We won’t know exactly what Apple has in store for its next iPhone until September.
Even though that’s still about five months away, various leaks and notes from analysts have painted a picture of what we might be able to expect from the successor to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Based on what we’ve heard, it sounds as if the changes will focus more on enhancing features like the camera rather than redesigning the phone’s appearance.
The next iPhone may be so significantly different from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus that Apple could call it the iPhone 7, not the iPhone 6s. At least that’s what Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI Securities believes, which he wrote in a note earlier this month.
Kuo also believes Apple will stick to the sizes it introduced in September and will offer the next iPhone in 4.7- and 5.5-inch variants.
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The Taiwanese publication Digitimes reports that Apple is planning to release three iPhones: a 4.7-inch phone, a 5.5-inch model, and a new 4-inch iPhone. It’s unclear how this 4-inch phone would fit into Apple’s iPhone lineup and how it would be branded. Digitimes also has a mixed track record, so this report may be bogus.
Apple is reportedly testing a new pink color option for iPhones, according to The Wall Street Journal. There’s no indication that this will ever come to the market, but if Apple is actually experimenting with a new color, we could see it on the next iPhone.
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One of the more plausible rumors seems to be that the next iPhone’s camera will get a big improvement. Blogger John Gruber said he heard that the next iPhone would have the “biggest camera jump ever.” Apple also recently acquired the Israel-based camera company LinX for an estimated $20 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. LinX’s technology could reduce noise and help the iPhone take clearer photos in low-light conditions, among other improvements, according to an analyst note from Macquarie Research.
In fact, LinX’s technology may even allow you to add 3D effects to photos taken with the iPhone, according to the note from Macquarie. Specifically, the note says it could enable “3D object modeling” and that the next iPhone could come with a “duo camera.” This essentially means the phone would come with more than one camera sensor so it could capture depth-of-field images. This sounds a lot like the camera on the HTC One M8.
The next iPhone will come with Apple’s Force Touch technology that made its debut in the new MacBook and Apple Watch, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The Force Touch technology in the so-called iPhone 7 will be different from what is in Apple’s other recent products, Kuo said. He doesn’t think it will detect pressure like the sensor in the new MacBook’s trackpad, but rather it will sense “contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is.”
Apple usually upgrades the processor in its iPhones, so we will most likely see some performance improvements in the next iPhone. We have yet to hear any rumors or insight on exactly what types of enhancements to expect, but Bloomberg reported that Apple has chosen Samsung over Taiwan Semiconductor to produce its new iPhone chips.
Apple’s new iPhones always ship with the latest software, so the iPhone 7 (or whatever it’s called) will come with iOS 9 preinstalled. We expect to learn more about iOS 9 in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference.
One of the biggest rumors surrounding iOS 9 is that it will come with Apple’s much anticipated music service powered by Beats Music. The streaming music service is said to cost $7.99 a month and will let you play any song on demand as Spotify does. Apple is reportedly trying to court artists like Taylor Swift and Florence and the Machine to release exclusive tracks on its platform.