iPhone 7: The top 11 possible new features and how likely they are
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 7 at the beginning of September. The next generation of its flagship handset is expected to have a host of new features, including a better camera, faster processor and no headphone jack.
As the Silicon Valley giant prepares to unveil the devices on the week beginning September 5, we take a look at some of the top features the iPhone 7 could have and the likelihood that they will be introduced.
1. Better camera
Rumours surrounding the iPhone 7 have consistently shown the handset with an upgraded, bigger camera. Some images have hinted that the iPhone 7 Plus will have a dual-lens camera, and the smaller 4.7-inch handset a much larger, protruding camera lens. The upgraded camera is likely to be one of the biggest draws of the new phone.
2. Removing the home button
It has been suggested that Apple will completely remove the home button on the iPhone 7, replacing it with a fingerprint scanner under the screen. The company recently filed a patent for technology that would facilitate this change, indicating that it is in the works. But is not likely to be ready in time for the iPhone 7's release.
Instead, the iPhone 7 will probably have a pressure sensitive home button that works like the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus' "3D Touch" display. Bloomberg confirmed that the change, which would see the physical switch home button replaced with haptic feedback technology, is on its way. The suggestion is also supported by a raft of changes to the iPhone's home screen coming in iOS 10, the latest version of Apple's mobile software that is due to ship with the phone.
3. Ditching the headphone jack
Another very consistent rumour surrounding the iPhone 7 is that Apple will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack. The potentially controversial decision will render millions of users' headphones obsolete as the company forces a shift towards wireless headphones or those that connect to the phone's Lightning port. Bidding adieu to the 50-year-old jack would allow Apple to make the iPhone 7 1mm slimmer than the iPhone 6s.
Given its history of dropping outdated technologies from its devices, including the laptop DVD drive, removable phone batteries and Adobe Flash, we can expect that the Silicon Valley giant will take the plunge on this one.
4. Waterproof iPhone
Apple has left clues in the iOS 10 beta that suggest the iPhone 7 could be waterproof. A new feature in the software tells users not to plug the iPhone’s Lightning charging cable in when liquid has been detected. It has been pointed out that the feature bears a resemblance to those that manufacturers who have launched waterproof phones have included.
5. Fast charging
Technology that lets smartphones gain hours of use in just minutes of charging could be added to the iPhone 7, according to Twitter user the Malignant. The boosted charging would introduce "five volt two amp charging", essentially doubling the electrical currents in the iPhone 6s.
While some manufacturers, including Samsung and Huawei, are already using fast charging, there has only been the one rumour suggesting the iPhone 7 will come with the technology - so it should be taken with a pinch of salt.
6. Bigger battery
Leaked images have suggested that the iPhone 7 will have a 1735 mAH capacity battery and the iPhone 7 Plus a 2810 mAH one - up from 1715 mAH and 2750 mAH respectively. Battery life remains one of the biggest complaints that users have against the iPhone. To address this, Apple introduced a "Low Power Mode" in iOS 9. Now a hardware upgrade could be on the cards as the company inches towards a longer battery life in its devices.
7. Faster processor
The next installment of the iPhone series, which could be even more powerful than the high-speed iPad Pro, is expected to run on a new A10 chip that could be 50 per cent faster than the current A9X, with 3GB of RAM and a 2.37GHZ processor. Numerous sources have suggested that the phone will have 3GB of RAM, where the current model has 2GB.
8. Third "Pro" model
Apple first released two versions of its iPhone at the same time in 2013 when it unveiled the iPhone 5s alongside the more affordable iPhone 5c. Since then it has released two new handsets a year - in 2014 launching the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s with the 5.5-inch 6s Plus. This year the company could go one step further and release three versions of the handset.
Rumours suggest the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus could be launched along with a high-end "iPhone 7 Pro" that will have a dual-lens camera. It is not clear if Apple will release three versions, or if the 7 Plus model will be the device that has a dual camera. The company could have been testing both the dual- and single-lens cameras for the 5.5-inch device, hence the multiple leaked images.
9. Different colours
The release of a "Rose Gold" version of the iPhone last year proved extremely popular, as the gold did when it was first introduced with the 5s back in 2013. Given that the upcoming roster of handsets could look fairly similar to the last two generations, Apple may release a new set of colours to entice its customers to upgrade.
Leaks and artist renditions have suggested that the iPhone 7 could come in "Space Black" and "Deep Blue" as well as gold, silver, rose gold and space grey.
10. Retina scanner
Apple could up the biometric security features on the iPhone 7 by introducing a retina scanner or face recognition software. The company hasn't made any significant changes to its biometric technology since it launched "Touch ID" in 2013 with the iPhone 5s. Apple competitors have started experimenting with more biometric features, such as the retina scanner on Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 and the selfie login in Microsoft's Windows 10 anniversary update.
There haven't however been any rumours that suggest either feature is coming to the iPhone 7.
11. Return to the all-glass iPhone
Moving away from the aluminium case back to an all-glass one would be a drastic redesign for Apple. The chances of it happening one day are fairly high, and one of the manufacturing companies Apple works closely with has been developing an all-glass case for smartphones.
But it is very unlikely that the iPhone 7 will be the handset Apple chooses to revert with. Instead it will probably save such a change for the 10 year anniversary edition of the iPhone, due to be released in 2017.