Last year Apple was criticised for building a £600 smartphone that bends in owners’ pockets, but now it seems that with the iPhone 7 it may try to turn that weakness into a strength. While Apple has not confirmed reports pegging its existence, the alleged iPhone 7 continues to make rounds over the headlines, as current details suggest its premium and durable hardware.
Design has always been one of Apple’s strongest specialties, but the scandalous “Bendgate” may not be forgotten in the mists of time just yet. Videos questioning the iPhone 6 Plus’ credibility as a durable hardware went viral, and now we’re up to wonder how the next iteration of the iconic smartphone series can become. In a recent article, International Business Times wrote that the iPhone 7 is rumored to use a material called the 7000 Series. This is known to be the same aluminum material utilized for the Apple Watch Sport Edition.
According to IBT, the Cupertino giant reportedly “holds an exclusive license” over the special Liquidmetal, a technology developed by Atakan Peker. Should the alloy apply to the next iPhone, prospects can expect products that are “lighter, slimmer, and stronger.”
As cited by MacRumors, the 7000 Series is 60 percent stronger than most aluminum. It is known to be a third of stainless steel’s density. Finally, it is said to have “a bright, lustrous color and a uniform structure free of defects and impurities.”
That sounds premium.
Meanwhile, a recently-surfacing pattern cited by the AppleInsider suggests that the iPhone 7 will arrive with a setup that features both wide-angle and telephoto cameras. The patent, first filed in Oct. 2013, was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In simple terms, Apple is said to probe on possible methods of conveniently fitting two cameras in a single device.
AppleInsider describes, “Apple’s invention proposes a separate small format telephoto camera be used in conjunction with a normal-to-wide angle camera like those found in current iPhone models.”
“Considering physical restrictions and the current state of imaging technology, a dual-camera implementation would likely yield higher quality images than a comparable single-lens system with integrated optical zoom,” the outlet added.
Most apparently, the mention of dual-camera technology rings a bell to followers, as the iPhone 7 is long-rumored to pack a DSLR-like shooter. The Ecumenical News is convinced that Apple could either layer one camera underneath the other or line them side-by-side.
The rest of the alleged device’s specs and features likewise speak of might. In terms of display, the iPhone 7 is touted to come with a 4.7-inch screen, similar to the iPhone 6, Day Herald wrote. The handset’s processor is expected to be the advanced A9 chip, coupled by 2 GB of RAM.
The iPhone 7 is predicted to launch in September, The Inquirer noted. With regards to cost, the outlet says it may be priced “similarly to last year’s iPhone 6.”
Again, these details are still best taken with healthy pinches of salt, as we wait for more official word from Tim Cook and company.
More iPhone 7 rumours
Few high-profile design changes: Having come up with an all-new aesthetic for the iPhone 6, Apple is unlikely to alter the look and feel of the handset for the next update. Changes to the operating system and upgrades for individual components will take centre-stage, assuming Apple follows its usual pattern of product releases. “It’s likely the update will focus on internal improvements rather than a new external look,” says MacRumors. However, this prediction may be off the table if it turns out that Apple is abandoning plans for an iPhone 6S and is moving straight to the iPhone 7 (see below)
New aluminium frame: Although the design is unlikely to change substantially, it may be built from a new material. According to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Apple is planning to make use of the “Series 7000″ aluminium alloy it developed for the Apple Watch on its smartphones too. The metal is “designed to be 60 per cent stronger than most aluminum, and one-third the density of stainless steel, while still maintaining a light weight”, MacRumors says.
Higher-resolution screen: When Apple launched the iPhone 4 in June 2010, it said the “Retina” screen provided the maximum resolution perceptible to the human eye. Nevertheless, it stepped up the screen resolution for the iPhone 6 Plus, boosting pixels per inch from 326 to 401 for its supersized smartphone and describing the new screen as a “Retina HD Display”. The 4.7-inch model retained the 326ppi screen, but reports from China quoting supply chain sources suggest that the smaller version of the iPhone 7 may get a screen that’s slightly larger and significantly sharper. “The iPhone 7 could very well sport a five-inch screen with 400ppi resolution,” says IT Pro, summarising the reports. Changing the size of the screen would be an unusual step for the first upgrade following a major redesign, but if reports prove correct that Apple is accelerating a substantial package of upgrades for this year’s new mode (see below), then this could be among them.
Samsung chips: It may be all change under the skin too, if reports that Samsung will be making the iPhone 6S or 7 processors proves correct. Bloomberg quotes “people with direct knowledge of the matter” who say that Samsung has regained its monopoly on Apple’s chip business. Last year it lost part of the contract to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Dual-lens camera: In February rumours emerged that the camera could be in line for a substantial overhaul. John Gruber of Daring Fireball, a respected source of Apple information, said he has heard that the iPhone 7 might get “the biggest camera jump ever”. He added: “I don’t even know what sense this makes, but I’ve heard that it’s some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery.” That vague suggestion has now been largely discredited, as adding a second lens to the rear of the camera would require a thorough redesign of the handset chassis, and that’s unlikely so soon after the all-new iPhone 6 was released (see above).
3-D camera: Another long-shot, but not entirely out of the question. Apple has recently snapped up an Israeli-based company called LinX, which specialises in high-tech camera sensors. That, according to Business Insider, could have a dramatic effect on the camera capability of the iPhone 7. “LinX’s technology won’t only enable the iPhone to take better, sharper images – it could also allow the phone to capture three-dimensional photos, eliminate an annoying aesthetic problem where the cameras on the latest iPhones stick out, and solve a bunch of other problems.” Having spent $20m acquiring the company, Apple is likely to be looking for ways to capitalise on the technology it now owns – but whether it makes it into the iPhone 7 may well depend on when that handset comes out. If it comes out this year then it’s unlikely that Apple would get a LinX camera unit into production in time, but if as initially believed, the iPhone 7 is scheduled for 2016, that might allow enough time.
Better image stabilisation: This seems a better bet. Apple often updates the spec of its cameras the year after introducing an all-new phone, and a patent filing suggests that the company is trying to work out how it can bring optical image stabilisation to a smartphone. The technology it describes in the patent application involves “an image sensor and a zoom lens assembly including a plurality of movable lens elements arranged to be moved independent of one another”. The challenge will be miniaturising the system so that it would fit into the iPhone frame, but few would bet against some kind of boost the the iPhone 6S’s photographic prowess.
The demise of the iPhone 5C: When Apple introduced the multi-coloured iPhone 5C in 2014, it was seen as a bit to broaden the appeal of the phone beyond the premium market. However, sales figures for the 5C have been disappointing, while the high-end iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been runaway successes. It therefore seems likely that Apple will kill off its sub-prime plastic handset – but keep on the aluminium-framed iPhone 5S to cater for customers who still want a four-inch smartphone.
iPhone 6S or 7 price: There is no word yet on the likely cost of the next iPhone, but we can be sure that it will be at least as expensive as the existing model. That means an entry level price of £539 for a 16GB, 4.7-inch model, and £619 for the 5.5-inch plus model. However, prices may be even higher if Apple follows Samsung’s lead. The latter has priced the Galaxy S6 Edge at £760, which may tempt Apple to push up its own prices and profit margins.
A built-in Sim card: This is already in use on the iPad, but is likely to be resisted by Apple’s mobile network partners. Building a Sim card into the body of the iPhone 6S would allow engineers to save valuable space within the handset’s chassis, allowing them either to slim down the frame, make the battery bigger or add new components such as a second rear-facing camera lens (see above). In theory it would also allow customers to switch more easily between mobile network providers, but in practice it’s likely that the networks would restrict that facility.
More powerful processor: In January a Taiwanese tech news website reported that sources in the Apple supply chain had revealed that the iPhone 6S would have 2GB of Ram, twice what’s available in the iPhone 6. It seemed like a credible claim given that Apple often upgrades processor chips the year after it releases an all-new iPhone design, and it has since been backed up by similar reports from other sources. AppleInsider reported last week that its own inside man has confirmed that the new phones will go on sale with a 2GB chip. “Additional Ram would allow iOS to leave background tasks and tabs in Safari open for longer without a need to reload or refresh,” it says. “But additional RAM can also come with costs to battery life, as memory constantly consumes power.”
Waterproof casing and components: Another patent application filed by Apple shows that the company is working on ways to waterproof its devices, although it’s not clear whether the technology will be ready in time to make a debut on the iPhone 6S. According to the patent documents, Apple is not planning to rely on sealed phone casings, but will instead coat individual electric components within the iPhone with a water-repellant film.
Sapphire crystal display: Persistent rumours and reports suggested that the last iPhone would benefit from a sapphire crystal screen coating – and immensely strong glass-like substance that is highly scratch resistance – but in the end it never materialised. Reports suggest that Apple and its suppliers had trouble manufacturing sufficient quantities to equip the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but already the rumour mill is chattering about the prospect of a sapphire crystal iPhone 7. That may be wishful thinking, but one thing is confirmed: the company is planning to use sapphire crystal for the Apple Watch, which is due this spring.
Improved TouchID sensor: The company has big plans for Apple Pay, the payment system that it hopes will take the place of credit and debit cards for in-store transactions. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company is preparing “a better and and safer Apple Pay user experience by reducing reading errors” of its fingerprint scanner. That may also help to allay security fears as British banks give customers the option to sign in to their accounts using TouchID.
Pretty in pink: one aesthetic change we can expect is a new colour added to the iPhone 6S palette, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper has spoken to a source who has confirmed that the next model will keep the same screen sizes as the currrent phone, but will be available in pink as well as black, white and gold. In formulating the particular shade of pink, Apple seems more likely to follow the lead of the rose gold Apple Watch rather than the candy-bright iPhone 5C
A trade-in scheme for non iPhone users: iPhone owners are already able to trade in old phones for the latest models, and now Apple is planning to extend the offer to owners of smartphones made by other companies. “Apple will soon introduce a new recycling and trade-in program that will accept non-Apple smartphones, notably including Android and BlackBerry devices, in exchange for gift cards to be used toward the purchase of new iPhones,” reports 9to5Mac.com. The program is designed to encourage more people to make the switch to Apple, in the hope of developing long-term customers.
Source from here.