Hot on the heels of record sales in the final quarter of 2015, Apple is back in the design studio putting the final touches on the next iteration of its iconic smartphone: the iPhone 7.
Rumours and leaks about the next iPhone have likewise begun; with a few supposed changes in design already drawing cheers and jeers the world over.
Here is what we know so far. Bear in mind that Apple is a company known for never, ever, releasing details about upcoming products until the day of launch.
Of course, that doesn’t stop employees from companies in the production supply chain from leaking photos of parts and product specifications early.
In a nutshell:
• No 3.5mm headphone jack
• Slimmer profile
• No 4-inch iPhone
• 3D camera technology
• Faster processor and more RAM
• Waterproof body
• Upgraded data technology
Headphone jack MIA
Speculation is rife that the new iPhone will do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack and leave the device with one port; the existing multi-function Lightning port. The horror!
Apple has no problems surprising the world with devices that lack peripheral connection ports: witness the new MacBook, which features only a 3.5mm headphone jack and one new USB-C port.
Before you start losing your mind, an iPhone without a 3.5mm port may not be such a bad thing.
For those users already using wireless headphones, the response will likely be ‘meh’. For the many still using wired headphones, an adapter will likely become available to connect to the iPhone’s Lightning port.
Apple is also rumoured to be developing new EarPods with a Lightning plug, which may be sold separately.
A matter of size
Why would Apple remove the headphone jack and put you through such torment? To offer you a slimmer smartphone.
Rumours now abound that the iPhone 7 will measure in around 6 to 6.5mm thin – the current iPhone 6s is 7.1mm thin; the iPhone 6s Plus is 7.3mm. If true, this slimming down could be the result of removing the 3.5mm jack.
Reports also circulated before the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s that Apple would produce a 4-inch version of the new iPhone alongside the two new sizes: 4.7-inches for the iPhone 6/6s and 5.5-inches for the iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus.
Considering the company has already produced a plastic version of its expensive smartphone in 2013, with the release of the iPhone 5c – a specification that lasted only one year – the company is not likely to gamble on another ‘budget’ version of its flagship product.
A video claiming to show a forthcoming iPhone has surfaced on YouTube. Watch the clip below.
The release of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus saw a big jump in both processing power from the previous model; from the A8 processor to the new A9 processor with embedded M9 motion coprocessor.
We can expect the new iPhone 7 to feature Apple’s new A10 processor with embedded M10 motion coprocessor, which is predicted to improve memory bandwidth to allow for more powerful graphics processing, as well as a general improvement in speed and functionality.
Following its 2015 acquisition of Israeli 3D technology company LinX Imaging, speculation began that Apple was developing a 3D camera for iPhone.
This would be the perfect next move for the iPhone camera, considering the amount of 3D and virtual reality devices entering the marketing from 2016.
A 3D camera would allow users to capture depth within their photos and video, allowing comprehensive manipulation of still and motion images later.
This move would also put Apple on par with its competitors currently using Intel’s RealSense camera tech, which is already seeing use in laptop and desktop computers from the likes of Dell, HP and Lenovo.
Further changes in the body of the new iPhone are expected to come in the form of a compound material shell, rather than the existing 7000-series aluminium alloy, which will supposedly bring a measure of waterproofing to the iPhone.
Imagine no more panicking when you accidentally drop your precious smartphone while scrolling through YouTube comments in the bathroom.
Again, if true, this feature would at last bring Apple up to speed with other manufacturers.
Revolutionary data technology
After being discovered in the code of iOS 9.1, it appears Apple is building a revolutionary new data transfer technology into its mobile devices, called Li-Fi.
Similar to Wi-Fi, rather than communicating via digital signals over a radio network, Li-Fi uses light waves. The technology is so fast it could download a HD video within a second. The current maximum speed has been measured at 224 gigabits per second, or 28,000Mbps.
While extremely new, again, it wouldn’t be the first time Apple pulled a swifty and shocked the world with a future-forward innovation.
Although, this technology could also serve to integrate with any number of smart home devices, taking a place in Apple’s HomeKit universe – the company’s foray into the Internet of Things.
Apple has stuck to a September release schedule for the past five years, so expect the new iPhone 7 to be available in Australia towards the end of September this year.
Love or hate the iPhone, you probably have an opinion on these rumours. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.