As always, Apple Inc. remains highly secretive about its next iPhone. At this point, it’s still unclear whether the company will release the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 or both this year. Going by the Cupertino company’s annual upgrade cycle, we can expect to see the iPhone 6S this year. But a recent report from Know Your Mobile claims that the tech giant will launch both devices in 2015: the iPhone 6S would arrive alongside the Apple Watch in April, followed by the iPhone 7 in September or October.
Though there are still no tangible leaks about the iPhone 7, the Cupertino company’s recent patents could offer clues about the next-gen model’s specs. So, based on patents, here is the list of features that we can see in the next iPhone.
In May 2014, the U.S. Patent & Trademarks Office granted Apple a patent for “Electronic devices with sidewall display.” If the feature gets incorporated into the future iPhones, the devices will have side displays, just like Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. ’s Galaxy Note Edge. The edge displays would be an extension of the main screen.
Accident-free button simply means that it would help prevent accidental inputs. Last year, the iPhone maker was awarded a patent for “Configurable buttons for electronic devices.” The patent describes a physical button with a touch sensor that would recognize when a user’s finger, rather than any other object, is touching it. Buttons highlighted in the patent include volume, menu, sleep, power, and other physical buttons that are prone to accidental inputs.
Last month, Apple scored a patent that could transform the way we use technology. The visual control technology could track your eye movement to control UI elements. The gaze-based control system uses a built-in camera to track the user’s eye movement and how these movements relate to elements on the smartphone screen.
Apple has filed for a patent that describes a portable device that can control a vehicle by transmitting an activation code including vehicle access credentials. That means you may soon be able to use your iPhone to unlock your car. This technology uses Bluetooth to connect the smartphone to your car.
In December, Apple won a patent that describes a device control using face detection and recognition. Latest iPhones and iPads allow you to unlock your device using fingerprint, thanks to the TouchID sensor. This patent may replace TouchID in the future iPhones, making your face your password.
Last month, Apple was granted a patent that could allow the company to make the future iPhones and iPads with flexible display (no, we are not talking about Bendgate). A smartphone with flexible body will be more resistant to impacts from accidental drops.