Let’s get to know the iPhone 7.
iPhone 7 UK release date: When is the iPhone 7 coming out?
iPhone 7 UK release date: 16 September 2016 (pre-order from 9 September 2016)
Apple has confirmed that you will be able to pre-order the new iPhone from Friday, and it will go on sale from 16 September (a week on Friday).
Initially the new iPhone will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US.
A week later it will go on sale in Andorra, Bahrain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechenstein, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
iPhone 7 UK price: How much is the iPhone 7?
iPhone 7 UK price: £599 32GB; £699 128GB; £799 256GB
iPhone 7 US price: $649 32GB
Apple has, as usual, kept the pricing the same for its flagship iPhone model. However, it has this time doubled the storage capacities, so you now get 32GB as standard and can upgrade to 128GB or 256GB. In a nice touch it is also upgrading the storage capacity of the iPhone 6s, which remains on sale.
For the first time Apple will also be opening its iPhone Upgrade Programme to the UK, which means for a monthly fee you can get a brand new iPhone every 12 months.
The iPhone 7 will also be available on contract through all major UK mobile operators (Three and Vodafone have already told us they will be ranging the iPhone), as well as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile in the US.
The iPhone 7 now comes in five colours: Gold, Rose Gold, Silver and two blacks, Black and the more premium-looking, mirror-finish Jet Black. The Jet Black iPhone will be available only in 128GB and 256GB capacities.
iPhone 7 specifications, iPhone 7 new features: What’s new in iPhone 7?
We feared the iPhone 7 would be a minor upgrade over the iPhone 6s, with most of the changes saved up for next year’s iPhone 8, but actually Apple had a fair bit to announce (separated into 10 sections, which we’ll come to in a moment).
As was rumoured, Apple has removed the headphone jack and you now have a choice of using the Lightning-connected Apple EarPods supplied in the box, using the Lightning adaptor also included in the box (nice move, Apple) to attach a standard pair of wired headphones, or using the brand-new and sold separately wireless Apple EarPods. These have a list price of £159 and will be available from late October.
Other key changes are the aforementioned doubling up on storage, the new water- and dustproof design (rated IP67, which means they can handle being submerged in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes), new stereo speakers at top and bottom, an improved camera, a Force Touch home button, and better performance and graphics than ever with the Apple A10 Fusion quad-core processor. We’ll expand on all these points below.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 design
The unibody iPhone 7 is now available in five colours: Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Red Gold. The Jet Black option is a brand-new high-gloss premium version with a mirror finish, complete with a stainless steel Apple logo. The plain black option diffuses light and comes with a black Apple logo.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 Force Touch Home button
Apple has introduced a new Taptic (haptic feedback) engine to revitalise its Home button, and that makes sense given that it is used for a multitude of tasks beyond simply returning to the home screen (there’s also multi-tasking, Siri, accessibility, Touch ID, Reachability and Apple Pay). The new Home button is more responsive and customisable, and solid-state. Force Touch functionality uses the Taptic engine to alter your experience with the button, and provides haptic feedback for quick actions, messages, notifications and ringtones.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 is IP67 water- and dust-proof
This one takes is fairly straightforward: the iPhone 7 is the first iPhone that will survive a trip into the toilet, the sea or the bath. It’s IP67 rated, which means it is dust-proof and also water-proof up to 1m of water for 30 minutes.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 camera
Apple was singing the praises of its new camera during the iPhone 7 launch event, although notably the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is much better with a second 56mm telephoto lens.
The standard iPhone 7 has a 12Mp, f/1.8 camera at the rear that features OIS, and a new six-element lens with larger pixels. Apple says it is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy-efficient.
There’s a new Apple-designed image processor too, which handles up to 100 billion operations (everything from face and body detection, exposure, focus, white balance, tone mapping, noise reduction and the piecing together of multiple photos to create one best shot) in as little as 25ms. There’s a new quad-LED true tone flash and a new flicker sensor, too.
Pro photographer Christopher Anderson said of the iPhone 7 camera: “This iPhone is going to be a part of any professional’s repertoire of tools. The camera didn’t just handle low light, it rendered the separation of colours in a way that reminds me of film. Just Beautiful.”
You can see some of Anderson’s unadulterated photos shot on the iPhone 7 below.
The selfie camera has also had an upgrade, with Apple now specifying a 7- rather than 5Mp FaceTime HD camera. In common with the rear camera, this has a wide colour gamut.
Live Photos is still a thing, now with even better stabilisation and new editing functionality.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 display
The iPhone 7 still has the 4.7in, 326ppi Retina HD display, which we’ve seen bested by many Android flagships on the market. However, Apple hasn’t left it completely alone and along with a 25 percent improvement to brightness it lists new features including a wide colour gamut, cinema standard, colour management and 3D Touch.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 audio
The iPhone 7 is the first iPhone to feature stereo speakers, with one positioned at the top of the iPhone and the other at the bottom. Apple says this new setup is two times louder than the iPhone 6s, and has increased dynamic range.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 EarPods
As many people feared, Apple has removed the headphone jack in a play it openly referred to as courageous. Our initial thought was that it was more stupidity than bravery, but it has made some concessions to keep users happy. Firstly, you do get an adaptor in the box that allows you to plug in traditional headphones to the Lightning port that was previously used only for charging and data transfer. And secondly, you also get a pair of wired Apple EarPods in the box. These connect to the Lightning connector, while the removal of the old 3.5mm jack allows Apple space inside the case for other innovations.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 wireless AirPods
Yet another option for listening to audio on the new iPhone is Apple’s wireless AirPods. These are sold separately, with a list price of £159 and available from late October.
The new AirPods are more intelligent than most wireless earphones, which is thanks to the new Apple W1 chip inside. They will play music only when they detect your ear, and each AirPod (you can use only one if you like) offers up to 5 hours of battery life. The case they are sold with also features a battery, which can offer an additional 24 hours playtime, and when it’s time to recharge over Lightning you can charge both case and AirPods at once. A double-touch of the new AirPods can launch Siri, too, while a built-in mic lets you vocalise your request.
iPhone 7 new features: Apple Pay
One of the less interesting announcements for Apple iPhone fans in the UK was that Apple was bringing Apple Pay to Japan in October, and Transit alongside it.
iPhone 7 new features: iPhone 7 performance
The iPhone 6s was already incredibly fast, but as with every new smartphone launch Apple has bumped up the performance. The iPhone 7 is the first iPhone to feature a quad-core processor, with two of its cores tuned for performance and two for efficiency (although, amazingly, battery life is only two hours longer than that of the iPhone 6s on average).
The new Apple A10 Fusion processor is reportedly 40 percent faster than the Apple A9 and two times faster than the Apple A8, while the iPhone 7 itself is a staggering 120 times faster than the original iPhone.
Graphics performance is also improved, 50 percent faster than the Apple A9 and three times faster than the Apple A8. Yet graphics consume two thirds of the power of the A9, and just half the power of the Apple A8. Overall, the iPhone 7 is 240 times faster than the original iPhone for graphics.
There’s a new performance controller to manage which cores are in use, and the two efficiency-tuned cores consume just a fifth of the power.
Battery performance hasn’t improved as much as we’d have liked. Apple claims the iPhone 7 can handle 40 hours of wireless audio, 13 hours of wireless video, 14 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 12 hours of LTE browsing, 12 hours of 3G browsing, or 14 hours of 3G talk time.
iPhone 7 launch as it happened: iPhone 7 live blog
iPhone 7 rumours: What was true?
Below you’ll find the bones of our original iPhone 7 rumours article, just in case you’re interested in which rumours came true and which were nonsense. Just remember, everything above is fact, and everything below not necessarily so.
We’re not going to lie: this article is super-long, simply because there has been such an incredible number of leaks and rumours about the next iPhone – many of them appearing almost as soon as the previous iPhone was announced. So we’ll sum it up for you:
On 7 September, the new iPhone 7 will be announced – probably alongside an iPhone 7 Plus, which may now be called the iPhone 7 Pro, or that may be a third new iPhone 7 model (no-one really knows the answer to that until launch day). It’s expected to be able to pre-order immediately, and to go on sale on 16 September starting at £539. It will be available in Silver, Gold, Rose Gold and… no, not Space Grey, but Space Black. Or Deep Blue. One of the two.
Key changes in the new iPhone 7 will be a new (and flush) dual-camera at the rear, but the loss of the headphone jack (which will allow the new iPhone to become skinnier than ever). Rather than using their existing cans, iPhone 7 owners will be expected to buy a wireless pair or an adaptor that lets them plug in the headphones via the Lightning port.
Performance will be increased, as always, with a new Apple A10 processor, M10 co-processor and, allegedly, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage as standard. And the new iPhone will run the final version of iOS 10 out the box.
Everything else will be much the same, with Apple tipped to be saving up many of its design changes for the 2017 iPhone (the iPhone 8), which will mark the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. (Indeed, sceptics are suggesting Apple purposely launched its iPhone Upgrade programme last year to push people into two-year contracts, then purposely kept the iPhone 7 very similar to the iPhone 6s so they wouldn’t need to upgrade, ensuring that they are ready for the big one next year.) Though we could see the loss of the antenna bars, and there has been some talk of a ceramic rear.
Those theories are mostly backed up by KGI Securities’ Ming-chi Kuo, who is well known for accurately predicting Apple hardware. Kuo says the iPhone 7 will come in five colour options – rose gold, gold, silver, dark black and piano black (a glossier black) – with 32-, 128- or 256GB of storage. Only the iPhone 7 Plus will feature 3GB of RAM, Kuo predicts, while the standard iPhone 7 will have 2GB. This will be paired with a 2.4- or 2.5GHz A10 processor, but the key changes will be the loss of the headphone jack and the new dual-pixel camera. Kuo predicts this will have a four-LED flash, with two warm and two cool.
The idea that the standard iPhone 7 will have only 2GB of RAM is apparently confirmed by a Geekbench screenshot leaked by Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) on Twitter. Whatever the iOS 10.1 phone in question actually is, it achieved a single-core score of 3379 points and multi-core score of 5495 points. That multi-core score is significantly lower than its Samsung Galaxy S7 rival, which scored 6466 points in our tests.
Read on for more juicy iPhone 7 gossip (and if you still don’t have your fill, check out our sister site Macworld’s take on the next iPhone).
Below we have rounded up rumours from around the web as well as making our own predictions based on what Apple has done in the past. The formula is clearly working for the company so it’s unlikely it will deviate from the tried and tested update process this year.
iPhone upgrade cycle: Saving the best for the 2017 iPhone 8
As you read the information below, you might be thinking that it’s not much of an upgrade for a new model number. And you’d be right, as it seems Apple will be saving the big jump for the 2017 flagship which we assume will be the iPhone 8.
This is becuase 2017 will mark the 10th anniverasary of the iPhone so Apple will understandably want to do something special.
The Wall Street Journal says: “Apple plans bigger design changes for 2017, the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. Those changes could include an edge-to-edge organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen and eliminating the home button by building the fingerprint sensor into the display, according to people familiar with the matter.”
“At a meeting with an Apple executive last month, one of the company’s China-based engineers asked why this year’s model lacked a major design change in keeping with Apple’s usual two-year cycle. The answer, one person at the meeting recalled, was that the new technology in the pipeline will take time to implement. People familiar with the matter said some features that Apple hopes to integrate into iPhones, such as curved screens, weren’t ready for this year’s models,” it added.
What will the next iPhone be called? iPhone, iPhone 7 or iPhone Pro?
A new report from Nikkei suggests the Apple did consider three different iPhone models for 2016 but has cut the line-up to just the traditional two. It says the due to fierce competition, Apple has ditched the larger model with a single camera so it looks like we’ll be getting what was leaked as the iPhone 7 Pro but might now just be called the Plus model like normal.
This is backed up by a report from Mac Otakara which cites ‘reliable sources’ in order to ‘confirm’ the naming system for the iPhone. It will indeed be the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The site also says the larger model with a single lens camera was a backup in case the dual lens technology (on what was dubbed the iPhone 7 Pro) didn’t work out in time.
The next iPhone is widely expected to be called the iPhone 7, following Apple’s usual strategy of launching a new model number one year and appending an S the next (in 2015 we saw the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, so it follows that in September 2016 we should see the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus).
Until now, that is. Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, is perhaps one of the most reliable tipsters we’ve come across, and he is calling for people to stop calling the 2016 iPhone the iPhone 7. Blass says it is highly unlikely Apple will use this name, since the next iPhone is thought to be largely unchanged from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.
So if not iPhone 7, what will the next iPhone be called? The PC Advisor editorial team couldn’t decide, with some suggesting it might offer an iPhone Pro to match the iPad Pro line-up (and there has been rumours of an iPhone 7 Pro), and others suggesting it will be simply ‘iPhone’. Have a vote on what you think the name will be below, and feel free to offer your alternative suggestions in the comments below this article.
iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus
As mentioned throughout this article, rumours suggest that the iPhone 7 won’t receive key upgrades which will only be available on the iPhone 7 Plus. The below cases which are available to pre-order show that the regular iPhone 7 won’t get the dual camera setup nor the Smart Connector. The cases also show that the new iPhone won’t have a headphone jack.
Here’s a video comparing an iPhone 7 mockup with the iPhone 6.
iPhone 7 rumours: Design
It might be a fake, but we have what is the best look at the iPhone 7 yet thanks to NowhereElseFr. It doesn’t offer up any new information about specs but is probably the clearest leaked photo yet, showing a design very similar to the current iPhone 6S.
Various videos have leaked showing the iPhone 7 or mockups at least, and this is the clearest one with the phone in Rose Gold, Gold and Space Black. It appears to confirm rumours including the similar design (to the iPhone 6S), larger camera and no headphone jack socket.
Also check out the below from Geekbar which claims to show the first working iPhone 7 (a prototype) confirming many of the rumours regarding design, the larger rear camera and loss of the headphone jack.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus looked largely similar to the 6 and 6 Plus, which is usually the case with Apple’s ‘S’ models. We are expecting to see something new for the iPhone 7, although it’s very likely that it too will come in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold.
The latest design rumours to emerge claim that the iPhone 7 could actually have a ceramic back like the One Plus X. This could make wireless charging easier to impliment (read more on this below) but it could also make the iPhone 7 look rather different. The rumour came from Business Korea, but there’s no real evidence to support the claim. There is, however, a rendering to give an example of what it could look like (below). Months later, there is something to suggest this as Jony Ive wants the iPhone ‘to appear like a single sheet of glass’, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Another rumour says that the iPhone 7 will use a glass back similar to rivals such as the Xperia Z5. Allen Horng, chairman and chief executive of Catcher Technology, a key supplier said: “As far as I know, only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year. I don’t think this move will have an impact on Catcher’s revenue as glass casing still needs a durable metal frame which requires advanced processing technology and would not be cheaper than the current model.”
Earlier reports that also emerged in February claim that the iPhone 7’s camera will be flush against the back of the phone rather than protruding as it is currently on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
That’s according to MacRumors, which claims to have spoken with a reliable source who says a second design change for the iPhone 7 will be the removal of the antenna stripes on the back of the iPhone, as demonstrated in the mockup below.
But these design changes could well apply to the same ceramic back rumour, as the rendering from Business Korea also ditches the antenna lines and has a flush camera.
This is very similar to the renders which GSMArena has published, showing that same antenna stripes. They do show a camera bump though and no sign of the smart connector or the headphone jack.
Another possible look at the iPhone 7 comes via weibo and is a photograph rather than a render. It matches the look of the above renders, once again not showing the smart connector.
On 5 July, techtastic.nl published the photo below of another iPhone 7 that looks a lot like those leaked above. This site has previously accurately leaked photos of Apple products.
In terms of dimensions for the iPhone 7, a shot via nowhereelse, appears to show that the iPhone 7 will be 67.12×138.3mm in size. That matches the iPhone 6S so the phone won’t be changing in size if this is correct. It also shows a single hole for the camera which looks larger than previous models.
A further leak, above, from June 2016 came from nowhereelse.fr again, that purportedly shows a slightly different rear casing, but with the less intrusive aerial stripes still intact. It also adds to the rumours that the iPhone 7 won’t have a headphone jack, as the bottom of the casing shows a speaker grille where the jack should be. Click here to skip down this article to more headphone jack rumours.
More recently, Nowhereelse.fr shared a photo apparently taken at Catcher technologies (a case supplier for Apple) showcasing an iPhone 7 chassis render. While the images are blurry and could be very easily faked, if true, the leak confirms a number of rumoured changes in the next generation Apple smartphone. Most notably, the photo ‘confirms’ the decision to move the antenna lines from the back of the iPhone to the edges, along with a slight change in the camera setup.
While the camera bump still appears to be present, the renders show the chassis bulging out around the camera – but why? One possibility is to protect the protruding lens from becoming damaged, or it could just be to make the camera bump look a little more appealing. However that’s only a small change when you realise that the purported iPhone 7 chassis don’t include a 3.5mm headphone jack, which if true, will disappoint many Apple fans.
However, there are various rumours about the headphone jack, so it’s very much up in the air as to whether it will stay or go.
Only days after the iPhone 7 chassis render leaked, another photo of the iPhone 7 surfaced online. However unlike with the above photo, the source can’t be easily tracked and as such, could be a (very well made) Apple fan edit. If that isn’t the case and the photo is genuine, it too confirms Apple’s decision to move the antenna lines from the back of the iPhone to its edges.
It wasn’t the last leaked image either. The very next day, another leaked image appeared online claiming to showcase the unreleased iPhone 7, though this one showcases different features to the above leaks. The image has been circulating around Chinese forums, and is far from confirmed, although if true could confirm a headline feature of the iPhone 7 – a dual lens setup.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, this dual-lens camera will be exclusive to the 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus.
The leaked photo appears to show a much wider camera slot that seems to house not one but two camera lenses. Though no one has any idea what Apple is planning with a dual-lens setup, companies in the past have used them for features including 3D photography, and the ability to refocus an image after it has been taken.
The three dots at the bottom look like the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro modles so perhaps the iPhone 7 will work with some kind of smart case or it could be used for easier charging via a dock.
The below YouTube video is a concept video from ConceptsiPhone that amalgamates all those design rumours – if true, this is what the iPhone 7 will look like:
Yet another possible look at the iPhone 7 comes from an Italian case maker which shows a prototype based on schematics received from an unnamed source in Apple’s supply chain. It shows a single camera and also four speaker grilles like the iPad Pro. It’s another rumour which suggests the headphone jack will be ditched.
A photo from Mobipicker appears to show that Apple will ditch the home button on the iPhone 7. It’s not completely gone in favour of on-screen buttons but the photo shows a home key which is just touch sensitive rather than something you can physically push. If so, it will be similar to the OnePlus 3 and HTC 10.
This was then further speculated over when analysts from Cowen & Company suggested the iPhone 7 will have a Force Touch home button (as reported by Business Insider). This assertion relates to the above picture leak, so we could well wave goodbye to the physical home button, but will be left with the volume and power buttons on the device’s sides.
It’s a minor element but Mac Otakara claims the ear piece at the top of the iPhone 7 will be longer and the proximity sensor has been moved.
iPhone 7 rumours: Specifications & features
A video supposedly comparing the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6S motherboards has appeared online. The issue from our point of view is not only that it could be a complete fake, but that it’s not in English so we don’t know what differences they are claiming.
With the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Apple finally budged on some of the specifications it has refused to change for years, such as the 12Mp iSight camera, up from 8Mp in the 6 and 6 Plus. It’s likely that Apple will stick with that 12Mp camera for some time to come, although one thing it still refuses to improve is the screen resolution. With rival smartphones now offering Quad- and Ultra-HD screens, we hope that Apple might bump up its pixel count in the iPhone 7 – perhaps to the 400ppi level of the Plus models.
Back to the camera briefly and the latest details suggest that Sony won’t be able to keep up with the schedule so Apple will have to move to LG Innotek, according to Nomura Securities via Barron’s Asia. This means that the 4.7in sized iPhone is now tipped to have optical image stabilisation (OIS), not just the larger Plus model.
Apple might stick with the 4.7in and 5.5in screen sizes, but with so many phones having a 5in or larger screen it could well move to 5- and 5.7in models and look at ways of increasing the screen-to-body ratio, which is fairly low compared to some phones right now.
In early March we heard rumours that there would be not just two iPhones launching in September, but three, with the third dubbed the iPhone Pro. This is expected to be based on the iPhone 7 Plus, but even more premium with a dual-lens camera. Further fuel to that rumour fire came in June from tech site Weibo, saying that Apple will be lining up three new iPhones in September, potentially using the ‘Pro’ suffix associated with MacBooks and iPads. This would make sense branding-wise, but quite what makes an iPhone pro is unclear – camera set up, business-orientated performace or higher specs, or all three, could play a part.
Some of the latest rumours we’ve seen talk of an OLED screen, with Apple having been in talks with LG and Samsung, although this is expected to make an appearance in 2017’s iPhone 7s rather than the iPhone 7 that will launch in September 2016.
Expect the usual performance upgrades, with the new Apple A10 processor and embedded M10 motion co-processor. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were the first iPhones to finally get 2GB of RAM, and expect this to stay the same in the iPhone 7. The A10 processor was easy to predict but we now have a leaked photo which appears to show the new chip via MacRumours.
The iPhone 7 will ship with iOS 10 installed. Expect Apple to unveil iOS 10 (or iOS X?) at WWDC in June 2016. See below for a concept of the iPhone 7 running on iOS thanks to Mathijs Schrauwen. The device is what we think will be the iPhone 7 Plus but you get the idea.
iPhone 7 with new headphone jack? D Jack
When Apple announced the iPhone 5 with a new style of power connector it angered many fans who would now need to purchase an adaptor to fit their old accessories. We could be about to see Lightning-gate all over again with headphone-gate, as it’s rumoured that Apple will shake things up once again with a new style of headphone jack, leaving older accessories incompatible. According to Apple Insider, Apple has patented a new slimmer headphone jack technology called D Jack, which has a diameter of just 2mm.
Will the iPhone 7 have a headphone jack?
One of the most often cited rumours about the iPhone 7 is that it will not have a headphone jack, with the user instead using wireless headphones or connecting them via a Lightning adapter. Sure enough, several iPhone 7 cases and accessories (including Lightning headphone adapters) have since surfaced that add weight to the theory. But would Apple really risk irritating its fans with such a change?
Fact is, Apple is not the first to remove the headphone jack. Lenovo got in there first with the new Motorola Moto Z family.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, had offered his two cents on the subject. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, he said it “will tick off a lot of people”.
His main reason for being against it is the poor inferior quality on offer from Bluetooth compared to wired. “I would not use Bluetooth. I don’t like wireless. I have cars where you can plug in the music, or go through Bluetooth, and Bluetooth just sounds so flat for the same music,” he said.
However, he was positive at the idea of Apple making wireless better, adding “a Bluetooth 2 that has higher bandwidth and better quality – that sounds like real music – I would use it. But we’ll see. Apple is good at moving towards the future, and I like to follow that.”
In July 2016, a leak from website Tinhte.vn showed high quality images of a (sloghtly low build quality) supposed Lighnting to 3.5mm jack adapter – see below.
As you can see in the left image, the Lightning connector itself is a tad wonky, but on the right it’s plugged into an iPhone 6s. The site, and source, is Vietnamese, and it’s claimed these photos are a leak from a Foxcconn factory there where Apple components and products are made.
If you thought that was bad news, it gets worse – according to Japanese site Mac Otakara, Apple is thinking about ditching the headphone jack completely, enabling the company to shave 1mm from the device’s thickness.
The rumours about Apple ditching the headphone jack for the iPhone 7 don’t seem to be slowing in 2016, either. Other images on the site seem to show the accessory as incompatible with iOS 9 devices and only working on iOS 10. This is unconfirmed, but hopefully Apple wouldn’t limit a new accessory to its latest operating system. Then again, it could be used as a reason to persuade people to update iOS.
Leaked schematics (below) published by Nowhereelse.fr bolster rumours that Apple really has removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. However, the left-hand grille is most likely to house only a microphone and not a second speaker for stereo sound. The new phone could be waterproof, but we’ll have to wait and see if this rumour is true or not. Other photos of the front assembly appear to show a cutout for a physical home button, putting paid to rumours of a fixed button with haptic feedback.
So, even after this leak, how will we listen to our music without a headphone jack? It leaves consumers with two choices; you can either use wireless Bluetooth headphones (like many consumers are already doing) or you can use a pair of headphones that connects to your iPhone via the Lightning port – and potentially a new, slimmer Lightning port. The issue with using a Lightning-port enabled pair of headphones is that a) these are quite expensive, with the likes of the Philips Fidelio headphones costing £184.99, b) it limits the use of the headphones to the iPhone 7, and the iPhone 7 only.
Of course, there’s always a possibility that Apple will include some kind of adaptor that’ll allow users to use its standard headphones. And some critics claim Apple won’t risk losing the free marketing it receives as users reveal in public the wires on its iconic earbuds as they listen to music on the iPhone. If it doesn’t include an adaptor, this £19 iTrip Clip from Griffin will make wireless any standard pair of headphones.
But how plausable is this idea? Music is a big part of the history of the iPhone, and we’re not too sure Apple would jeopardise that just to shave 1mm off the width of its next iPhone. But with this being said, Apple did replace multiple ports with a single USB-C port on the 12in MacBook all in the name of shaving a a few millimetres off its’ latest MacBook.
Consumers certainly seem to be convinced that it’s possible, but they’ve been flocking to sign an online petition in the hopes that they can stop Apple from removing the headphone jack. So far there are more than 280,000 signatures in the petition.
Way back in January even more evidence arrived to suggest that the headphone jack port is on its way out. Code spotted in the iOS 9.3 beta 1.1 software release by Twitter user Chase Fromm reads “Headphones.have.%sinput.NO.” which could well be a reference to the future removal of the port.
Then, in March, the first purported iPhone 7 case leaked online. At first glance, you’d mistake it for an iPhone 6s case, but a closer look reveals that there is no space for a 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, it looks like the iPhone 7 will have two speaker grilles along the bottom.
Another case for the iPhone 7 backs up the idea the iPhone 7 will not have a headphone jack.
Information that leaked in May suggested Apple might keep the headphone jack after all. An image published by MyDrivers, supposedly shows the internals of the next-gen iPhone 7 and you can see the grey headphone jack at the top. It’s almost impossible to tell whether the image is legit or fake.
Adding to the possibility that the iPhone 7 won’t have a headphone jack is a range of Lightning products from Axpro Technology which had a booth at Computex. The firm is showing off two pairs of headphones with Lightning connectors and an adapter – which also features a DAC – which means you can plug in a traditional 3.5mm jack.
Despite all the above, Mac Otakara claims that the iPhone 7 will in fact have the headphone jack and also ship with a Lightning adapter. The site also says there will be a second speaker will feature but there won’t be a stereo setup.
Adding more weight to the loss of the headphone jack, a photo via weibo of some Lightning headphones look similar to the current EarPods. He later clarified that they are not the official Apple headphones. As with any leak, they could be a complete hoax.
iPhone 7 to come with Lightning EarPods & wireless AirPods?
Of course, if Apple does decide to ditch the headphone jack then it’s going to need to supply some new EarPods with the iPhone 7, and the current rumours are suggesting some Lightning EarPods which will probably be similar to the EarPods we already know but will have a Lightning connector instead of the 3.5mm jack.
More excitingly, though, rumours say that Apple is working on AirPods that will be so completely wireless that they won’t even have a wire connecting the left bud with the right bud. Instead they will both individually connect with the iPhone 7 over Bluetooth.
An image has been floating around the internet over the past few days showcasing what is claimed to be a Lightning-enabled pair of Apple EarPods, with many citing Weibo as the source of the ‘leak’. The image, if true, shows a pair of fairly standard Apple EarPod earphones with a lightning jack at the bottom in place of the standard 3.5mm jack, seemingly confirming the elimination of the jack on the upcoming iPhone.
However, all isn’t what it seems. While many publications reported on the above image as being a genuine leak, we have our reservations. This is mainly due to infamous leaker (what a title!) OnLeaks tweeted the exact same image on Friday 18 March 2016 without the Weibo watermark seen elsewhere online while inferring that it’s a fake image. The tweet in question was in response to another headphone ‘leak’, and OnLeaks uses the photo in question as an example of a photo that was “easy to set up”. While this is far from confirmation that it’s a fake, it suggests to us at least that this is the case.
iPhone 7 rumours: Will it be waterproof?
It’s possible the new iPhone 7 could be waterproof. In March 2015 a new patent revealed that Apple is investigating ways to make future iPhones waterproof without needing to compromise on the design, a change that never made it into the 6s and 6s Plus. Instead of adding armour to the outside of the iPhone to protect it from water, the method would coat electronic components found inside the iPhone in a protective waterproof material that would prevent them from getting damaged should water find its way in. Clever.
iPhone 7 to ‘dry itself by shooting water out of its speakers’
If waterproofing the internals of the iPhone 7 doesn’t sound impressive enough to you, the next rumour might. A patent was published on 12 November which suggests that the iPhone 7 could be waterproof – but not by creating a watertight body, or even waterproofing the internals. Instead, the patent suggests that the iPhone could dry itself by pumping water (or any other liquid, for that matter) out of the device via its speaker grills. Pretty cool, eh?
The concept is centred around modules within the speakers that can be made more or less hydrophobic, depending on the electrical charge applied to them. That way, when liquid is detected in the iPhone, the modules would be activated in such a way that it’d move the liquid across them and eventually out of the speaker grills. We love this idea, but we’re not holding our breath that this will be featured in the iPhone 7 – maybe the 8 or 9, though.
iPhone 7 rumours: Wireless charging
New reports that emerged at the end of January 2016 suggest Apple is working on wireless charging behind the scenes, but the bad news is this special type of wireless charging that doesn’t require users to place the phone on a charging mat isn’t expected to arrive until 2017.
It’s been rumoured that wireless charging is coming to iPhone for a long time now, but the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus arrived in September with no such feature, disappointing many. One of the reasons the iPhone doesn’t currently offer wireless inductive charging is because the technology has never previously worked through aluminium, which the iPhone is made with. But in July, Qualcomm revealed that its latest wireless breakthrough now does work through metal, so it’s finally a possibility for Apple.
But Apple reportedly wants to take wireless charging one step further. Bloomberg says that the company is “exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones.”
iPhone 7 rumours: The built-in e-SIM
Another touted feature for the latest iPhone that didn’t see daylight and may be reserved for the iPhone 7 is that it will have an e-SIM. Recent reports suggest that it could be the end of days for the traditional SIM card, with a possible introduction of a simpler option. An e-SIM is an electronic SIM card which would replace the physical SIMs used today and instead will opt for a virtual embedded equivalent. Rumours suggest that both Apple and Samsung are in talk with the GSMA (organisation that represents the interest of mobile operators) to use a standardised e-SIM in future handsets.
What are the benefits of having an e-SIM? First things first, it’ll make switching carriers easy and should allow for more flexible roaming. The idea is that with a standardised e-SIM, you’ll be able to make a call and switch operators without having to insert a specific SIM card. This idea translates to roaming too, as it’ll be much easier to switch to a local network if you’re looking to spend a long period of time in a particular country.
You can also wave goodbye to SIM adaptors! If you’ve ever had to go from a nano-SIM device to a micro-SIM device, you’ll know exactly what we mean.
It may not be the sexiest of features, but the iPhone 7 may come with a 1960mAh battery which would be a 14 percent increase compared to the iPhone 6S. That’s according to OnLeaks, but it’s worth noting that most rival flagship phones now come with around 3000mAh.
iPhone 7 rumours: Glasses-free 3D display
According to Economic Daily News, the iPhone 7 could feature a 3D display – but not just any 3D display, but one that doesn’t require the use of those annoying 3D glasses. The website claims that Apple supply chain partner TPK is working on a project that could produce a glasses-free 3D display, though we’re not holding out much hope for this as its been done before (remember the LG Optimus 3D?) and has never done well.
iPhone 7 with sidewall display: Apple’s answer to the Galaxy Note Edge, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+?
There are some rumours to suggest that the iPhone 7 could have some new design features, though we’d take these rumours with a pinch of salt.
The speculation about a new design stems from an Apple patent that was published in 2015. It describes what Apple calls “sidewall displays,” similar to the display found on the Galaxy Note Edge, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+.
Concept by Michael Shanks
The patent hints at a future iPhone with a display that extends onto the sides of the device, providing interactive or touch sensitive portions that give access to slide-to-unlock functionality, music player controls, messaging readout, called ID, system controls and more.
Perhaps Apple will decide to introduce the sidewall display to the iPhone 7, offering even more screen estate.
iPhone 7 with edge-to-edge display?
The latest rumour comes from a concept video by DeepMind of what an iPhone 7 would look like with an edge-to-edge display. And it looks pretty cool.
Another concept image of an iPhone 7 with an edge-to-edge display emerged in early 2016 from iPhone-Tricks.com. It’s a bit out-there and is unlikely to be quite accurate, but it also shows what iOS 10 might look like including an interesting idea that some of the icons could be bigger in a ‘widget’ style familiar to Android users.
iPhone 7 rumours: Touch ID integrated into the screen
Another rumour that was sparked by an Apple patent is that the iPhone 7’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is usually situated beneath the Home button, could be built-in to the entire display, eliminating the need for a Home button and making room for a larger display without enlarging the overall size of the smartphone.
These rumours seemed pretty far fetched to begin with, but it might just happen. Sonavation recently announced that its found a way to insert ultrasonic biometric sensors underneath a Gorilla Glass display, with it still being able to read a users fingerprints.
The newly developed tech is “well suited for through-the-glass fingerprinting and specifically architected to deliver advanced security and ease-of-integration into mobile and IoT devices” Sonavation’s CTO Rainer Schmitt said.
The company claims that it can even do one better than the existing Touch ID (and most other fingerprint scanners on the market) by being able to scan fingerprints on a finger that’s wet, dirty or oily. Though it’s not clear which devices will be the first to feature this new technology, but we assume it’d either be the iPhone or a flagship Android smartphone.
iPhone 7 with flexible OLED display made by Samsung?
All of the above rumours could be made possible thanks to a new flexible OLED, that reports say Samsung Display is currently working on for the iPhone 7 and is set to invest billions in a new factory to keep up with demand and meet Apple’s order of up to 45,000 panels per month.
iPhone 7 rumours: Reversible USB charger
Another rumour circulating the web is that the iPhone 7 will come with a new iPhone charger, with a Lightning connector on one end and a new reversible USB connector on the other end.
In August 2014, a video of a reversible USB charger emerged on YouTube, which you can watch below.
iPhone 7 rumours: Leaked images of components
In January, Taiwanese site Apple Club shared photos of what it claims are iPhone 7 parts that have been leaked from the supply chain. The site has been genuine with some of its leaks in the past so it is possible that this is the real deal, but it really doesn’t tell us much about the iPhone 7 just yet.
We expect this will be the first of many leaked components as we progress through the year towards the iPhone 7’s release, so we’ll bring you all of the new images as they emerge right here.