Set to arrive as the iPhone 7, or iPhone 6S, we already know quite a lot about the firm’s next arrival, thanks to a multitude of online leaks and speculation.
Here, we round up everything we know about the so-called iPhone 7 so-far, including specs, price and release date. Keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll update it with every new detail, feature and rumour that comes our way.
A legit-looking report out of BuzzFeed, which has heard from “sources familiar with Apple’s plans”, claims that the firm will launch the next iPhone at an event in San Francisco on 9 September.
Judging by Apple’s usual timings, this means that the next iPhone will go on sale in the following week on 18 September. This date has been backed by a report out of Germany, which claims two carriers are already primed to start selling the next iPhone on 18 September.
However, according to a leaked Vodafone memo, the iPhone 7 will go on sale on 25 September.
Apple is seemingly expecting the iPhone 7 to break sales records. The Wall Street Journal that the firm has asked suppliers to manufacture between 85 million and 90 million units combined of two new iPhone models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays by 31 December.
Unsurprisingly, there are no details regarding the cost of the iPhone 7 yet, but it likely will be priced similarly to last year’s iPhone 6. Available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB variants, the smartphone costs £539, £619 and £699 respectively.
If Apple reveals a larger-screened iPhone 7 Plus, or iPhone 6S Plus, handset, expect this to be more expensive at £619, £699 and £789.
There is speculation however that Apple will ditch the low-capacity 16GB model, releasing the next iPhone in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions instead.
Rumours and specs
Speculation suggests, as does Apple’s typical two-year upgrade cycle, that the iPhone 7 – or iPhone 6S – won’t look much different to its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus predecessors.
However, one rumour out of Yahoo News claims the firm might have something more radical than usual planned, claiming: “Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve for 2016.”
9to5Mac seems to have killed these rumours, having obtained the first pictures of the so-called iPhone 6S (below).
These pictures, if legit, show that the iPhone 7 (or 6S) will feature the same design as its predecessor. The report notes that it will be the same size and will feature the same connectors and antenna lines, although adds that it will come with a tweaked internal mounting structure. There is talk that the next iPhone will be tougher than its predecessor, however.
While the iPhone 7 unlikely will hold many surprises when it comes to design, it reportedly will be much tougher than last year’s model, meaning it won’t the same ‘bendgate’ issue.
That’s according to YouTube user Lewis Hilsenteger, who claims to have got his hands on the toughened casing (below). He claims that due to the casing’s apparent reworked dimensions, Apple should avoid another bendgate fiasco this year.
The iPhone 7 is expected to retain the same LTPS-based LCD panel for the handset’s display, despite venturing into OLED screens for the Apple Watch (and the Apple Watch 2, according to rumours).
Rumours suggest that Apple might opt for a scratch-proof sapphire display in the next-generation iPhone, such as that found on its smartwatch. Production problems reportedly prevented the iPhone 6 launching with a sapphire screen, but speculation claims that Apple has teamed with Foxconn to get the tough displays ready in time.
In terms of screen size, there’s talk that Apple will release multiple variations of the iPhone next year, one with a 4.7in screen and one with a 5.5in screen. Some rumours claim that Apple will also release a smaller 4in model, aimed at customers with dainty hands.
Separate rumours via Patently Apple claim that the firm could follow in the footsteps of the Galaxy S6 Edge by adding a curved display, and others claim the firm could debut its first ‘flexible’ smartphone in the form of the iPhone 7.
The Wall Street Journal (paywalled) reports that the display on the iPhone 7, curved or not, will feature the same Force Touch technology introduced in Apple’s first 12in MacBook, technology that allows a touch-sensitive surface to register degrees of pressure as well as movement. According to the report, this would make way for new applications such as “a piano-playing app that would make different sounds when touched lightly or more heavily”.
The iPhone 7 is expected to be available in the same white, space grey and gold colour options. There’s also talk that the iPhone 7 will be available in pink (below), but we’d take this with a pinch of salt, while another report claims that Apple will introduce a new “rose gold” colour.
Under the hood, the iPhone 7 is tipped to run Apple’s next-generation A9 processor. Spotted by Dutch blog TechTastic, the new Geekbench Browser benchmark says the next iPhone will feature a 1.5GHz tri-core A9 processor, paired and 2GB of RAM. The report also notes that the A9 chip is built on 14/16nm technology, which should make it faster and more energy-efficient than its A8 predecessor, which currently powers Apple’s 2014 iOS devices.
The iPhone 7, we’ll assume, will run Apple’s next iOS release, iOS 9. This was unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, bringing with it a number of performance and usability enhancements, and is now available in public beta.
iOS 9 also brings with it some new features. This includes a battery saving mode that allows users to squeeze an extra three hours of life out of their smartphone, and a feature called Proactive Siri that sees Apple’s virtual assistant taking on Google Now and Cortana with context-based suggestions.
The release of iOS 9 later this year will also mark the debut of a new Apple Maps (below) app with public transport directions and Apple News, the firm’s Flipboard competitor.
Apple Music will also be included, having been introduced in Apple’s iOS 8.4 software released.
Under the hood, the iPhone 7 is expected to feature an A9 chip manufactured by TSMC. Previous speculation had suggested Apple would go look to Samsung to supply innards for its next-gen iPhone, but it has apparently since dumped it due to the unforseen popularity of the Galaxy S6.
This will be paired with 2GB RAM, according to a report from Technews.tw, the same as inside the iPad Air.
In terms of storage, the iPhone 7 reportedly will be the first to dump the current 16GB storage version, and instead will be made available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models, according to a report at Micgadget.
It will also be made available with LTE, with reports saying that it will offer 4G speeds twice as fast as its iPhone 6 predecessor. Three has prematurely revealed that it will offer voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) with the next iPhone.
It’s been reported by Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber that the next iPhone will have “the biggest camera jump ever”, featuring a two-lens system which apparently brings it up to digital SLR quality. He suggested that Apple might opt for Sony’s new 21MP image sensor, the Exmoor RS.
A report out of KGI Securities points towards a 12MP rear-facing camera for the iPhone 7, and further speculation is adding weight to this with talk of a six-element 12MP sensor.
Weight has been further added to rumours of an upgraded camera with Apple’s acqusition of LinX, a firm that specialises in high-end smartphone camera tech.
Beyond that, we don’t know much about the iPhone 7 yet, although some speculate that it might be the first iPhone to launch with wireless charging. µ