If history holds true, we'll see the iPhone 7 arrive this September, and just like many times before, there are already a ton of rumors about its features. As usual, many claims are pure speculation, but there are some trustworthy reports and lots of good information we can use to make some educated guesses regarding Apple's upcoming flagship.
According to Chinese rumor site Storm (via 9to5Mac), the home button on the iPhone 7 will be digital and touch-sensitive, making the front of the phone completely flat. This digital home button would work similarly to the Force Touch trackpad found on MacBooks with Retina displays.
Essentially, there won't be a physical "button," just a touch-sensitive area on the phone's display that will serve as the home button with Touch ID.
The iPhone 7 may depart not just from previous iPhones, but from smartphones in general, by not having a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Multiple publications, including Fast Company and Mac Otakara, say an all-in-one Lightning port will take over the iPhone 7's wired audio connections.
Without a 3.5 mm port, the handset won't work with most wired headphones, making it a controversial shift.
Lightning port audio connections will be higher quality and eliminating a headphone jack opens up space, but that move greatly limits the headphones people can easily use. You'll need a special 3.5 mm to Lightning adapter in order to use non-Lightning headphones, or go the Bluetooth, wireless route.
Omitting a separate home button and the 3.5 mm headphone jack lends further credence to the speculations that the iPhone 7 will be dustproof and waterproof, which has been rumored for the last 6 or 7 months. Without the 3.5 mm headphone jack and separate home button, there won't be any glaring entry points for water to seep into.
Using smaller components and a thinner Lightning port, Apple will reduce the iPhone 7's thickness to just 6.1 mm, says Mac Otakara. That's a full millimeter thinner than the iPhone 6s, leaving the phone with the same thickness as the current iPod touch model.
While the Lightning port's enclosure may shrink, the port's design will remain compatible with existing cords.
At least some models are expected to have a dual-lens camera, but the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 may not be one of them. Instead, Apple will include the dual-lens system on a rumored iPhone Pro or, if that device doesn't materialize, the iPhone 7 Plus.
KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo claimed in January that Apple would have two iPhone 7 Plus models. One would come with a dual-lens system and the other wouldn't. He's since changed his tune, suggesting there's only one 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus and it'll have dual cameras.
Using its acquisition of LinX Technology, Apple will employ one of LinX's multi-aperture cameras to capture DSLR-quality photos. The technology may also lead to improved color accuracy, minimal noise, 2-3x optical zoom, and 3D depth mapping.
A new processor, presumably called the A10, will be used in the iPhone 7. The Electronic Times reports it'll be sourced solely from TSMC, whose packaging technique offers superior performance and efficiency.
By only using TSMC, Samsung is taken out of the mix for the iPhone 7's processor manufacturing. Apple has reportedly wanted to get away from Samsung's processors for years.
Two speakers are going to be placed in the iPhone 7, according to Barclays analysts. One may fill in the space created by the headphone jack's removal, providing the iPhone with stereo sound for the first time.
Last month, photos of an iPhone 7 case were leaked by OnLeaks. The case features cutouts for two speakers, supporting the stereo speaker rumor.
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