iPhone 7 rumours: Apple handset to feature 'pressure-sensitive' home button
Published 09/08/2016 | 09:02
Apple is gearing up to release the latest generation of the iPhone next month, which could feature a pressure-sensitive home button and come with headphones that connect to the Lightning port.
The iPhone 7 is likely to be unveiled in early September at Apple's annual event, before going on sale later in the month.
Pressure-sensitive home button
The new devices will have an all-new home button that works like the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus' "3D Touch" display, according to Bloomberg.
Rather than being a switch that users have to physically press, the phones will use haptic feedback in a similar way to the latest MacBook track pads and the iPhone 6s' "3D Touch" feature. Having a button with haptic feedback, rather than a physical button, could allow Apple to make the phone bigger.
The suggestion follows the announcement of a raft of changes coming to the iPhone's lock screen in iOS 10, the latest version of Apple's mobile software that is expected to be released along with the next iPhone. Apple has removed "Swipe to unlock" and revamped the lock screen, making it easier for users to access their devices immediately without having to go through the unlock process.
Three new iPhones with better cameras
A video claiming to show leaked iPhone 7 handsets posted by YouTube user Bshop Kuwa suggests Apple will release an additional third phone in September that is anticipated to be a high-end version of the other two, and could be called the "iPhone 7 Pro".
The most significant difference between the "Plus" and "Pro" handsets appears to be the camera, with the extra phone having a dual-lens camera on the back.
Bloomberg reports that the forthcoming phones will have more advanced cameras, and expects the 5.5-inch version to have a dual-lens camera.
The most recent images corroborate suggestions that the next iPhone will have a much larger camera that is closer to the top left corner of the device, and antenna strips on the edges of the phone rather than across the back.
Apple has never released three versions of a handset at once before. Even if the leaked images depict real Apple designs, it could be that they have been testing both the dual- and single-lens cameras for the plus-sized 5.5-inch phone and that they will only release one of them.
As MacRumours points out, the iPhones have the model number A1429 that identifies a version the the iPhone 5 in the company's numbering system. That means the devices could well be mock-ups and the company may not release all three in September.
All-new Lightning EarPods
Another video of leaked images appears to confirm previous rumours that Apple is removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, allowing it to shave an extra 1mm off the width of the phone. The controversial decision to remove the port, which has been a staple on the device since its inception, appears to be going ahead.
The video, posted by YouTube user MobileFunTV, shows a set of Lightning EarPods that have the same plug as the current iPhone's charger. The new headphones resemble earlier leaked pictures and could be released with a new handset that doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone port.
What is the iPhone 6se?
Separate rumours have suggested that Apple is holding back radical new features for the tenth anniversary edition of the phone, due for release in 2017. Recent reports have suggested that the company could call the upcoming device the iPhone 6se, reflecting the fact that it features iterative changes rather than a redesign of the current handset.
There is a wide consensus that the September phones will look very similar to the iPhone 6s, but with the antenna bands moved to the edges, a larger camera, and no 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple may also ditch the 16GB size and increase the phone's battery size.
The news is in line with Apple's launch of the iPhone SE last March, which was an upgraded version of the smaller iPhone 5s.
Faster Apple Watch
As well as the all-new iPhones, Apple is rumoured to have developed an upgraded Apple Watch, which will also be released in September.
According Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected Apple analyst from KGI Securities, the company will launch two new Watches in September: a second generation of the device, as well as an incremental refresh of the current Watch.
Both Watches are expected to have faster processors and be more waterproof. The bigger changes will be reserved for the Apple Watch 2, which Kuo said will have GPS capability, a barometre and a larger battery. It will probably look similar to the current Watch and will have the same screen size and thickness.
Kuo doesn't expect the Watch 2 to have mobile connectivity or 4G.
The updated version of the current model will have a faster processor and be more waterproof, but won't have the additional features, according to Kuo. As with the iPhone, Apple is expected to be holding back any major Watch design changes until next year. These could include a front facing camera and independence from the iPhone.
The Silicon Valley giant is expected to release the new range of devices on September 16, according to prominent leaker Evan Blass.