We are only a few days away from Apple’s Special Event which takes place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on the 7th of September and will start at 1800BST. In this post I will focus purely on Apple’s next iPhone, the iPhone 7.
Firstly, let’s get the names out of the way, the invitation’s tagline is “See you on the 7th” so I think we can finally put the following rumour to bed, it won’t be called the iPhone 6SE! This year’s iPhone will look very similar design-wise (the only design change is the removal of the top and bottom antenna lines) but that’s not to say nothing will change on the inside, in fact, a lot will change, especially on the larger model. (I know a lot of people don’t agree with how Apple add all the big and exciting features to the larger models but that’s just how it is.) The biggest change is that the iPhone 7 Plus will feature a dual-camera system. This will allow you to zoom in without losing image quality and you’ll be able to capture better photos in low-light. Bokeh will also be a feature.
Both models will house the A10 and M10 chips which will give the devices a performance boost but this year’s chip is said to focus more on efficiency (when have you ever thought to yourself, I need more oomph?) so expect battery life to increase by 30-60 minutes. We’ll also be seeing a new Home Button, it’ll no longer be a “button” as such, it’ll have force-touch capabilities like the Trackpad on the MacBook’s. Depending on how hard you “press” it would carry out different tasks, press it normally and it’d do what the Home Button is famous for, closing apps and returning to the Home Screen, press it harder and it may enable the App Switcher, we are of course unsure what it’ll be able to do, we’ll have to wait until Apple show us on-stage. It could also be used as a joystick for gaming. The new iPhone’s may also be rated IP68 which will allow you to get them wet and submerge them in water for short periods of time.
The most controversial change is that Apple will be dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack and I believe this is the year we’ll finally see Apple’s “AirPods”, Apple’s attempt at earphones that have no wires, at all. They’ve been working on the AirPods since 2012 and were going to release them in 2014 but they obviously didn’t go ahead with it. They’ve been working on a custom Bluetooth chip which will result in sufficient battery life and will last longer compared to other wireless earphones available on the market. I have a feeling Apple will ship AirPods with the iPhone 7 Plus but only ship Lightning EarPods with the regular iPhone 7. Will they ship a Lightning-3.5mm adapter as well, who knows? The 3.5mm headphone jack takes up quite a lot of space inside the phone and taking its place will be a second speaker.
I don’t think we’ll be seeing a Smart Connector on the larger model, Apple definitely had prototypes floating around but decided that, this year at least, it wasn’t worth adding. We may also see a revised Space Grey colour (it might be slightly darker) but what excites me is that we might be seeing a brand new colour altogether, Space Black. We’ve seen multiple mockups of what a black iPhone would look like and this thing will fly off the shelves if Apple did release a black iPhone, they just look awesome. (Might we see a surprise Dark Mode in iOS 10 GM or will they add it in iOS 10.1, who knows?)
This year is finally the year that Apple drop the entry level 16GB model. Both models will be starting at 32GB but there will be different storage options available depending on which model you choose from. The iPhone 7 will come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB while the iPhone 7 Plus will come in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB. Oh, and the Plus model will have 3GB of RAM compared to 2GB of RAM in the regular model.
Finally, two minor, but welcome changes. The iPhone 7 will feature a True Tone display (it was added to the iPad Pro’s first and you can think of it as an advanced version of Night Shift that works throughout the whole day and not just at night) and may also include faster charging.
So, to recap, here’s what I think the iPhone will include/not include:
- A tweaked design (no more antenna bands that run along the top and bottom of the device (the ones at the very top and very bottom will remain).
- No 3.5mm headphone jack.
- May ship with new Lightning EarPods or brand new wireless AirPods.
- Improved camera on the regular model (it’ll have OIS) and a dual-camera on the Plus model.
- No more 16GB models, finally.
- A tweaked Home Button (may be able to be used as a joystick for gaming).
- A brand new iPhone colour, Space Black.
- And the rest; improved batteries, faster internal chips and 3GB of RAM for the Plus model.
That’s what I expect from the iPhone 7. As I mentioned at the start, it might look the same which will disappoint some users as a new design is always welcome but there will be lots of new changes and we may see some software features as well that are exclusive to the new iPhone’s (a bit like how the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus introduced 3D Touch). Stay tuned for more.