 8.2, allowing users to pair and sync the wearable with the smart phone.
iOS 9 will also come with support for Voice over 4G (VoLTE), with Three confirming that it will offer this service on the next-generation iPhone.
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 is likely to be available in the same 16GB, 64GB and 128GB variations as its 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.
Weight has been further added to this rumor with Apple’s acqusition of LinX, a firm that specializes in high-end smart phone 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.