New iPhone rumours: Leaked photos show Apple to release 'iPhone Pro'
Reports have been circulating that alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is planning to reveal a secondary handset with dual cameras, dubbed the iPhone Pro, in September.
The rumoured iPhone Pro will sport a dual-lens camera and a magnetic smart connector, first seen on the iPad Pro, leaked pictures claim.
The dual lens system would involve one wide angle lens and one telephoto lens, capable of taking individual shots and merging them together into a single, composite image, according to a patent filed by Apple last June and granted this January.
While pictures of what is purported to be the iPhone 7 depict a circular lens flush with the handset's aluminium body, a picture of what could be the iPhone Pro details a pill-shaped enclosure designed for two lenses.
The new image, first posted to Chinese site Bastille Post and reported by rumour site Macrumours, backs up reports Apple is planning to redesign the horizontal plastic antenna strips which run across the width of the handset's top and bottom, instead running only along the edges.
It also appears to show three circular dots on the handset's rear, which is highly likely to be a form of magnetic smart connector first used to connect the iPad Pro to its smart keyboard - hence why the name iPhone Pro could be a nod to its large iPad origins.
The presence of a smart connector on the iPhone Pro could indicate a new type of protective case, which could attach magnetically on the phone's back.
The Chinese site claims Apple is planning to increase the maximum storage of the model, expected to be released in September, from 128GB to 256GB.
iPhone customisation company Feld & Volk has created its own renderings of how the new features may appear on the finished model - which also fails to show a 3.5mm headphone jack.
One of the most persistent iPhone 7 rumours surrounds the removal of the jack in an effort to make the device marginally slimmer.
The decision to remove the headphone jack would prove a controversial one. The company would presumably include new wireless headphones with the new handset, or a pair of headphones which connect to the phone through a lightning connector. Third parties have been able to create lightning connector headphones since June 2014 when Apple extended its Made-for-iPhone licensing programme.
This rumour appeared to be further confirmed following the publication of images obtained by @OnLeaks claiming to be of a transparent plastic case designed for the iPhone 7, minus a dedicated hole for the headphone jack.
The next generation handset will be as thin as the current iPod touch - between 6mm and 6.5mm thick - according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. The current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are 6.9mm and 7.1mm thick respectively. This would suggest that Apple is planning to stick with cell panel display technology over glass screens.
The iPhone 7, slated for release in September, represents an important moment in Apple's history. The company has reportedly slashed production levels of the iPhone 6s and partner unit the 6s Plus by a third amid fears of slowing demand for the 'fallow year' s models, despite initial sales of more than 13 million units within three days of availability.
The iPhone 7 will have to contain more innovative hardware changes to persuade legions of fans to buy it, as developing markets reach increasing levels of saturation as the economy shifts from a buy to an upgrade cycle.
In the meantime, the Californian company is rumoured to be preparing to showcase a new 4-inch iPhone, believed to be called the iPhone SE, a new 9.7-inch downscaled iPad Pro and new straps for the Apple Watch on March 21.