Apple suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron are mass hiring workers urgently, leaks are flowing in full force, and theiPhone 7 countdown has officially begun. The most anticipated smartphone of the year is scheduled for its traditional September release, but the rumour mills have already begun toiling relentlessly to give us even the tiniest pieces of information.
Gathering from these leaks, the iPhone 7 is not expected to see any major design tweaks, except for a minor few. However, there are some significant changes that are worth a mention. We compile all the rumours and leaks that have surfaced online so far, and give you a comprehensive list of all that is expected to come with the iPhone 7 this year.
In 2013, Apple released two iPhones for the first time – the iPhone 5s and 5c. The following year saw a major design overhaul with Apple ditching its 4-inch smartphone size entirely, and releasing two smartphones in different sizes, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Last year, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were released with software upgrades. However this year, Apple is reportedly taking it a notch further and is tipped to launch three variants namely iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone 7 Pro/Plus Premium. And as we head towards the actual launch, yet another report is tipping the presence of three variants – the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 Pro.
32GB base storage variant
Apple is rumoured to finally be doing away with the 16GB base storage variant, and replacing it with a 32GB option. The company first introduced the 16GB variant in 2008, and it has remained as the base model ever since the iPhone 5 in 2012. With the rise of the app culture, alongside 4K recording capabilities, this shift to a 32GB base model makes sense in more ways than one.
256GB top storage variant
Alongside the 32GB base storage variant, Apple is reportedly also planning to bump up the storage on the top model – taking it up to 256GB. With the iPhone series legendarily eschewing support for a microSD card, this bump up should help power users get the most out of their iOS powered mobile. However, for now, it is uncertain whether the top variant would only be available on the iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 7 Pro, or whether it would extend to the smaller screened iPhone 7. A new report tips that the iPhone 7 will be available in 32GB, 64GB, and 256GB variants, while the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro will be available in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants.
The antenna bands at the back are expected to disappear, giving the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus a sleek simple mono-coloured back design. Leaks suggest that the bands will be shifted to the top and bottom edges instead. A more recent rear panel leak once again points to this.
There are conflicting rumours on this one. Some reports suggest that the iPhone 7 will come with theSmart Connector first introduced with the iPad Pro for connecting the Smart Keyboard Cover and other accessories like charging docks, while other leaks have shown no presence of the Smart Connector. It remains to be seen if the Smart Connector will make its way on to the iPhone 7, even if it’s just the top end variant.
3.5mm headphone jack
This has been rumoured for a while now. Apple is reportedly considering giving the 3.5mm headphone jack a miss to make the next iPhone much slimmer than its predecessors. Other reasons may include providing a better quality audio experience to users via the Lightning port. If introduced, the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack it may be the single biggest difference for consumers. Rumours of a Bluetooth or Lightning-powered set of EarPods have accompanied these leaks. Anotherreport indicates Apple will ship a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter alongside regular 3.5mm EarPods to buyers this generation, whilst removing the 3.5mm jack. A recent leak also showed Lightning-powered EarPods in a leaked image.
Dual SIM iPhone?
A recent report tips that Apple will for the first time include a dual-SIM iPhone in its lineup, though the same report also claims the 3.5mm headphone jack will remain – contradicting several other reports.
While the iPhone 7 will stick to a single camera lens, the dual camera setup is expected to be embedded in the larger iPhone 7 Plus. This will be the first time Apple dabbles in the dual camera feature, and it will be interesting to see how the dual camera setup changes the quality of the pictures produced, from better low-light performance to improved colour accuracy and faster autofocus. A recent case render also tipped the dual camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus, alongside inclusion of the Smart Connector. The latest leaks claiming to show the back panels of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus corroborate the rumours.
Deep Blue or Space Black colour variant
Apple is reportedly also looking to introduce a Deep Blue colour variant with the iPhone 7 this year, and, dramatically, discontinue the popular Space Grey colour variant. The same publication soon said Apple will introduce a Space Black colour instead, replacing Space Grey.
3GB of RAM
To accommodate the dual camera setup, the iPhone 7 Plus will increase its RAM size to 3GB. There is no information whether the base iPhone 7 variant will receive the bump, but we sure hope it does.
A few images have been leaked showing speaker grilles on both the sides of the Lightning port hinting that the iPhone 7 might come with stereo speakers.
A recent leak has tipped that the iPhone 7 will come with two sets of stereo speakers, like the iPad Pro, on the top and bottom panels of the smartphone.
Optical image stabilisation
While the iPhone 7 Plus is tipped to sport a dual camera setup, both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus variants are tipped to come with optical image stabilisation (OIS).
Slimmer than predecessor
The iPhone 7 is expected to be 1mm slimmer than its predecessor. This can happen only if Apple ditches the 3.5mm audio jack. Currently, the iPhone 6s is 7.1mm thin. The iPhone 7’s metal build, height, width, and design profile will stay the same.
Force Touch home button
A recent leak tips that Apple may use its Force Touch technology on the iPhone 7’s home button. The report claims that Apple is redesigning the physical home button to replace it with one that sits flush with the body, and provides haptic feedback.
Apple is expected to keep the same price points as previous generations for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with of course a large premium for the top-end 256GB variant. The iPhone 7 Pro on the other hand is expected to begin from CNY 7,088 (roughly Rs. 72,900) for the 32GB model, and go up to CNY 8,888 (roughly Rs. 91,200) for the 256GB model.
Minor changes only
A recent report tips that Apple will be making only minor changes to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus compared to previous generations, with the major changes due only with the 2017 iPhone, such as an Oled display, and a fingerprint sensor integrated onto the display.
Needless to say, the iPhone 7 leaks will continue to pour in, and more information on the smartphone will be revealed in the coming months. However, it is recommended to take all these leaks lightly, until the official iPhone 7 launch in September – still widely held to be the launch month for this year’s iPhone models.