It's Almost TIME For Apple's Big iPhone 7 Reveal: Release Date, Specs & Features Rumours

Rumours Richard Goodwin 08:54, 29 Jul 2016

All the leaks, rumours and details for the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and/or iPhone 7 Pro

Apple’s WWDC 2016 conference has now concluded and we have final details about the company’s major software updates for 2016: iOS 10, macOS, tvOS and watchOS 3. The former of which will ship aboard Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 handsets and you can expect to see these announced in September.

No hardware was announced at WWDC, however, and this was slightly disappointing. Many reports suggested Apple would release a Sonos-style Siri Speaker that would be able to answer questions, perform basic tasks and, of course, stream music and media around the home. This did not happen, obviously. But Apple did confirm that Siri is now open to developers and this in itself is rather significant. Siri is pretty terrible at present but should vastly improve in the coming months as developer’s get unparalleled access to her insides. Expect new features, new capabilities and new apps with Siri front and centre in the coming weeks and months.

"In iOS 10," said Apple at launch, "Siri can be extended into major new areas and do more than ever by working with the apps you love to use. For the first time, developers can build on the intelligence Siri offers and let users interact directly with apps using just their voice. SiriKit helps developers easily design their apps to work with Siri for messaging, phone calls, photo search, ride booking, personal payments and workouts, or use Siri to control CarPlay apps, access climate controls or adjust radio settings within automakers’ apps."

Apple’s iOS 10 platform also looks to be a very solid update as well, bringing tons of new features, tweaks and updates to iPhone and iPad. But now that WWDC 2016 is over all eyes are focusing on one thing and one thing only: the iPhone 7.

There are A LOT of questions surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhones. Most of which concern whether or not the company will change the industrial design of the phones, after multiple reports suggested the handsets would more or less look like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Apple is apparently being more conservative than usual with its chipset orders for 2016, according to a statement from the COO of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, the world’s largest chip assembly and testing firm. This goes in direct contrast to other players in the space, according to the COO, who’s orders have been higher than last year. Although this is not surprising given the resurgence of awesome flagship Android phones inside 2016, after a rather lukewarm 2015.

“The executive suggested that the year's sales should improve quarter by quarter,” notes Apple Insider, “while simultaneously refusing to speculate on whether orders in the second half of 2016 — or the complete year — would be stronger or weaker than those from the same timeframes in 2015. Nikkei earlier reported that Apple's Taiwanese suppliers, ASE among them, would receive smaller orders during 2H 2016.”

It’s no secret that Apple’s 2016 hasn’t been great; iPhone sales declined for the first time in history and talk of a dull iPhone 7 update have done nothing to raise confidence about the company’s chances of closing the gap between now and 2017. In previous years, Apple operated under a blanket of secrecy and this allowed it to be better manage expectation. However, as leaks become more prevalent Apple’s ability to manage its “message” ahead and up to the launch of new hardware has diminished, resulting in questions being raised about the “awesomeness” of both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 prior to their official announcement.

Is Apple switching to a three year design cycle? Next year’s iPhone will be the 10th anniversary, so that’d be a good time to do something special, however, not changing anything this year could do the company’s sales figures damage. I don’t think Apple could get away with rehashing the iPhone 6’s design again — three years is REALLY pushing it. Even by Apple standards.

The one rumour I REALLY hope isn’t true, though, is the one that concerns the iPhone’s headphone jack — or lack thereof. The logic behind my reasoning here is pretty solid too: it’s a stupid, unnecessary move, it won’t add any real benefit from a user perspective, and, as The Verge rightly points out it will pave the way for 100% DRM audio across the board. And, yes, that is bad for EVERYONE unless you happen to own a multinational record company.

“Copyright enforcement technology never stops piracy and always hurts the people who most rely on legal fair use,’ said the report, “but you can bet the music industry is going to start cracking down on ‘unauthorized’ playback and recording devices anyway. We deal with DRM when it comes to video because we generally don’t rewatch and take TV shows and movies with us, but you will rue the day Apple decided to make the iPhone another 1mm thinner the instant you get a "playback device not supported" message. Winter is coming.”

Below is everything currently known about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, including specs, features and price rumours.

iPhone 7 Release Date “Confirmed” For September 16: iPhone 6s Q3 2016 Performance Disappointing

Apple’s iPhone 7 is shaping up to be one of the dullest solid-number updates from the company in recent history. 

The wait is almost over. In just under two months time Apple will unveil its hugely anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets. Both devices have leaked A LOT in recent months and we know from previous years the rough time period in which Apple likes to release its iPhones. This year we’re once again looking at a September 16 release date.

News of the release date comes via the usually-reliable Evan Blass (AKA @evleaks). Blass took to Twitter to inform his followers about the release of the iPhones and while none of this is official, Evan does have a habit of hitting the nail on the head when it comes to rumours, leaks and predictions.

Blass states Apple’s new iPhones will get a retail release on September 16, which is a Friday — Apple’s usual day. This means the iPhone 7 will likely be announced on Monday Sept. 12. Apple released the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 on September 25 and September 9, respectively.

Apple has had a pretty sketchy year to date; the iPhone 6s sold in fewer numbers than the iPhone 6. For this reason, Apple will be gunning to nail the iPhone 7 announcement and launch. It needs the handset to be a huge success in order to prove to investors and market watchers that it can still create products that sell in market-defining numbers.

“The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus did quite well,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and CoFounder. “Yet, they did not dominate the same way that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus did a year ago. The total share of the new flagship models fell below the share of the then-new phones in 2014, and the large-format iPhone 6s Plus share of sales dropped compared to the iPhone 6 Plus as well. Customers continue to choose the year-old iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and even the two-year old iPhone 5S.”

Samsung is very much back in vogue at present; a trend that always seems to happen when Apple’s iPhone releases become a tad stale, as it was with the iPhone 4s. Samsung has its Galaxy Note 7 coming in August and that handset will do battle with the iPhone 7, alongside Samsung’s current Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 EDGE handsets.

Apple Q3 Earnings Disappoint

"Apple on Tuesday announced fiscal third-quarter earnings of $1.42 per share, or $7.8 billion in net income, on sales totaling $42.4 billion. That compares to a net profit of $1.85 per share in the same quarter last year, while revenue slid from the Q3 record of $49.6 billion that Apple set in fiscal 2015," notes BGR. "Ahead of Apple’s report, analysts were expecting EPS to come in at $1.39 while revenue was seen dropping to $42.1 billion, right in the middle of Apple’s guidance of between $41 billion and $43 billion."

It added: "iPhone sales in fiscal Q3 2016 totaled 40.4 million units, down from the 47.5 million iPhones the company sold during the June quarter last year, which was also a third-quarter record. Wall Street’s consensus for this past quarter was 40 million units. The company said it expects between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion in sales for the fiscal fourth quarter."

This means Apple — for the first time — has to convince Wall Street and its investors that it CAN bring its iPhone business back to the levels it enjoyed back in 2014/2015 where sales were at record levels. This is the Apple we all know; the new Apple, where iPhone sales have dropped year-on-year, is either an inevitable blip for the company or a sign the iPhone has finally reached critical mass.

Has Apple now OFFICIALLY peaked? Sliding iPhone sales — the company’s biggest revenue stream — certainly allude to this claim but will the advent of the iPhone 7 return Apple back to its record-breaking days? No one is sure — even more so given that Apple’s iPhone 7 isn’t expected to be a major update on the iPhone 6s.

Nevertheless, one thing is certain: the analysts have definitely got their knifes out for Apple and its CEO Tim Cook.

“Our opinion [is] that Apple has peaked under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook," Colin Gillis of BGC Financial L.P. said in a note this week. "Our view that that there is risk that the upgrade rate for the next iPhone may slow even more than the upgrade rate cycle of 6s, which has been materially lower than the upgrade rate of the iPhone 6 as per the company.”

Make no mistake: Apple is still selling A LOT of iPhones and it is still making A LOT of money — more than anyone else in the mobile space. But once you’re at the top, as Apple has been for as long as most of us can remember, any sign of weakness is always pounced upon by analysts, investors and journalists. Apple needs a successful launch, basically. It cannot afford another launch that pales to what it was doing in 2014 — that simply won’t do. Not for a company that prides itself on constantly bettering itself.

This little graph by The Verge illustrates just how much iPhone sales have dipped in recent times:

“Apple isn't giving any specific guidance on how iPhone revenue or sales will fare next quarter,” notes The Verge, “but the company expects its overall revenue to be between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion, down from the same period last year. Apple will hold an investor call at 5PM ET, and we'll update you accordingly with any information on iPhone sales.”

As for what we can expect from the iPhone 7, well, there’s been plenty of leaks about the handset. We know Apple is saving the majority of its physical changes for the iPhone 7s (which might be called the iPhone 8) in 2017. However, the iPhone 7 will feature a raft of improvements, tweaks and hardware bumps.

The biggest update will likely be to the camera, which is expected to see the inclusion of a dual-lens camera on the Plus model, as well as a heavily updated set of features for the standard iPhone 7’s camera unit, including OIS and a higher MP sensor. Most expect the new iPhone 7 camera tech to be something of a “game-changer” — so expect to hear A LOT about this at launch.

Neither handset will feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, however, as Apple is switching this duty over to its existing Lightning port connector; the one that already handles data and charging. This is the most controversial aspect of the upcoming iPhone and the reason for this is simple: no one wants it to happen — the cons outweigh the pros. Big TIME!

Analysts at Deutsche Bank believe that Apple will bundle a dongle with its new device, rather than offer a pair of its EarPods with a Lightning connector,” reports U Switch.

“That flies in the face of recent leaks, which showed off Apple’s traditional white headphones with an attachment that fits into the charging port. It now appears certain that Apple will do away with the standard 3.5mm headphone port and instead force users to attach headphones via the iPhone 7’s Lightning slot. The change is being made to allow for a second speaker and could make the iPhone 7 slightly slimmer than its predecessors, while offering space for a larger battery.”

But there are some good changes coming as well! 

“What’s more,” notes BGR, “rumours also indicate that Apple with the iPhone 7 will finally abandon the 16GB entry-level model. Instead, it’s believed that the storage tiers for the iPhone 7 will be 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. While there have been some rumblings of a 256GB model being made available, those rumours have been sketchy at best.”

You can read ALL about The iPhone 7 in our dedicated iPhone 7 Hub, which includes images, leaked specs and hardware as well as rumours about the software and core USPs.

iPhone 7 Water-Proofing & New TouchID

Multiple rumours have claimed Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 range of handsets will be water and dust resistant. This is a good thing. Apple needs to add this utility into its handsets, as it makes them a hell of a lot more useable around the house and when you’re on holiday by the pool and at the beach. How Apple will achieve this, however, remains to be seen. But as Samsung has shown, water and dust resistance needn’t impede design these days, so don’t go expecting rubber plugs as standard on the iPhone 7.

One way in which Apple will increase the iPhone’s durability is by switching out the normal, clickable Home key for a completely haptic one. According to Apple Insider, “If the home button on the next iPhone does not physically move, it would borrow from a concept Apple already established last year with its Force Touch trackpad. Rather than physically clicking, the trackpad found on the 12-inch MacBook and new MacBook Pros simulates the feeling of a click with haptic feedback.”

Force Touch recognises pressure, so presumably the Force Touch on TouchID would need to do the same, which might create some initial teething problems for users’ used to clicking to get home. This type of feature would bring Apple’s touch technology to yet another component of its iPhone, however, its reception might not be quite as well received if it isn’t 100% accurate all the time.

Iris scanning capabilities coming to a future iPhone?

Digitimes has a report out that Apple is working on building iris scanning capabilities into a future iPhone model. However the site notes that we shouldn’t expect these capabilities in the iPhone 7 or the 2017 iPhone. Instead, Apple will reportedly add iris scanning to the 2018 model iPhone. As MacRumors notes: “Iris scanning would potentially be used in place of Touch ID as a way to verify a user's identity, performing functions like making payments and unlocking an iOS device. Each person's iris, or the circular colored muscle of the eye, contains a complex and random pattern that is unique to each individual, much like a fingerprint.”

Is this what the new “Space Black” iPhone 7 will look like?

A video has been posted to YouTube showing what the rumors new black iPhone 7 could look like. To be clear: this video features mockups and not rear shell leaks. The iPhone 7 has been rumored to gain a new black color option, and if it does it could well look like the mockup in the video.

Apple files for “AirPods” trademark name

MacRumors has linked a previous anonymous patent to Apple, suggesting that the next iPhone could indeed ship with wireless earbuds. Called “AirPods” the patent applies to:

“Audio components and accessories; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; digital video recorders and players; remote control apparatus; audio speakers; earphones, headphones; microphones; voice recording and recognition apparatus; radios, radio transmitters, and receivers; handheld digital electronic devices and software related thereto; wireless communication devices for voice, data or image transmission; electrical and electronic connectors, couplers, wires, cables, chargers, docks, docking stations, interfaces, and adapters for use with all of the aforesaid goods”

MacRumors notes the AirPods trademark application was previously field by an unknown company, but it's now believed that company is just a shell for Apple. As we’ve reported many times before, the iPhone 7 may or may not be ditching the headphone jack. Either way, it looks like Apple wants to be ready for the future by making wireless earbuds a reality now.

iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus/Pro: Latest casing leaks

Another video has leaked online on July 22 showing the iPhone 7 Pro, several units of the handset in fact, in silver, rose gold, and grey colour options, and an iPhone 7 in rose gold, all stacked on top of each other. The Pro model is clearly distinguishable not only by its larger proportions but also the dual-lens rear camera port, which we get a close-up of and can also see the antenna band layout. However, the Smart Connector on the phone's lower back panel cannot be seen due to the arrangement of the devices in a staggered stack.

On July 21 there's a couple of fresh leaks have appeared. The first is a batch of live photos which allegedly show the iPhone 7's front and rear panels, but we also get to see the much-fabled 3.5mm-to-Lightning port adapter.

But somewhat more interesting is a video apparently showcasing the rose gold iPhone 7 alongside its iPhone 6s colour equivalent - in this vid we can clearly see the speaker grille replacing the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Despite the recent leak of three iPhone 7 models, including both an iPhone 7 Pro and iPhone 7 Plus, further info has emerged on July 20 suggesting that Apple may only launch two of the three inside 2016. The earlier leak supported claims made previously by prominent and reliable analyst-tipster Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities, but now another famous and reliable leakster has come forward. Evan Blass, aka @evleaks on Twitter, said that there would only be two models launching in 2016, the iPhone 7, codenamed "Sonora", and the iPhone 7 Plus, codenamed "Dos Palos". There are now theories that the below leaked images of the trio are fake. While nothing is concrete, the impression we're getting is that the iPhone 7 Plus will feature the dual-camera hardware.

On July 19 a new photo set has leaked online and is quite possibly the clearest set of images of the iPhone 7 family we've seen to date. The images appeared on Weibo and appear to show the front and back of every member of the 2016 iPhone portfolio refresh, and interestingly, there are three models; a 5.5in iPhone Pro with dual-camera, a 5.5in iPhone Plus with single-lens camera, and a 4.7in iPhone 7! The image, if accurate, sits with a previous rumour from analyst Ming-chi Kuo about a trio of devices. Of course we can also see the cleaner back design with hidden antenna strips, while on the Pro model there is a smart connector, though it is absent from the other two. As there are no side angle shots we can't discern a difference in thickness or the presence or absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack.

A July 17 video leak has appeared for the iPhone 7, but while interesting we're going to take it with a big bag of salt and we'd suggest you do the same. The video emerged, as such things typically do these days, via the Chinese Weibo social network and appears to show the iPhone 7 alongside the iPhone 6s in a hands-on showcase; the most immediately striking thing is how similar these two handsets look in terms of overall design and proportions. But the telltale signs are there, including the hiding of the iPhone 7's antenna bands and the much larger camera port for its enhanced sensor technology. As per the rumours, this unit shows the 3.5mm headphone jack is gone in favour of another speaker grille and the new model is slightly thicker. The source also published a number of still images showing the duo side-by-side.

Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been leaking like mad these past few weeks. Images of both models have appeared online, revealing quite a bit about their design. Both look similar to last year’s models, though this was expected after news leaked about Apple switching to a three-year hardware redesign cycle.

The big changes inside this year’s iPhone 7 releases will be on the inside and the most prominent, save for the imaging technology, is Apple’s new A10 chipset which will apparently bring iPad Pro-levels of performance to the new iPhone models, as well as big improvements battery life.

We now have some reliable intelligence about Apple’s A10 chipset, via TechTastic, in the form of a benchmark of the upcoming processor. According to the leaked details, the A10 topped 3000 inside GeekBench — that’s almost 500 more than the A9. Plus, Apple’s A10 is listed as a dual-core setup as well, meaning real-life performance will likely be even higher.

Apple has never had an issue with iPhone performance, but has still gradually upped the ante with each new release. Last year’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were positively insane with respect to processing grunt, so an uplift of this magnitude inside the iPhone 7 via the A10 will be more than palpable to the end user — it might just burn their fingers!

TSMC will replace Samsung as Apple’s sole chip-maker for 2016-through-2017, undertaking production of the company’s A10 CPU for the iPhone 7 and 10nm FinFET A11 CPU for next year’s iPhone 7s. The reasoning behind this is that TSMC is believed to have a technical edge on Samsung with respect to mass producing 10nm finFET architecture.

“TSMC is already the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A10 chip which will power the upcoming iPhone series slated for launch in September 2016. The Taiwan-based foundry will continue to be the sole supplier of Apple’s next-generation A11 processor that will be built on a 10nm FinFET process,” said Economic Daily News, without citing its sources.

The other big USP inside the iPhone 7 will be its imaging capabilities. Apple is bringing OIS to the standard iPhone 7 model and adding in a dual-camera, via LG, apparently, on the larger, iPhone 7 Plus model. Video will be improved dramatically as well, no doubt.

Beyond this other notable changes include the removal of 16GB iPhones — FINALLY — and the implementation of 32GB as the base model. A higher storage variant is also likely, with the rise of 256GB phones set to begin later this year with the Galaxy Note 7.

A design change would have been nice, though, and those holding out for one will likely be disappointed by the iPhone 7 when it gets official as it will almost certainly look identical to last year’s model. Still, for those interested in core features and performance, the 2016 model of iPhone will be one the biggest updates to date with big uplifts in key areas like imaging, processing power and battery performance.

Those wanting a redesigned chassis will have to wait until 2017.

In other news, the iPhone 7 has been spotted in a set of photos allegedly showing every colour version that will be available, and notably the set doesn't include the much-rumoured and previously leaked "Space Black" colour option; we can see silver, Space Grey, Gold, and Rose Gold.

Meanwhile, another report states that the iPhone 7 will feature a larger 1,960mAh battery cell, a 14% increase in battery capacity from the previous model at 1,715mAh. The word comes via a Tweet from reliable tipster @OnLeaks, who admits that while his info can not be considered 100% guaranteed, he thinks it is fairly likely as his own source is "pretty reliable"

If you were still thinking the Apple iPhone 7 might come with a 3.5mm headphone jack then think again. Yes, it has been a confusing and somewhat irritating see-saw of "on-again-off-again" with regard to the headphone jack saga, but it seems this latest leak well and truly shows the Lightning port is taking over audio duties as it's a pair of Apple's earbuds with a Lightning connector in place of the old 3.5mm design. The image leaked via nowhereelse.fr, an often reliable source for pre-launch images and details. As you can see from the image, the design of the earbuds themselves is very similar to Apple's existing design. It's understood that Apple will supply a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor with its new iPhones to ensure customers can still use their preferred headphone hardware. The casing around the connector also seems to be slightly bigger than on Apple's standard Lightning cable, suggesting there may be some electronic hardware inside perhaps to help improve audio quality?

This is apparently THE iPhone 7. Again. But this one is different because unlike most leaks the image is crisp and clear, giving us a good look at what’s just around the corner — the iPhone 7.

The leak comes via nowhereelse and shows off the gold version of the iPhone 7 — not the iPhone 7 Plus — and its new, larger camera opening in which will apparently go a vastly superior camera to what came before.

“Monday's leak is believed to be the 4.7-inch model due to the inclusion of a single-lens camera. It's rumoured that the larger 5.5-inch ‘Plus’ variant will exclusively feature a new dual-lens camera design, which would allow for even higher quality images and potentially even optical zoom,” reports Apple Insider. “The iPhone 7 case is shown in gold, and though it features an Apple logo on the back, it lacks any other engravings, such as the iPhone name. The absence is somewhat common in leaked, unfinished parts that sometimes find their way out of factories as Apple ramps up production.”

Schematics! We love a good schematic. The latest iPhone 7 leak is a big batch of technical CAD renders showcasing the design and dimensions of Apple's forthcoming new generation of smartphones. The main takeaway here is the dimensions, which, in fairness, don't really tell us anything new; the verdict is a shorter, and narrower iPhone along the length and width, but the front-to-back thickness will apparently be expanding - we have heard this before, though it does contradict many of the earlier rumours of the thinnest iPhone ever (one of the big alleged reasons behind ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack - we think there are other motives though!). The cool thing about these schematics is that they show the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s alongside each other, so you get a good view of how things have changed for the new model launching in September. As well as the thickness (7.15mm vs 7.1mm) the newer model also has a noticably bigger camera port for an upgraded sensor, and yes, the 3.5mm jack is gone! The images reportedly come from an accessory maker.

While this evidence is somewhat shaky, as of July 6 a leaked presentation slide appears to suggest the iPhone 7 will be waterproof. The slide in question was photographed during a presentation in China and appears to show the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-camera sensor. According to the source the text (in Chinese) on the slide says the phone runs iOS 10, will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, will support wireless charging, and will be either water resistant waterproof certified (it's not exactly clear). We're a little sceptical of this right now considering how vague it all is, we also don't yet know if the larger iPhone 7 will have the Plus moniker or if it will be the iPhone 7 Pro.

Further evidence has emerged on July 6 suggesting that the iPhone 7 series will reshuffle the internal storage options, eliminating the 16GB option, starting at 32GB for the base model and ramping up to 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The news this time comes via the Wall Street Journal, stating that the expansion of storage across the range is at least partially to do with making room for photos, implying that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Pro camera enhancements make for bigger photo files due to their increased quality, and that more room is therefore needed at all levels.

"The new iPhones are expected to have more storage for those photos," says the report, "Instead of 16GB as a starting point for the entry-level iPhone, the new starting point will be 32GB, according to a person familiar with Apple’s iPhone plans. Hallelujah! I’ve long said that keeping the 16GB iPhone was just a ploy for Apple to get people to buy the 64GB model—for $100 extra."

This news follows on from earlier reports from sources inside Apple's Asian supply network, it was claimed that essentially the pricing structure would remain the same as the existing setup (16GB up to 128GB) but with a 32GB base model at the price of the existing 16GB edition, and the additiona of a new, more expensive 256GB top-tier. However, there is still some conflict from the rumours over exactly which models wll have the top-tier 256GB, some have suggested it will only be aboard the 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus/Pro model, while others say it will be present across the range.

“Force TouchID” Coming To iPhone 7 Rumour Surfaces — AGAIN?

The iPhone 7 rumours have been flying in thick and fast for the best part of 12 months now. Some have stuck and taken shape, other’s have withered under closer scrutiny. But one rumour that simply will not die, besides the removal of 3.5mm headphone jack, is the implementation of a “Force TouchID”.

Apple plans to ditch traditional Touch ID home button designs in favour of a solid-state capacitive component, reports Business Insider. A solid-state capacitive component basically means Apple’s Home key will no longer be pressible; rather, it will utilise Apple’s proprietary 3D Touch technology in order to perform all the functionality, including TouchID payments, via the Home key.

“It is unclear how Apple expects to integrate a capacitive home button into its hardware lineup,” notes Apple Insider, “though it can be speculated that a final product might use iPhone's Taptic Engine haptic feedback system to mimic the feel of pressing a mechanical actuator. In addition to existing technology, the company is investigating a type of solid state ‘Force Touch ID’ module capable of sensing finger pressure while at the same time offering fingerprint authentication services.”

Where things get a tad dicey is that production of Apple’s iPhone 7 is now well underway ahead of a release date inside late-Q3, early-Q4. And this means that it is rather unlikely Apple will change anything now — unless all this has somehow managed to escape under the radar.

It could also be leaked technology for next year’s iPhone release, which is tipped to be a HUGE update compared to the upcoming iPhone 7 which is said to be an incremental updated based on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s form factor. 2017’s iPhone, however, will feature new display technology, a new design and, most likely, a new Home key — one that leverages Apple’s 3D Touch technology.

The Home key on iPhone is perhaps one of the most pressed things on the face of the planet. Changing it dramatically, as this leak suggests, would almost certainly cause ripples amongst Apple’s loyal fan base, so it will definitely be interesting to see how Apple introduces any changes to this aspect of the iPhone.

What say you?

THIS is Basically EXACTLY What The iPhone 7 Will Look Like 

We already have a pretty good idea about what the iPhone 7 will look like. Visualise the iPhone 6s in your mind's eye, take away the antenna bands and switch out the headphone jack for a lightening connector and, BOOM, you’re looking at the iPhone 7.

But in case your imagination’s not what it once was, trusty ol’ Martin Hajek is back with another of his amazing iPhone renders, which you can see below in ALL their splendour.

Hajek’s MO is pretty simple: he reads all the rumours, takes everything into account and then performs some computer-wizardry and turns out these hyper-realistic renders of a phone, in this case the iPhone 7.

Hajek’s a sticker for details too. As you can see in the images, he’s included a lightning port instead of a 3mm headphone jack, included a larger lens hole for the camera, and he’s even had a stab at Apple’s new, upcoming Space Black colour scheme.

The designer posted the images on Twitter next to Apple’s iPhone 6s in order to demonstrate the potential differences between the two handsets.

Apple is expected to update the camera, add in a new CPU, and improve battery performance inside the iPhone 7. Beyond this it’s all the usual tweaks and optimisations, so don’t expect to be balled-over by the end result come September. This one’s looking increasingly likely to an minor update with Apple saving all the big changes for 2017’s iPhone.

iOS 10 — The Next Big Thing

Apple has now taken the wraps of iOS 10. The new platform features a host of new features that are designed to make using and abusing your iPhone and iPad all the more easier.

Two fundamental components of iOS have been redesigned: the lock screen and the home screen. The idea here, FINALLY, is to give users better and faster access to information with minimal fuss through the use of widgets, which are essentially live tiles, and are access using 3D Touch.

There’s a lot to get stuck into and we’ll be going into more detail in a separate piece of iOS 10 tomorrow. But for now, these are the biggest and best new features announced inside iOS 10 in no particular order:

  1. Raise To Wake — as the name suggests, this feature unlocks the iPhone’s display when you pick it up. The screen will automatically switch on and from here you will be able to see lock screen notifications and widgets with live information.
  2. Universal Clipboard — this one is AWESOME. Basically, if you copy a piece of text or an image or a link on your iPhone to the Universal Clipboard it’ll be available on ALL your Apple devices.
  3. Automatic App Download — pretty simple this one; when you download an application on your iPhone, it will automatically install on your iPad and Apple TV machine. Could get annoying, especially if you have limited space on your iPhone or iPad, but you will no doubt be able to turn this off in settings.
  4. Photos App — Apple is using AI, which is local to your iPhone, to make your Photos app a more interesting and engaging place to view past memories. In the new Photos app, photos of significance, say, a trip to France with friends, will be linked together in a cluster.
  5. Photos can than automatically stitch photos together to create photo reels of your memories, sort like what HTC has been doing for YEARS with its Zoe application. This new feature is called Memories and if you’re anything like me is likely something you will NEVER use — but, hey, at least you got the option to, right?
  6. Apple Maps — The controversial navigation app has been resigned and is now more accurate, useful and proactive. The new UX is cleaner and now includes support for traffic updates. When used in conjunction with Carplay, Maps will send turn by turn navigation right to your car’s instrument panel. Apple is also opening up Maps to developers as well, so expect lots of new functionality in the coming weeks and months.
  7. Phone app — new features here include the ability to take voicemail transcriptions, so you can see what messages have been left without listening to them. The new Phone app also has a spam filter, so no more pesky sales calls about whether or not you were in an accident or may or may not be able to make a PPI claim.
  8. Apple Music & News — Apple has redesigned both applications from the ground up, no doubt after both were heavily criticised shortly after launch last year. Eddie Cue said Apple Music has been redesigned to make “music King” which, I think, is marketing spiel for a nicer, easier to use design.

Prepare Yourselves: A Very Dull iPhone 7 Is COMING

The iPhone 7 is one of the most hotly anticipated handsets coming in 2017. This is always the case with Apple releases. But this year’s launch is a little different, as more and more people seem to be bracing themselves for something, well, a tad boring.

The latest information suggests the iPhone 7 will be an almost exact clone of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. Indeed, the latest leak concerns the earpiece — apparently it will be slightly larger, while the ambient light sensor will be relocated. Exciting!

Beyond this Apple “might” ditch traditional headphone jacks in favour of Lightning aboard the iPhone 7, a move that will likely upset A LOT of people because A) it’s not something that needs to happen from a user perspective, and B) it will probably create all kinds of proprietary and DRM-related headaches in the coming months and years.

Next to this Apple will update the iPhone’s CPU, RAM and internal wires and modems. Performance will improve, as will battery life, I hope, with the new camera units likely to be the biggest USP on the new handsets, though users after the best experience possible will be pushed towards the more expensive Plus models.

Apple also faced flat iPhone sales for the first time in 2016. Whether this was down to the iPhone 6s being a little too similar to the iPhone 6, strong competition from Android, or just that people are holding onto their phones for longer remains to be seen. Zero design changes and other odd changes — no headphone jack — aren’t likely to be seen as positive.

Basically, it’s the camera you have to look forward to. That and the usual performance upgrades. I hope all these reports are wrong; I like having an exciting iPhone on the cards. But all sources point to a rather vanilla, conservative update and this could spell more trouble for iPhone growth in 2016/17.

New Space Black Model iPhone 7 In The Works

Apple will be adding a new colour to the mix for this year’s iPhone line-up, according to reports. Sources from Asia suggest Space Black will be the new colour scheme, replacing the mooted dark blue version seen in previous leaks.

This makes sense, too — Apple recently launched a Space Black version of its Apple Watch. Macotakura and 9to5Mac both agree this is happening, based on intel from their sources, and this puts the rumour in good stead as both have alarmingly solid track-records when it comes to revealing details about Apple products.

The Headphone Jack is DEFINITELY Gone Though

The same reports says the new Home button will sit completely flush to the handset’s chassis. Also, there will be no headphone jack, as previously reported, and the handset will be thinner as a result. Beyond this Apple is thought to be looking at making the handset water-proof, but that’s about it for physical changes. All the big design updates are apparently reserved for 2017’s 10th anniversary iPhone release.

“In a note to clients last week,” notes Mail Online, “the WSJ says Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha said he expects 'muted' sales increases for the forthcoming models because he expects them to be a 'modest upgrade' to the existing phones. Mr. Garcha said he expects a 'super cycle' for the following year.”

Another leak has emerged apparently proving the switch to the Lightning port design, as of June 29 some very convincing looking live photo images have appeared of some Apple earbuds which use a Lightning connector rather than the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. As usual the photos were published on China's Weibo social network.

iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus/Pro: Design

One of the first images of what looks to be Apple’s new iPhone 7 Plus, complete with oversized camera hole, has appeared online. Both iPhone 7 models are expected to feature BIG updates in the imaging departments, but it will apparently be the iPhone 7 Plus that gets the dual-camera technology, which will apparently be provided by LG’s imaging wing — the same people responsible for the AWESOME dual-sensor unit aboard the LG G5.

The iPhone 7 also features what appears to be a larger camera opening on its chassis. Both leaked shells do not feature antenna bands, as per previous rumours, and it is believed Apple will bring Optical Image Stabilisation to the iPhone 7 for the first time. What happens beyond this remains to be seen. Imaging is said to be one of the iPhone 7’s only real USPs.

A fresh leak on June 20 has appeared with new evidence that the dual-camera is alive and well on the iPhone 7 Plus/Pro. An image has appeared online with the source noting it shows an iPhone 7 Plus back plate, complete with a dual-camera port, and all "covered in a protective film or something." The design matches up perfectly to earlier leaks of the machining parts for the iPhone 7 Plus production line. It's alleged this leak shows a "final" version of the product complete with a Smart connector, while claims have also been made for a 3,500mAh battery with wireless charging capabilites.

Just when we thought it was done and dusted that the iPhone 7 would ship without a 3.5mm headphone jack and up pop not one, but TWO rumours on the subject, and just to rub a bunch of poop in our collective faces the two rumours completely contradict each other!

So as of June 21 one of the rumours, well, a leak actually, shows photos of what's allegedly the internal components of the iPhone 7 and...yep...you guessed it, there's some gubbins on there that strongly indicate a 3.5mm headphone jack. Assuming of course, that this little bit of metal and wires is even an actual iPhone component, or any type of component for that matter, for all we know someone might have just messed around with some bits and a soldering iron then photographed the results. The one immediately below left of this text is the Lightning port assembly with a headphone jack built-in, the others are part of the same leak, but show different components, including (in order) the single  sensor and dual-sensor camera modules (for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus respectively), memory modules (with camera sensor for scale), screen assemblies, and a dual-SIM tray for a new dual-SIM iPhone variant.

The leaked photos come from China's social network Weibo (via Engadget) and show both 4.7in and 5.5in display panels, as well as 265GB SanDisk memory modules for internal storage. Naturally we're looking at this with a somewhat sceptical eye for now.

The other rumour comes from Japanese Apple source MacOtakara and essentially reiterates another earlier rumour that, with the 3.5mm headphone jack being dropped from the iPhone 7, Apple will ship the handsets with a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor so users with headphones that use the 3.5mm jack can still use them with the new Lightning-port-only model. The report claims this info was discovered during the Computex Taipei 2016 conference taking place right now - the sources also said the removal of the 3.5mm jack will be in order to add another speaker, but despite this it will not be a stereo speaker setup. This seems pretty weird to us considering previously the main argument behind the 3.5mm jack being dropped was to allow the phone design to become thinner and possibly waterproof; the main contradiction to this seems to be repeated reports that the iPhone 7's exterior design will not change much at all from the existing iPhone 6s. 

On top of all this, the MacOtakara report also claims to have heard that all the new iPhone models will come in 256GB storage variants, of the kind shown in the above leaked images.

A leaked image has appeared on June 15 allegedly showing the front panel of the iPhone 7. There are a lot of rumours going around about 2017's iPhone claiming it will ditch the Home key entirely for an all-glass front panel, but the leaked image for this year's iPhone 7 seems to show that Apple MAY be phasing it out gradually. The photo was leaked to Mobipicker by unnamed sources, so we'd encourage you to take it with a good dose of salt, but it does appear to show the front panel of an iPhone with a capacitive, touch-sensitive Home key; it is indicated by a mark on the glass but is not a physical key, so likely has touch sensors underneath.

Such capacitive keys are typically back-lit during operation, but it's not possible to see if this is the case in this particular image. This also raises questions about Touch ID, although new technologies do exist to allow a fingerprint reader that could function from under the glass covering (this is believed to be what Apple will implemente when it ditches a Home key entirely and instead integrates Touch ID under the display panel). The source also claims Apple will introduce new gesture controls with this capacitive key; a hold press launches Siri, while a double-tap brings up the multitasking menu.

As of June 1, a picture has leaked showing what's alleged to be the iPhone 7's rear panel in a rose gold colour. The leak out of China shows the single camera port with another port for the LED flash, as well as the new antennae design which moves the bands to the upper and lower edges. This design fits with a bunch of earlier rumours and leaks we've seen, so we think it's probably legit.

The design is expected to be more or less the same for the larger iPhone 7 Plus model except of course it will be larger and will have a dual-sensor camera port if earlier schematics and rumours prove accurate (and by now we're thinking they probaby are). Unfortunately this leak doesn't show anything related to the Lightning and headphone ports - there have now been so many conflicting rumours and leaks saying the 3.5mm headphone jack will or will not be ditched we honestly don't know what to think at this point. Hopefully more images will continue to leak and prove once and for all the presence or absence of a 3.5mm port.

A set of alleged iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus schematics has leaked as of May 27, picked up by a source who delivered them to Chinese publication MyDrivers. Despite several recent reports that cases designed for the iPhone 7 series fit the iPhone 6s series perfectly, the schematics show that the new models will be 1mm thicker than their predecessors (although this might not rule out the cases still fitting the older models), but will share the same height and width. There is some speculation that the expanded waistline could signal a bigger battery cell. The diagrams also show ports for a Smart Connector on the iPhone 7 Plus (meaning it may be a "Pro" branded model) , and once again reiterate the dual-camera sensor aboard the iPhone 7 Plus model.

On May 24 a couple of leaks from different sources have shown us two different components allegedly forming part of the iPhone 7's bodywork. The first is a set of photos showing the machining plates used in the production of the iPhone 7 body, indicating the design and giving us some measurements for the device proportions. The plates shown are for both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus/Pro and show a larger camera sensor for the former, while the latter has a dual-sensor port, in both cases fitting in with current rumours. On the whole the plates closely match many of the design leaks we've seen in recent weeks, however, the one thing missing is the smart connector ports, but with that said some very recent leaks also support their absence. It's also possible that the smart connector may be machined later in the manufacturing process than the point these plates represent.

The second leak comes via nowhereelse.fr and shows the rear panel of the iPhone 7 with what appears to be a quad-speaker setup. There are of course a number of issue with this leak and it's possible its a fake. As MacRumors points out the "images apparently taken from a promotional video made by an Italian casemaker, which allegedly received a prototype iPhone 7 case in anticipation of the coming refresh in September."

But would an Italian case maker actually be given access to a prototype iPhone 7 case? Certainly not by Apple. It's possible a source in the Asian supply chain could have provided it, however. Still, that doesn't account for the four speaker grills, which would be a first for the iPhone. As MacRumors noted: "it doesn't seem viable for a speaker to sit so close to the camera module, unless the reorientation of the camera and LED flash holes from a horizontal alignment across the rear of the handset, to a vertical arrangement running down it, somehow allows for the possibility. In addition, it's unclear what benefit four speakers would have in such a small profile over one or even two of them."

Another leak emerged on May 23 via nowhereelse.fr, a reliable tipster source, showing the rear panel of the iPhone 7. It's worth noting that the plate from the first leak we mentioned matches up with this image. This image also shows a supposed iPhone casing with a protruding camera lens--something the iPhone 7 has been rumored to ditch in favor for a flat lens. The aperture on this iPhone is also much larger than on the current iPhone 6s--perhaps to allow for a more detailed image sensor or upgraded camera module.

We've seen a few technical CAD schematics leaked in the past few weeks via reliable tipster @OnLeaks, a source with a good enough track record in these things to make us think the diagrams will be pinpoint accurate. However, looking at technical drawings often doesn't give that much of a "feel" of what the forthcoming smartphone will actually look like; the most compelling visual aid is frequently the official press render or product render, which is why handset makers use them in their promotional material, of course. But more often than not, we don't get to see official renders until very near to a device launch.

Luckily some talented artists are capable of taking leaked schematics and mocking-up some very convincing 3D renders, and as of May 19 that's exactly what has happened for the iPhone 7. GSMArena was fortunate enough to be sent this set of renders which have been put together to replicate the official Apple product shot style, while using the detail from the leaked schematics; the result is probably the closest we're going to get to seeing the actual iPhone 7 until it launches later this year. Naturally the colour options are not based on the drawings or any insider information, it's simply an assumption based on the colour options Apple currently offers and which have not changed in the last couple of generations.

And the details we can see? Well a lot of it is illustrating what we've heard before; for example, Apple has attempted to make the antenna bands more discreet and has moved them to the extremities of the bodywork. Additionally, while it is quite tight to the bodywork, there is a discernable camera bump, and we can see the Lightning port, punched speaker grilles, and the position of the control keys.

An image has leaked online allegedly showing the rear panel of the iPhone 7 in a gold colouration, this is said to be the 4.7in iPhone 7 model and not the Plus or Pro variant, hence the single-lens camera. The snap emerged on Chinese social network Weibo, though some are already calling into question the authenticity and it is possible this could indeed be a fake. Still, a gold colour option seems pretty likely given what Apple already has on sale in its retail outlets. The design shown appears to have rounder edges and corners than the current iPhone 6s generation, which could fit with previous leaks alleging that Apple is moving back towards an iPhone 4s style bodyshell for the next few generations; allegedly the iPhone 7s series will very closely resemble the iPhone 4s but will be made predominantly from curved glass. The newly leaked gold iPhone image also shows that the antenna bands have been moved to the top and bottom - not the first time we've seen suggestions that Apple wants to hide these bands. Lastly, there is also a new set of holes or ports between the camera sensor and the LED flash, which could be a laser autofocus module.

uSwitch got its hands on purported blueprints for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and if they are accurate they reveal that the dual camera and Smart Connector rumored for the iPhone 7 will be limited to the 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus model. The drawings were reportedly sourced sourced directly from Taiwan-based Apple casing subcontractor Catcher Technology.

“The blueprints/renders, which come to us via Apple subcontractor Catcher Technology,” uSwitch  writes, “also add heft to claims that the Plus edition will be equipped with a superior dual lens camera. Those of you who opt for the standard iPhone 7 will have to make do with a single lens camera. Both phones’ cameras protrude from their casing, in keeping with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. But this time around, there’s no metal ring around the lens.”

“To further differentiate the larger model, which has been variously dubbed the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro by tech-watchers, Apple will also equip it with a Smart Connector on the rear. This new port, which debuted on the iPad Pro, will not be present on the standard-sized iPhone 7.”

The blueprints also show that there is NO headphone jack on either model of the iPhone 7.

A photo of a new dummy unit of a purported iPhone 7 has been sent to MacRumors and it shows the back of the iPhone 7 which clearly has a flush camera. If this is legit it means the iPhone 7 will feature a completely flush design—something we have not seen since the iPhone 5s. But the dummy iPhone depicted in the photographs also show a Smart Connector on the device and the removal of the device’s antenna bands.

The antenna bands being removed from the back of the device have been steadily rumored for a while, but the Smart Connector has had more iffy rumors attached to it. Some rumors say Apple is planning on adding a Smart Connector, while others have said Apple had decided against it. If the company has indeed decided against it, this iPhone 7 dummy could be fake—or it could be an older prototype design that Apple no no longer plans on using.

Besides the flush camera, Smart Connector, and antenna bands shift, the picture also depicts a 3.5mm headphone jack on the device—something that has been rumored to be removed on the iPhone 7.

A purported iPhone design drawing comes to us from French website NWE. It depicts the iPhone 7 as having the exact same measurements as the iPhone 6s, meaning that if the drawing is legit, people should expect a new form factor this year. The dimensions in the drawing are 138.3mm (5.44 inches) in length and 6.71mm (2.64 inches) in width. The drawing also shows that the iPhone 7 may have a slightly convex camera housing.

Another picture of the rumoured iPhone 7 Plus has surfaced online. The image was posted by a Chinese website and picked up by Mac Otakara, who says the image is likely the real deal. What’s interesting here, though, is the three dots at the bottom, which are believed to be a Smart Connector for keyboard support.

With respect to design, however, the iPhone 7 is expected to be very similar to the iPhone 6s. Reports of a dramatic redesign, then, might have jumped the gun. Ditto for claims that the handset will be 6.1mm thin. According to the report, all iPhone 7 models will be more or less the same size as last year’s iPhone 6s lineup.

“True Tone display support, which adjusts the display to match the temperature of the ambient lighting in a room,” notes Mac Rumors, “could be added to the iPhone if Apple upgrades the ambient light sensors so they measure colour in addition to brightness.”

So it looks like the removal of the headphone jack, potentially higher resolution displays, and dual-cameras will be the iPhone 7’s big USPs for 2016/17.

By now it’s safe to say the iPhone 7 will be thinner than the iPhone 6s. Rumor after rumor suggest Apple is doing everything it can to shave every millimeter it can from the device. The latest rumor to this effect comes from Korean site ETNews. The site says Apple will be using a new technology to make the antenna switching chip inside the iPhone thinner, which will allow the overall iPhone to be thinner.

The antenna switch is the module inside the iPhone that allows the device to switch between cellular bands, such as LTE, GSM and CDMA. The new technology will package this antenna switch in a “fanned out” layout, meaning it will be more spread out, allowing it to be flatter.

As ETNews reports: “Fan Out technology is a technology that increases number of I/O (Input/Output) terminals within a package by pulling out wiring of I/O terminals to outside from a semiconductor chip (Die), which is a previous step before packaging. As area of a chip had become narrower as manufacturing processes had become finer, it was difficult to increase number of I/O terminals. Because industries do not want to increase size of a chip just for I/O terminals, they have been paying attention to Fan Out Packaging technology recently. It is most cost effective from production cost perspective if number of I/O terminals increases within a package while still decreasing size of a chip.”

Overall, this new design will allow Apple to pack more powerful components in, in a smaller space. And the fanned out design will also not see any noticeable feature loss over the older, bigger design..

NoWhereElse shows that streamlining appears to be the name of the game this time round, with the iPhone 7 ditching the unsightly antenna bands (presumably integrating the necessary tech in a more discrete manner), as well as a near-flush-fitting camera lens instead of the old bulge.

The source of the image said the iPhone 7 will not feature a standard 3.5mm headphone port, either, though this isn’t all that surprising — plenty of rumours and leaks have suggested the same thing: Apple will use its Lightning Port for headphones and charging.

MacRumors says these images are consistent with leaked information it received last month, which claimed the handset would lack antenna bands across the rear.

“As expected,” said the report, “the images show antenna bands are limited to the sides and around the top and bottom edges of the chassis.
In addition to the cleaner all-metal look, the images of the rear of the case depict a larger hole for the camera. The orifice is described as closer to the edges of the chassis and forming a ‘slight bulging outgrowth’, a phrasing which doesn't contradict our earlier source's claim that the camera sits flush with the rear casing.”

For the past two generations of iPhones, the only difference between the normal iPhone and the iPhone Plus model, besides display size, has been to do with imaging -- the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus both ship with Optical Image Stabilisation. This situation is likely to remain the same on the iPhone 7, as Apple looks to make the larger handset more attractive to its ever-growing base of users.

Whether making the next iPhones thinner is a good idea or not remains to be seen. Personally, I already find my iPhone 6 Plus way too thin -- I’d definitely prefer something a tad more substantial, as I am constantly dropping it while out and around. The iPhone 6s Plus is slightly thicker and the handset feels all the better for it.

According to new information circulating as of November 20, the iPhone 7 may, in fact, be the first waterproof iPhone (see more on this below). The word comes via research and analytics firm TrendForce. The company's report says waterproofing will be one of two defining new features, the other being the 3GB of RAM previously rumoured elsewhere. It also reiterates that we'll see a third, 4in display iPhone model launched in 2016 (the rumoured iPhone 6c/iPhone 7c/iPhone 5e).

Trendforce expects Apple to ship 260 million iPhones next year, a 12.5% increase compared to 2015, getting Apple 18.5% of the market. Samsung’s smartphone shipments are expected to reach 310 million (that’s a 4% drop, and 22% market share). TrendForce smartphone analyst Avril Wu said that “Samsung’s flagship devices for this year have hit the ceiling in specs, so the South Korean powerhouse will be straining to bring hardware innovations to its next smartphone release.”

Apple may achieve a super-thin iPhone chassis by omitting the traditional 3.5mm universal headphone jack. The reasoning here seems pretty obvious, firstly, the use of the 3.5mm jack means you can't have a body thinner than 3.5mm, so to go thinner means using a proprietary jack - and Apple loves proprietary stuff. Naturally some users are a bit concerned that this will render their expensive headphones useless, as if Apple does follow this plan it will surely issue its own custom headphones with new handsets and sell its own variants thereafter.

“Japanese technology website Macotakara has reported that Apple is planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the next handset in an effort to make the next iPhone 1mm slimmer,”reports The Week. “The site and its sources have been accurate in the past, and the rumours – while radical – fit in with Apple's past changes, such as the introduction of the lightning port over the original 30-pin charging setup, as well as the latest MacBook using small USB Type C ports.”

“From Apple’s perspective,” notes Forbes, “the move makes a lot of sense. It can gain control over the last industry standard port on the iPhone for increased revenue and licensing potential. It can potentially create ‘smart earphones/headphones’ thanks to the direct digital connection to the phone which could tie into apps, notifications and more creating another differentiator from the competition. And last, but not least, sales of dedicated Lightning headphones would prove another powerful way to lock users into its ecosystem.”

This rumor is bolstered by a January 5 report that alleges to originate from Apple supply chain sources: the iPhone 7 will indeed be so crazy thin as to omit the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. The information comes via Chinese social network Weibo and claims that the 3.5mm jack is being ditched, in favour of a new connection method using Apple's Lightning port. It's also said there will be a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor and the phone will support wireless Bluetooth headsets too.

Apple's Lightning port method will apparently mean wired headphones will need to incorporate independent DAC and amp, as the port doesn't support analogue audio, unlike Apple's older 30-pin connector. That all means that as well as being fiddly an awkwardly proprietary, compatible headphones will probably be expensive and will up battery drain a little bit.

iPhone 7 will have the same Taptic engine as the iPhone 6s

The Taptic engine is the vibrating motor inside the iPhone 6s that gives haptic feedback when you press the 3D Touch display. Right now the Taptic engine can only give two types of vibratory feedback–and the same should be expected for the iPhone 7, according to Japanese website Nikkei. Their report, however, notes that a new Taptic engine is coming…to the 2018 iPhone.

Lightning-to-headphone adapters start to show up from Chinese manufacturers

Of course one of the longest-running rumors about the iPhone 7 is that it will ditch the headphone jack, instead supporting headphones through the Lightning connector. This would mean users of iPhone 7 will need to have Bluetooth headphones, Lightning headphones, or an adapter, to listen to audio. It’s unknown if this rumor will actually come to pass, but Chinese manufacturers aren’t waiting around to find out, reports Macotakara.

The Chinese accessory maker Tama Electric is now advertising Lightning-to-headphone jack adapters. Of course the fact that they are already making adapters doesn’t mean the nixing of the headphone jack is a guarantee. Chinese accessory makers often hedge their bets in order to be able to offer new accessories first. If they win, they win big and if they lose, the cost of manufacturing such accessories is relatively small, which means they aren’t out a lot of cash.

iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus/Pro: Hardware Specs

Another set of early June rumours has emerged claiming that both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available with storage options as high as 256GB - the news follows other recent rumours saying the 16GB lower tier will be ditched for a 32GB base option. The info comes via industry research and analysis firm TrendForce, which claims that Apple has pretty much finalised the spec line-up across the range. Previously we had heard that the iPhone 7 Plus, aka the iPhone 7 Pro, would have a top-tier 265GB storage option, but between the possible Pro branding (Apple's iPad Pro tablets both have 256GB options) and the presence of a high-spec dual-camera sensor (with the better quality photos requiring more storage space) it seemed like a logical move. Now, however, TrendForce claims that even the iPhone 7, with its single camera sensor, will also have a 256GB variant for those who need stacks of space. The move also makes sense as content and applications become more sophisticated and take up larger amounts of space on a phone's internal storage, particularly as Apple does not offer microSD storage card capabilities. The report also claims the iPhone 7 Plus will feature 3GB of RAM while the iPhone 7 will have 2GB.

According to a tipster, Kevin Wang, Director of Market Research at IHS Technology, for the iPhone 7 generation coming later this year Apple will finally ditch the 16GB lower tier models and the base edtions of each device will be coming with 32GB of onboard storage and 2GB of RAM. Wang states this info comes from his "supply chain research," although this isn't someone with Ming-chi Kuo's track record so we are regarding it with a healthy degree of caution.

Still, dropping the 16GB option is something that many consumers, reviewers and analysts have suggested would be a good idea for a while; as multimedia and apps go up in quality (with 4K video and images being far more common) 16GB is starting to look a bit anemic and can quickly be filled without much effort. Storage creep is something computing devices have had for a very long time, and in a way it is surprising that phones so far have not had to update as quickly. There is still some speculation that Apple's top-level option for the iPhone 7 Plus/Pro will be as much as 256GB, putting it on par with the iPad Pro tablets.

Some advanced engineering news has leaked out about the iPhone 7. Apple is reportedly working on electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding that will individually shield most of the phone's major chips.

I know, what the heck does that mean? Will your iPhone now be able to withstand an EMP attack from a rogue foreign state?

No. No it won't.

EMI shielding is a layer of thin metal protective shielding put over various computer components to protect them from becoming affected by or affecting other components nearby. The negative effects various components put out usually come in the form of wireless signal (think NFC or Wi-Fi) interference. The more complex components get, the greater a chance are for them to interfere with other components in the same device.

That’s where EMI shielding comes it. It can contain any negative effect a component may have. Apple has actually used EMI shielding in the iPhone for a while now with various portions of the iPhone circuit board and some individual chips featuring the shielding. But now, according to ETNews, the iPhone 7 will feature the technology on a wider array of its chips.

“Apple first applied EMI Shield technology to major chip package ‘S1’ of Apple Watch that was released last year. To apply such technology onto major chips of iPhone 7, it has been doing development project with packaging businesses since last year. It is heard that Apple personally chose equipment partners during this process and had induced packaging businesses to give them contracts,” ETNews reported. “StatsChipPac and Amkor have made many contracts with South Korean sputter and handler businesses for EMI Shield since end of last year. Contracts are worth more than tens of millions of dollars, and additional contracts will take place during first half of this year also.”

“As clock signals of digital chips have increased and as diverse functions such as 3D-touch and others have recently added, reduction of electromagnetic waves have emerged as major topic of this industry.” a representative of chip industry told ETNews. “As other Smartphone businesses might be looking to apply EMI Shield technology to major chips just as Apple did, packaging and other related equipment industries will benefit a lot from this.”

So what does this mean for you, the end user? Well, not too much. Chances are the iPhone 7 will now be less prone to interference with whatever advanced chips it contains, but given Apple has handled this interference problem pretty well in the past without users noticing means you shouldn’t notice anything different in regards to this tech in the iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus/Pro: Camera

Sources in Asia claim LG will be the sole provider of dual-lens camera units for Apple’s iPhone 7. LG will provide dual-lens camera technology for Apple’s iPhone 7, which is due to launch in September. This isn’t the new news, though: LG has been linked to the iPhone 7 for months now. What is new is that LG is the SOLE unit provider Apple.

What happened to Sony? Unclear at present. Sony has a long standing relationship with Apple, but Apple’s plans for its upcoming flagship might have been too advanced or too demanding for the company, which caused the switch to LG.

“The company is in fact predicted to monopolise Apple's supply of dual-lens parts for the rest of the year,” reports Apple Insider, “though other parties could jump on board in 2017. Sony — a regular image sensor supplier for Apple — was once expected to take the lion's share of dual-lens module orders. In May, though, an analyst claimed that Sony production had been slowed by the twin setbacks of low production yields and earthquake damage at its Kumamoto facilities.”

The dual-lens camera will be an iPhone 7 Plus exclusive. The larger iPhone is also expected to benefit from more memory and smart connectors for attaching peripherals; things like the Apple Pencil and keyboard.

The standard iPhone 7 is expected to FINALLY get OIS, but will almost certainly be less well-specced than the larger, more expensive iPhone 7 Plus model.

Well, it looks like Apple didn’t listen to us. Superstar KGI Securities Apple analyst/fortune teller/maybe-Tim-Cook-in-disguise Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note to clients confirming people’s worst fears: the new, totally amazing, dual lens camera system Apple is planning on introducing with the iPhone 7 will limited to the 5.5in “Plus” model, reports MacRumors.

From Kuo himself: “New iPhone shipments to be capped by similar form factor as iPhone 6s & 6s Plus; top hardware upgrade is dual-camera (5.5-inch model only), though many competing models with dual-camera will launch soon, joining others already on the market; first impressions could underwhelm.”

So, it looks as if Apple is going down the fragmentation route. The company wants people who want the best camera to shell out for the larger iPhone screen—even though that larger screen might not fit their hands the best.

Above: three different LinX Technology multi-aperture camera modules

So just what will the normal-sized iPhone 7 be missing out on? As Macrumors notes: “The rumored camera improvements have been linked to Apple's acquisition of LinX Technology, which could lead to "DSLR-quality" photos on iPhones. LinX's multi-aperture cameras are also smaller sized than single-aperture cameras, meaning the iPhone 7 Plus could have a slightly less protruding camera lens.

“LinX camera modules have a number of other benefits, including 3D depth mapping, better color accuracy and uniformity, ultra HDR, low noise levels, higher resolution, low costs, zero shutter lag, and a compact design that allows for edge-to-edge displays. A recent video demo provides a good overview of dual-camera technology.”

So, thanks for NOTHING, Apple.

iPhone 7 Dual-Lens Camera: How It Works

Apple did secure a patent for a dual-lens camera interface way back in January. The patent application shows just what Apple believes a dual-lens camera interface should look like, complete with diagrams and annotations. The patent outlined a dual-camera system that consisted of one standard wide-angle lens and a second telephoto lens capable of capturing zoomed-in video and photos. Both can be used together simultaneously and users will be able to merge images together in “unique” ways.

“As described by Apple, images from both lenses can be displayed on the same screen in the Camera app through a split-screen view that shows a standard wide-angle image on one side and the zoomed image on the other side,” notes MacRumors. “When capturing a video or a photo, users are able to transition between both lenses seamlessly, tapping on a spot in the photo to zoom in with a second lens. Apple's system would work similarly to digital zoom does today, but because it's using a lens with a longer focal length instead of zooming in through software, there's no loss of detail and the zoomed in image is much more crisp and clear.”

Dual-Sensor Leaks

A lot has also been reported about the iPhone 7 using a dual-sensor setup, however, more recently it has been reported that this will likely be exclusive to a third iPhone 7 model, currently referred to as the iPhone 7 Pro.

Whether or not the iPhone 7 Pro surfaces in 2016 remains to be seen. Apple is expected to announce the iPhone SE on March 21, alongside a 9.7in version of the iPad Pro and, potentially, a big, new Apple Watch update.

As of March 15, images have emerged online showing the alleged dual-camera module destined for the iPhone 7 Pro, and as per the rumours it appears to feature one aperture that is wider than the other. It is believed, however, that despite this difference between the sensors they will both be Sony-made 12MP units and may use technology from Apple's relatively recent imaging tech acquisition; Israeli firm LinX. The images appeared via multiple sources in China and Taiwan, including users on the Weibo social network, Apple.club.tw and chuangsong.me.

iPhone 7 Pro: Is This Apple's Third iPhone 7 Model?  

It's expected that Apple will launch its iPhone 7 line-up in September 2016, but at the moment it's not entirely clear whether we'll see one, two, or even three devices under the same branding. Because the last two generations have featured an iPhone and a "Plus" phablet model, that has been something of a default assumption for the next batch, but with Apple diversifying things even further with its "Pro" line for the iPad and the smaller iPhone SE things could go in any number of directions, and there is a very persistent rumour of an iPhone 7 Pro, which is believed to pack a dual-camera sensor setup.

Now Japanese website Mac Fan has stirred things up with a set of schematics which it claims show the details of the iPhone 7 Pro, featuring, amongst other things, that dual-camera sensor - what's not clear is whether the iPhone 7 Pro is simply a re-branding of the iPhone 7 Plus (ie: it's the same device with a new name) or if it's a third string to the iPhone bow alongside an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The schematics also show that the iPhone 7 Pro will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in-line with earlier rumours about the iPhone 7 series - it's thought instead Apple is opting for a proprietary solution which uses the firm's Lightning port design. We can also see that in terms of dimensions the iPhone 7 Pro will be very similar in size, shape and overall design to the existing iPhone 6s Plus, apparently confirming analyst Ming-chi Kuo's assertion that the next major re-design will be 2017's iPhone range. A set of three small holes has been pointed out on the rear of the handset shown in the schematic, but it's not clear what role they fulfil, however, some have proposed wireless charging capabilities.

Once again, this all ties in fairly well with Kuo's claims that the iPhone series in 2016 will be incremental and will not really offer any major selling points to appeal to consumers, particularly those who own an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s series device.

On May 24 a couple of leaks from different sources have shown us two different components allegedly forming part of the iPhone 7's bodywork. The first is a set of photos showing the machining plates used in the production of the iPhone 7 body, indicating the design and giving us some measurements for the device proportions. The plates shown are for both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus/Pro and show a larger camera sensor for the former, while the latter has a dual-sensor port, in both cases fitting in with current rumours. On the whole the plates closely match many of the design leaks we've seen in recent weeks, however, the one thing missing is the smart connector ports, but with that said some very recent leaks also support their absence. It's also possible that the smart connector may be machined later in the manufacturing process than the point these plates represent.

The second leak comes via nowhereelse.fr and shows the rear panel of the iPhone 7 with what appears to be a quad-speaker setup. There are of course a number of issue with this leak and it's possible its a fake. As MacRumors points out the "images apparently taken from a promotional video made by an Italian casemaker, which allegedly received a prototype iPhone 7 case in anticipation of the coming refresh in September."

But would an Italian case maker actually be given access to a prototype iPhone 7 case? Certainly not by Apple. It's possible a source in the Asian supply chain could have provided it, however. Still, that doesn't account for the four speaker grills, which would be a first for the iPhone. As MacRumors noted: "it doesn't seem viable for a speaker to sit so close to the camera module, unless the reorientation of the camera and LED flash holes from a horizontal alignment across the rear of the handset, to a vertical arrangement running down it, somehow allows for the possibility. In addition, it's unclear what benefit four speakers would have in such a small profile over one or even two of them."

Another leak emerged on May 23 via nowhereelse.fr, a reliable tipster source, showing the rear panel of the iPhone 7. It's worth noting that the plate from the first leak we mentioned matches up with this image. This image also shows a supposed iPhone casing with a protruding camera lens--something the iPhone 7 has been rumored to ditch in favor for a flat lens. The aperture on this iPhone is also much larger than on the current iPhone 6s--perhaps to allow for a more detailed image sensor or upgraded camera module.

iPhone 7 Renders Mocked-Up Based On Technical Schematics

We've seen a few technical CAD schematics leaked in the past few weeks via reliable tipster @OnLeaks, a source with a good enough track record in these things to make us think the diagrams will be pinpoint accurate. However, looking at technical drawings often doesn't give that much of a "feel" of what the forthcoming smartphone will actually look like; the most compelling visual aid is frequently the official press render or product render, which is why handset makers use them in their promotional material, of course. But more often than not, we don't get to see official renders until very near to a device launch.

Luckily some talented artists are capable of taking leaked schematics and mocking-up some very convincing 3D renders, and as of May 19 that's exactly what has happened for the iPhone 7. GSMArena was fortunate enough to be sent this set of renders which have been put together to replicate the official Apple product shot style, while using the detail from the leaked schematics; the result is probably the closest we're going to get to seeing the actual iPhone 7 until it launches later this year. Naturally the colour options are not based on the drawings or any insider information, it's simply an assumption based on the colour options Apple currently offers and which have not changed in the last couple of generations.

And the details we can see? Well a lot of it is illustrating what we've heard before; for example, Apple has attempted to make the antenna bands more discreet and has moved them to the extremities of the bodywork. Additionally, while it is quite tight to the bodywork, there is a discernable camera bump, and we can see the Lightning port, punched speaker grilles, and the position of the control keys.

Apple iPhone 7 Leaks In Gold

An image has leaked online allegedly showing the rear panel of the iPhone 7 in a gold colouration, this is said to be the 4.7in iPhone 7 model and not the Plus or Pro variant, hence the single-lens camera. The snap emerged on Chinese social network Weibo, though some are already calling into question the authenticity and it is possible this could indeed be a fake. Still, a gold colour option seems pretty likely given what Apple already has on sale in its retail outlets. The design shown appears to have rounder edges and corners than the current iPhone 6s generation, which could fit with previous leaks alleging that Apple is moving back towards an iPhone 4s style bodyshell for the next few generations; allegedly the iPhone 7s series will very closely resemble the iPhone 4s but will be made predominantly from curved glass. The newly leaked gold iPhone image also shows that the antenna bands have been moved to the top and bottom - not the first time we've seen suggestions that Apple wants to hide these bands. Lastly, there is also a new set of holes or ports between the camera sensor and the LED flash, which could be a laser autofocus module.

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