With the iPhone SE behind us, those that didn’t jump on the new 4-inch iPhone are now looking to the fall when Apple is expected to introduce its true next-generation smartphone with the iPhone 7. Or at least that’s what we’re calling it until things become official, and from the sounds of the latest rumors and reports, there’s a lot more up in the air than just the device’s name when it comes to new features, design changes, and more.
One feature that will surely be a talking point for the new device is the lack of a headphone jack, something we’ve speculated could come for quite a while now since Apple introduced support for headphones over its Lightning cable back in 2014. Mark confirmed back in early January that Apple is indeed planning on getting rid of the headphone jack, and that it’s developing some truly cord-free wireless earbuds that could possibly launch with the device, but as of then Apple was still testing three different designs for the iPhone 7.
But the missing headphone jack may not be something that Apple tries to hide as a shortcoming and rather a feature it promotes as yet another example of it being first to fully embrace leaving aging technologies behind. It could allow for other advancements in the device— a thinner design or extra space for other new components, for example– and that’s something Apple would surely talk up.
The different designs in testing could be partially the reason for the conflicting reports and rumors in recent months regarding new features and design changes, but now that we’re getting closer to launch this fall, we have a much better idea of what the next iPhone will look like. Here’s what we know.
Rumored new features: In addition to the usual internal upgrade for the device’s processor, new features rumored for the iPhone 7 include a thinner design, a new dual camera system, a 256GB capacity option, a larger battery, Li-Fi tech, stereo speakers, and more. Less likely reports also claimed Apple is experimenting with USB-C, multi-touch 3D Touch, waterproofing, wireless charging, and EMI shielding improvements.
- Nov 30, 2015: Apple testing iPhone 7 with USB-C, multi-touch 3D Touch, dual cameras
- Jan 3, 2016: Report claims next-gen Apple iPhone 7 Plus to feature 256 GBs, larger battery
- Jan 7, 2016: iPhone 7 to feature noise-canceling headphones, waterproof, wireless charging
- Jan 19, 2016: iOS 9 code suggests iPhone 7 could experiment with Li-Fi tech…
- Jan 27, 2016: KGI: iPhone 7 Plus likely to feature dual-camera system for better photos…
- Jan 28, 2016: Apple audio supplier suggests iPhone 7 noise-cancelling tech
- Feb 3, 2016: Sony CFO says dual-cameras will takeoff in 2017 as iPhone 7 Plus rumored
- Feb 16, 2016: Apple applying EMI shielding to individual chips in iPhone 7 to…
- Feb 23, 2016: How the rumored dual-camera system in the iPhone 7 Plus could work [Video]
- Feb 29, 2016: iPhone 7 rumor suggests thinner body, flush camera, stereo speakers…
Rumored design changes: Rumor has it that the iPhone 7 could be as thin as an iPod touch at around 6mm, and that it could also lose the camera bump and antenna lines for an overall cleaner design versus the previous generation. Of course the lack of headphone jack will change the design of the device slightly, and I’d expect Apple to talk about what removing the jack allowed for them from an innovation standpoint design-wise. But with all of that, the device is expected to overall be similar to the iPhone 6s design. What we know for sure: Mark reported in January that Apple was testing three separate designs “including a completely new, thinner look as well as a backup design that looks substantially like the iPhone 6s.”
- Sep 6, 2015: KGI: Next-generation ‘iPhone 7’ to be as thin as iPod touch, around 6mm
- Feb 2, 2016: Report: iPhone 7 will lose camera bump and antenna lines with cleaner design
- Mar 9, 2016: First purported iPhone 7 case leaks: resembles iPhone 6s, no headphone jack
- Mar 13, 2016: iPhone 7 chassis pictures show redesigned antenna lines, larger camera
- Mar 30, 2015: iPhone 7 photo surfaces showing edge-to-edge screen, but it’s probably fake
Wireless Earpods? If the wireless, cord-free Bluetooth earphones that Mark told us about in January are ready in time for the fall, these for me will be the best part of the iPhone 7 launch. Of course they’ll likely work with previous generation devices as well (unless Apple figures out a creative way to prevent that), and it will make the removal of the headphone jack much easier to swallow for those that might not be overly excited about that change. I’d expect Apple will bundle cheaper Lightning cable-based headphones with the iPhone 7 and sell these cord-free Beats as a premium accessory.
- Jan 8, 2016: Apple developing revamped, cord-free Beats w/ charging case ahead of iPhone 7
And what do the people want? We’ve polled out readers a number of time asking their expectations and hopes for the iPhone 7, and we also had more than a few concepts submitted to give us some visuals to accompany all the rumored features.
- Should Apple introduce new color options for the iPhone 7?
- Will you upgrade to the iPhone 7 if the design is largely the same as the 6s?
- If the rumors are true, will the redesigned antenna lines transform the iPhone 7’s looks?
- Do you want a thinner iPhone 7 at the expense of the 3.5mm headphone jack?
- What rumored iPhone 7 feature excites you the most?
- Speculative iPhone 7 renders predict dual-lens camera, Touch ID embedded in screen
- iPhone 7 Edge concept
- iPhone 7 Mockup #4359, this time with wireless charging
- Renders imagine Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5se & iPhone 7
- Opinion: Could the rumored twin-lens of the iPhone 7 Plus signify the start of a real divergence between the models?
- Opinion: iPhone 7 should be imaginative, not status quo, or risk spectacular fail
- Opinion: Why I hate cables but don’t have wireless charging on my iPhone 7 hit list
- Opinion: Five hardware lessons Apple could learn from Android manufacturers for the iPhone 7
Check back for the latest as we update this post leading up to the iPhone 7 launch…