The iPhone 6 is here, but what about the iPhone 7? We look ahead to Apple’s plans for 2015.
It may seem a little premature, but you’ll be surprised at how much speculation there is about the iPhone 7 already. The iPhone 6 (and the bigger iPhone 6 Plus) in September of 2014, but in 2015 we’re likely to get the next generation iPhone. But what will the iPhone 7 (or perhaps iPhone 6S or simply new iPhone) be like? And when will the iPhone 7 come out? We round up the evidence to bring you everything there is to know about the iPhone 7 so far.
The first thing we’ll address here is the name of the next iPhone. If Apple sticks to its traditional naming conventions, then it’s more likely that the 2015 iPhone will be called the iPhone 6S instead of the iPhone 7.
However, it’s been rumoured for a few years now that Apple is considering dropping the ‘S’ naming convention, as it’s beginning to be perceived negatively. After all, it does make it seem like it’s not a completely new device, but rather a stepping stone to the next iPhone.
We won’t know until Apple confirms it, of course.
Another option is that the iPhone 7 will be called the iPhone Air.
Again, if Apple sticks to its traditions, we can expect the iPhone 7 to arrive in September 2015. However, it’s possible and widely speculated that Apple will chose to begin releasing new iPhones twice a year, to help it keep up with the ever growing and ever improving competition.
We expect that the iPhone 7 will have a screen size of at least 4.7in, as that’s the size Apple chose for the iPhone 6’s display. It’s unlikely that Apple will go back on its decision to make a bigger iPhone, so it’ll stick to 4.7in or make it even bigger. Of course, there is already the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5in screen, so it’s more likely that Apple will stick with those two sizes for a year or two yet.
You can also expect a camera boost, wireless charging features (they didn’t arrive with the iPhone 6 as some had predicted, but were introduced to the Apple Watch as inductive charging), an A9 processor and iOS 9.
What you shouldn’t expect, though, is a design that’s different from the iPhone 6. Apple usually keeps the same design for two generations of the iPhone, so the new, slimmer, lighter and rounder design of the iPhone 6 is expected to carry over to the iPhone 7, too.
However, if Apple does decide to go for a new design for the iPhone 7, we actually think it could be thicker than the iPhone 6, with what Apple calls “sidewall displays.”
Apple has published a patent relating to such displays, which 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 the slide to unlock functionality, music player controls, messaging readout, caller ID, system controls and more.
Concept by Michael Shanks
It’s also possible that Apple will use different materials to make the iPhone 7 more durable. Before the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were unveiled there was speculation that Apple would use Sapphire glass for the display and Liquidmetal for the chassis. Apple’s Sapphire plant in Arizona could be used to manufacture 200 million 5in iPhone displays per year, according to reports. Apple is already using sapphire in the display of the Apple Watch.
Sapphire glass is more durable than Gorilla Glass, so could be an ideal material to use for the bigger display.
Liquidmetal is also said to be being used as it is more durable than aluminium, and therefore can be used in smaller quantities to be as strong as the metal used for Apple’s current iPhones. This would enable Apple to keep the bigger iPhone light and thin, despite the bigger screen.
Plus, removing the bezels in the bigger iPhone to create an edge-to-edge display would mean Apple could introduce a bigger display without the need to increase the overall size of the iPhone too much.
It’s also possible that Apple will bring some other elements of the technology used in the Apple Watch to the iPhone 7. For example, the Apple Watch’s display can detect finger pressure, so the iPhone 7’s display (or perhaps just a portion of it) could be capable of doing the same.
In August 2014, rumours about a new iPhone charger emerged, suggesting that the USB part of the charger could be reversible, just like the Lightning connector is.
A video showing what’s believed to be a new charger for a future with a reversible fully reversible USB Lightning cable emerged on the web earlier in 2014. It shows the USB being plugged in to the adapter both ways, in the same way that the Lightning connector itself is reversible.
Looking closer at Apple’s patent portfolio, we can come up with some further iPhone 7 features that could well be on the cards for 2015. Face recognition could be used to unlock the device, and/or the entire display of the iPhone 7 could be a TouchID fingerprint sensor, eliminating the need for a Home Button and making room for a larger display.
Take a look at out Apple patent round-up for more features that Apple is investigating for future products.
We’ll be updating this article with more iPhone 7 information as we get it. As soon as 2015 arrives, expect iPhone 7 rumours to begin flowing in thick and fast.