For months the airwaves have been buzzing with leaks and rumours about the iPhone 7 due for release in September. Whilst many of the leaks are now likely to be closer to the truth one thing is certain this will not be a revolutionary change.
Tim Cook and the team at Apple are very aware that the Smartphone has become a vital component of the business technological arsenal and highly placed business people, whilst welcoming technology to support their business endeavours, have neither the desire nor the time to learn a revolutionary product so the iPhone 7 will continue Apple’s steady evolution of this important business and social tool rather than launch something completely revolutionary. So what are the latest rumours around this piece of technology and will it be worth the hype and the wait?
The most recent leak from Nowhere Else, includes a photograph of the back of the new phone. There is a marked resemblance to the iPhone 6S and clearly the back is made of aluminium. Two things stand out immediately; firstly the glaring antenna lines have been erased and now run along the top and bottom edge making the phone appear sleeker with a simple bumper top and bottom. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the camera appears to have been enlarged along with a raised lens bevel.
Photographs leaked some weeks ago show that the headphone jack has been eliminated in favour of a second speaker. This begs the question; will Apple vary slightly from the past and launch three models? Could one have two speakers and a second offering have one speaker and the headphone jack? Certainly, there will be many people most noticeably those using their phone for entertainment whilst exercising or travelling that will rue the elimination of the headphone jack unless the wireless headphones have also undergone an evolutionary uplift.
One rumour that seems to be more fact that rumour is that Apple will be eliminating the entry level 16GB offering and starting with a 32GB entry level unit. The lack of storage capacity at the entry level, and after all this is where Apple hopes to snare its future long-term customers, has long been a complaint and the shortage of storage space messages that regularly popped up definitely detracted from the iPhone experience. Not even utilising the iCloud or other cloud services could make up for the irritation of not being able to store all your music, apps and clips at will. Perhaps for iPhone users that live in major metropolitan areas, the iCloud would be a viable alternative but for hundreds of thousands of users, worldwide, that either live in or pass through areas with intermittent or negligible cell coverage, this is not an option all.
Another persistent whisper is that the iPhone7 will have improved water resistance. This cannot be an issue to many iPhone users who have lost valuable information after being caught in a rain shower or had the phone tipped into water by a playful toddler! The on-line news site, DigiTimes, reported that Catcher Technologies will be supplying water resistant cover components for the iPhone 7. Should this be true, then one could assume that the phone will also be dust resistant; a boon to all users having outdoor jobs.
Wireless charging is another rumour that has stayed the course. This technology which allows a phone to be charged, without a physical connection, when the phone and charger and placed very close together, has been around for a while and is supported by Samsung, Nokia and Google. Apple phones can make use of the current technology with the addition of an adaptor and a wireless charger but the scuttlebutt infers that this technology will come built in to the new release.
A rumour that belongs way back on the burner is the addition of a Smart Connector similar to that found on the iPad Pro. Some photographs that have appeared on the net seem to indicate the 7S will come equipped with a Smart Connector but this is extremely vague at this time.
Rumours persist that the screens will move from LCD to OLED technology but more reliable sources indicate that the screen will not be ready for shipment in time for the 7 range and may be kept back for the release scheduled for 2017.
Android phones have come with 3GB or 4GB of RAM in their flagship models and it seems that Apple intend to move from their long-held view that 1GB will be enough. Expect to see significant improvements in memory in the 7 and 7S.
Well respected analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, has indicated that in his opinion the 4.7inch iPhone 7 will have enhanced camera functionality but will not have the purported dual lens cameras. The 5.5inch iPhone 7S will carry dual lens iSight cameras along with 3GB Ram to process the images captured. They will also have limited optical zoom provided by the recent Apple purchase, LinX Imaging.
The iconic home button may also disappear, replaced by Force Touch technology that opens the screen with fingerprint recognition. DigitalTrends website states, “Rumour has it that the capacitive home button will support tap-based app shortcuts and gestures for summoning Siri and pulling up a list of running apps, among other functions.” Kuo also gives credence to the belief that 3D Touch has been developed for the iPhone 7 along with further integration into iOS 10.
In line with Apple’s evolution it is certain the battery life on the new release will be improved. Apple’s battery life has never been extraordinary and it is likely to have been an area that has been worked upon. Battery technology has moved forward astronomically in recent years driven by the reusable energy industries so it is certain that Apple has made full use of new developments in this area.
As has been expounded throughout, it is anticipated that this will be evolution rather than revolution. Revolution would mean expensive retooling of many business systems in enterprises all over the world as the Smartphone is an integral component of many business platforms and Apple is very aware that this expensive retooling could result in the iPhone 7 being rejected in favour of keeping the iPhone 6 or 6S thus causing a significant dip in sales.