iPhone 7 latest news: Chinese demand for iPhone 7 falls
The rise of domestic brands hurts Apple
Latest iPhone 7 news
After months of speculation, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have finally been unveiled.
At a launch event in San Francisco, Apple announced a range of new features for its latest flagship smartphone – and confirming several rumours in the process.
The iPhone 7 will sport a new pressure-sensitive Home button that uses haptic feedback to provide users with a vibration when pressed – the same technology that can be found on the latest MacBook laptops.
Another persistent rumour was also confirmed: the iPhone 7 does indeed lose the headphone jack.
Instead, the smartphones will come packaged with EarPods that connect via the Lightning Port. Users will still be able to connect traditional headphones, though, as an adapter is also provided in the box.
Wireless AirPods will also be available from Apple at an extra cost. These provide five hours of listening time from each charge and allow the user to interact with Siri via dual microphones.
The cameras also receive upgrades, providing more detailed images and improved colours. The 4.7-inch model sports a new 12MP sensor and an improved 7MP front-facing camera.
The rear camera’s performance is also significantly better than that of the iPhone 6S, with the wide-aperture lens allowing 50 percent more light in. It is also 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient.
The 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus boasts a 12MP dual-camera setup, consisting of one wide angle lens and one telephoto lens and providing much-improved zoom functionality.
Both handsets are capable of 4K video recording.
In terms of handset design, the iPhone 7 doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor. Apple has, however, added two new colours to the range: matte black and glossy black.
Also confirming previous rumours, the antenna bands have been moved from the back of the device – instead being positioned along the edges.
Apple also says that battery life on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be the best yet – providing an estimated two hours more charge than the iPhone 6s and one hour longer than the 6S Plus.
The smartphone will also include a new Apple A10 Fusion processor, providing increased speed of up to 40 percent and superior graphics performance.
The handsets are also water resistant in up to a metre of water for up to 30 minutes and storage begins at 32GB.
Apple Special Event confirmed for 7 September
The launch of the iPhone 7 could be just ten days away.
Apple has confirmed its 2016 Special Event will take place on 7 September in San Francisco. Typically, Apple has used its special events to launch its new flagship iPhone, which this year is expected to be the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
It is also thought the Apple Watch 2 could launch on 7 September at the Special Event, as well as a new iMac, MacBook and iPad Mini.
You can find out more about what is expected at the Apple Special Event September 2016 from our sister site, IT Pro, which will also be covering the event live.
iPhone 7 to include headphone adapter?
New images and video footage claiming to be of the iPhone 7 depicts what is said to be a 3.5mm adapter for the Lightning port.
Rumours claiming Apple will be ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack on the upcoming flagship have persisted for months and recent talk had turned to the possible inclusion of an adapter. This latest “leak” appears to add weight to both of those suggestions.
According to Mac Rumors, the adapter reportedly originated from a Foxconn factory in Vietnam – and the author of the original report believes the accessory “could be a genuine Apple adapter.”
The website notes that the accessory’s cord is short and resembles other adapters already offered by Apple – such as the USB-C to USB and Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet variations.
The adapter reportedly appears to work when connected to a device running an iOS10 beta – but displays an incompatibility message when used on a handset running iOS 9 or below.
It is also claimed that when headphones and the adapter are both connected to a current iPhone model, the device will prioritise the Lightning port over the standard jack.
Mac Rumors also notes that, despite the design fitting with Apple’s other products, the accessory could well be a third-party offering.
Tech Times also expresses some doubt, pointing out that the Lightning connector doesn’t appear to be “centred correctly” in the photos and looks uneven in its sheath.
All is set to be revealed in September, however, with Apple rumoured to be releasing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on Friday 16th September.
iPhone 7 to include pressure sensitive Home button
The iPhone 7 is widely expected to be release next month and the latest reports suggest that the handset will sport a pressure-sensitive Home button.
Citing sources “familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reports that the follow-up to the 6S and 6S Plus will feature a button that responds to pressure rather than a traditional click.
It is explained that the button will make use of haptic feedback in a similar way to that of the trackpads on the latest MacBooks, allowing the button to be used for multiple purposes.
The website also confirms long-standing rumours that the larger iPhone 7 Plus will boast a dual-camera system and both variations will lose the headphone jack – instead using the additional space for a second speaker.
In terms of appearance, the sources also “confirm” that the smartphones will largely resemble the current 6S and 6S Plus design – but there will still be “noticeable tweaks.”
Screen sizes are set to stay the same as the current flagships (4.7in and 5.5in for the Plus model) and the two innermost antenna lines on the reverse of the handsets have been removed, Bloomberg reports.
According to a source that has tried out a prototype, new iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera will be capable of “brighter photos” and improved detail compared to its single-lens variant.
It is explained that the two sensors capture colour differently and simultaneously take a picture when the user presses the button. A single photo is then produced by merging the two variations.
The source adds that the camera provides sharper images in low-light environments and provides improved zoom capability.
September release for the iPhone 7?
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus could be released on Friday 16th September, according to the latest reports.
The information originates from previously reliable tipster Evan Blass who leaked the information via his Twitter account (@evleaks).
“iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th,” he said, before adding: “Just to clarify, this refers to the retail release, not the launch event. To be more specific, it should happen on Friday, Sept. 16th.”
The iPhone 5, 5s, 6 and 6s have all previously been released around mid-September time - with an announcement event held approximately two weeks beforehand.
This means that, if this leak is correct, Apple could make the announcement in early September.
9 to 5 Mac notes that a release date of 16th September would mark the earliest Autumn iPhone release to date – the previous being a September 19th release for the iPhone 6.
Based on previous Apple events and pre-order dates, the website also reasons that an announcement on 6th or 7th September – with pre-orders available from 9th - could be a distinct possibility due to said events typically being held on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Meanwhile, German website Apfelpage is reporting that Apple could name its upcoming smartphone the iPhone 6 SE rather than the iPhone 7.
The website says it gained the information from a Chinese supply chain source that claims to have seen packaging labelled with the name.
It could be a possibility: rumours to date have suggested an overall design very similar to the iPhone 6s, with Apple reportedly shelving major design changes for next year’s iteration.
New iPhone 7 images leak
A new image showing the upcoming iPhone 7 case has been published on French website Nowhereelse.fr.
The photo – possibly the clearest to date - shows the back of the handset and appears to back up previous design rumours.
As noted by Mac Rumors, the image appears to confirm previous 3D renders by NWE blogger Steve Hemmerstoffer that displayed repositioned antenna bands, a larger camera and an overall design that is similar to the iPhone 6S.
One particular element of the design is not clear from this latest photo: the headphone jack. Rumours have persisted that Apple will be removing the plug in favour of a Lightning port – but the bottom of the case is not shown in this latest image.
Other elements of the design also cannot be seen – such as the long-rumoured second speaker grille or pressure-sensitive Home button.
Meanwhile, U Switch is also reporting that a staff member at Foxconn – an iPhone 7 manufacturing partner – has shared a photo of the device’s camera modules.
The image – posted on social media – is said to have been taken in the “company’s canteen” and depicts a package of components with serial numbers and codes on the label.
The worker also claimed that ‘mass production has started’ in a tweet, according to the website.
It is unclear whether the camera parts in the photo are for the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus – but U Switch reasons that they do appear to be for a single lens camera (a rumoured feature of the non-Plus version).
Touch sensitive Home button for the iPhone 7?
The iPhone 7 could sport a touch-sensitive Home button.
Business Insider quotes analysts Cowen and Company as stating the upcoming Apple flagship will feature a “Force Touch Home button.”
The latest development appears to corroborate several previous reports that Apple will move away from its current physical Home button.
The report says that the new handset will use “Force Touch” technology and an internal motor within the device to simulate the effect of a depressed button.
9 to 5 Mac also reports that the new Home button “would provide a haptic feedback sensation” that would indicate to the user that the button has been pressed.
The website also raises the issue that the redesigned button would require Apple to introduce a new method of resetting the iPhone.
Users are currently able to restart their device by holding Home button simultaneously with the power button. This may not be possible without the physical option.
It is also noted that a new “Force Touch” Home button would eradicate movement caused by the current iteration – in turn reducing the likelihood of malfunction or damage.
Cowen and Company also further solidify claims that the new iPhone 7 will lose the 3.5mm headphone jack present on current models – a persistent rumour that’s been doing the rounds since early 2016. Reports have long suggested Apple may introduce wireless headphones via a Lightning port or Bluetooth.
The analysts also believe that the new iPhone will boast a waterproof design.
Reports earlier this month had suggested that Apple would not be implementing any major design changes for the iPhone 7 – with a bigger overhaul set for next year’s model.
Major changes unlikely for iPhone 7
It is unlikely the iPhone 7 will feature major changes, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.
The article claims that Apple is set to cut loose from its typical two-year cycle for major upgrades -- with the bigger changes set to be implemented on the iPhone 8 instead.
However, one change that is reportedly set to happen is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Corroborating previous rumours, the lack of a headphone jack will mean the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus handsets will be slimmer than the current 6S model - with users able to use the Lightning port to connect headphones.
The removal of the headphone port will also improve the handsets' water resistance.
In terms of appearance, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will effectively resemble the current 6S handsets -- with display sizes set to remain at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches respectively.
It is claimed the major changes are being shelved until 2017 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.
According to the Wall Street Journal's source, one such feature for next year's iteration is a curved OLED display with embedded TouchID - signalling the end of the Home button in 2017.
An extract from the Journal states: "At a meeting with an Apple executive last month, one of the company's China-based engineers asked why this year's model lacked a major design change in keeping with Apple's usual two-year cycle. The answer, one person at the meeting recalled, was that the new technology in the pipeline will take time to implement.
"People familiar with the matter said some features that Apple hopes to integrate into iPhones, such as curved screens, weren't ready for this year's models."
iPhone 7 to keep headphone jack?
The iPhone 7 could include a headphone jack after all, according to reports.
It has long been suggested that Apple had been planning to remove the feature from its upcoming flagship -- potentially replacing the 3.5mm jack with a wireless alternative.
Reports had speculated that the new iPhone incarnation would make use of Bluetooth or the Lightning port for audio as part of the redesign -- while the lack of 3.5mm port would allow for a slimmer handset.
Now, according to The Telegraph, images have surfaced from Rock Fix -- a repair shop in Guangzhou, China -- showing what is claimed to be the upcoming handset with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Engadget adds that the repair company has also recently shared images showing that -- if genuine - the latest model will be the first to include dual-SIM trays.
Rock Fix also reveals screen panels in the "two usual sizes" along with ScanDisk memory chips of up to 256GB and a dual-lens camera for the iPhone 7 Plus handset.
The shop owner also reportedly told Engadget that the antenna design will differ from the 6S model -- although the antenna bands will still be present on the back of the phone.
This latest "leak" is the latest in a line of images that have surfaced.
Online retailer Oppomart recently updated its website to include iPhone 7 cases that users can pre-order -- showing the iPhone 7 Plus model as having a Smart Connecter and the long-rumoured dual-lens camera.
However, the images on the Oppomart's website did not show a headphone socket.
New iPhone 7 cases surface
A new range of protective cases for the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have surfaced online.
The images appear to confirm previous rumours of a dual-camera and Smart Connector for the larger, 5.5-inch Plus model.
Shoppers can now pre-order the iPhone 7 cases through online retailer Oppomart.
If accurate, the product images show the overall design of Apple's upcoming flagship to be similar to the current 6s -- the only key differences seemingly being the camera and Smart Connector.
The much-speculated dual camera for the 7 Plus handset can be seen from the pictures - with the smartphone sporting two camera holes aligned horizontally.
The flash and microphone are also positioned side-by-side next to the lens.
Cases for the smaller, 4.7-inch model are also revealed but do not include the Smart Connector or dual-lens camera
Additionally, the images appear to confirm the exclusion of a headphone socket, reinforcing long-running rumours that Apple may drop the feature in favour of wireless headphones.
It is currently unclear whether the case images are genuine or, as suggested by The Daily Mail, simply elaborate fakes designed to "attract customers to the firm."
9 to 5 Mac also notes previous reports that Apple was prototyping the iPhone 7 Plus with a Smart Connector before deciding against it.
As a result, the website concludes that it is a possibility Oppomart's cases may have been designed based on "outdated information."
"We can't confirm now, the factory said they got the phone's drawing from Foxconn," Oppomart states on its website.
iPhone 7 to come with 32GB base storage?
The iPhone 7 could feature 32GB storage for its base model, according to 9 to 5 Mac.
The website reports that IHS analyst Kevin Wang made the claim via Chinese social media -- meaning Apple could finally be moving away from 16GB devices for its flagship range.
The analyst does not elaborate on the claim, but states: "Supply chain research shows that the new iPhone's RAM is 2GB, ROM 32GB onwards."
It would make the range the first since 2008 not to include the 16GB handset.
The current iPhone 6s range does not include a 32GB option -- the only handsets available are 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.
9 to 5 Mac notes that the change could be good news for customers as many are finding that the current base model storage does not fulfil their storage needs.
16GB smartphones can store "just a few apps, photos and videos" and can be suitable for enterprise use -- but the latest iPhones include capabilities such as 4K video recording that can consume considerable storage space.
In addition, larger storage options could be introduced to support the much-alleged new dual cameras on the upcoming flagship range.
Previous reports have also suggested the inclusion of a 256GB version to the range.
Also reported by 9 to 5 Mac, leaked images on Chinese social media site Weibo allegedly displayed a 256GB memory chip -- which would make the upcoming range the first to include a chip of this kind.
However, these images reportedly also showed a 16GB and 64GB version -- with the website assuming that the 16GB is "here to stay" at the time of reporting.
Latest rumour: iPhone 7 to be thicker then 6s?
A new iPhone 7 leak currently doing the rounds suggests Apple's new models could actually be thicker than the 6s.
New schematics published by Czech site letemsvetemapplem.eu show the new 4.7 inch and 5.5-inch handsets as having a thickness of 7.2mm, reports 9 to 5 Mac. In comparison, the current iPhone 6 and 6s models have a thickness of 7.1mm.
The website reports that the images originated from a Chinese parts supplier -- a source that has been proven reliable in the past.
This latest leak appears to confirm persistent reports that Apple will be removing the headphone jack on its upcoming flagship devices - instead utilising the space with a second speaker grille.
The screen also appears to be redesigned with the image showing the handset to have a frameless display. However, 9 to 5 Mac add a caution here, stating that - despite arguably being the most interesting element of the leak -- this is "most likely to be a mistake."
Also missing from the drawings is the front-facing camera -- signifying either another mistake in the images or a camera that is integrated behind the screen.
The schematics for the iPhone 7 Plus model depict the Smart Connector on the bottom of the handset. It is reported that this will be used primarily for wireless charging rather than for an iPad Pro style keyboard cover.
Nothing has been confirmed so far for the flagships - but the unveiling of iOS 10 the WWDC 2016 event (June 13-17) could hint further at what Apple has in store for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The handsets themselves are widely expected to be announced at an event in September.
iPhone 7: four speakers and a new layout for rear camera?
A new iPhone 7 rumour doing the rounds suggests the smartphone will feature four speakers and a refreshed layout for the rear camera.
French blog Nowehereelse.fr has posted images supposedly showing the rear case prototype for the upcoming Apple flagship - supposedly taken from a promotional video by an Italian case manufacturer.
The photos appear to show two speaker grilles on the bottom of the handset and another on the top. Horizontal antenna lines are not visible and the space for the camera lens is larger than previous models, suggesting improved camera components.
Also corroborating with previous leaks, the images do not include a hole for a 3.5mm headphone jack -- rumours have long suggested Apple will be replacing this with a Lightning connector and Bluetooth wireless headphones.
Reports up until now have, however, indicated that it would be the iPhone 7 Plus (5.5-inch screen) that will receive a new and improved dual-lens rear camera -- but these images of the case show what appears to be a 4.7 inch model with a larger aperture.
9 to 5 Mac reasons that it seems "strange" that elements of this latest leak differ so strongly from previous suggestions - but also that the blog "could have been fed information from recent sources with information other leakers did not have."
According to Mac Rumors, Steven Hemmerstoffer (author of the French blog post) notes that "it doesn't seem viable for a speaker to sit so close to the camera module" unless the camera component layout has been redesigned and will now be vertically aligned inside the handset as opposed to horizontally.
iPhone 7: latest rumours
The iPhone 7 may not include a Smart Connector, latest rumours suggest.
Reports originating from Mac Otakara in Japan say that Apple has decided not to include the port on the upcoming flagship device.
Previous rumours had anticipated its inclusion after images of what appeared to be the iPhone 7 surfaced on a Chinese website earlier in the year.
Now Mac Otakara has said that Apple has changed its mind about incorporating the Smart Connector into the iPhone 7 after originally considering its inclusion on the smartphone.
The connector was originally seen on the iPad Pro and enables the transfer of both power and data between the device and accessories -- such as the Smart Keyboard.
In other rumours, suggestions persist that the iPhone 7 will be water and dust-proof -- with MacRumors commenting: "At least three previous reports have claimed the iPhone 7 will be waterproof over the past seven months, and dust proofing would be inherently plausible.
"Comparatively, the iPhone 6s is surprisingly water resistant, but not entirely waterproof."
Taiwan's DigiTimes also report the device could include a pressure-sensitive home button -- following Apple being granted a patent for a "liquidmetal home button" in March.
The patented liquidmetal alloys boast several unique properties such as malleability, strength and corrosion resistance -- as well as being light weight.
Apple as renewed its exclusive rights to the use of the alloy since 2010 and its inclusion as part of a new home button would allow it to deform under pressure but revert to its usual form when the device user removes their thumb or finger.
New touch-sensitive home button for iPhone 7?
Reports are circulating that suggest Apple is considering introducing a touch sensitive home button to sit completely flush with the phone's face.
The International Business Times quotes 9to5Mac, which says the iPhone 7 will feature haptic feedback motors like the one present on the Force Touch trackpad of Retina MacBook. It means that even though the iPhone 7 will come with a flat capacitive surface, it will create an illusion of a real Home button. Smartphones running on Android and Windows already feature touch-sensitive Home buttons, but the iPhone 7 would be the first Apple smartphone to feature it.
It adds that previous rumours have suggested that the iPhone 7 would feature a water- and dust-resistant chassis. The axing of the physical Home button to make way for a touch-sensitive one will help Apple completely seal the chassis of the phone, thus protecting it from damage through contact with water and dust.
According to The Week, Apple was recently granted a patent for a Liquidmetal home button that changes shape when pressure is applied to it but returns to the original once the user removes their finger or thumb. The company has held rights to use the material since 2010 but has yet to incorporate it into the design of any of its iOS devices.
iPhone 7s to boast OLED display?
Apple is reportedly considering switching to OLED in 2017.
With the iPhone 7 still yet to be announced, rumours have already emerged suggesting its 7S follow-up could incorporate OLED display panels.
According to MacRumors, The Korea Herald has reported that Samsung could begin to supply the iPhone manufacturer with "100 million units of 5.5-inch OLED panels on an annual basis" from next year -- bringing it in line with the expected release of the 'S' model.
Samsung is said to be considering the deal -- worth an estimated $2.59bn -- following earlier rumours that it was planning to invest up to $7.47bn in manufacturing OLED equipment in order to cope with demand from Apple.
The display panels would provide richer and sharper colours than LED versions -- whilst providing Apple with an opportunity to reduce the thickness of its smartphones.
In other speculation, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo has said that Apple may be set to pair new the new type of display with a wraparound, curved-glass case next year.
Kuo said: "We expect the 2017 new iPhone model to adopt a structural design similar to that of iPhone 4/ 4s, meaning it will be equipped with glass on both the front and back sides, and a metal frame surrounding the edges.
"The difference is that the new model will likely come with a curved screen and curved glass casing, with other important features including a 5.8-inch AMOLED display, wireless charging, and more biometric recognitions (facial or iris). Given the curved design, the new model may look smaller than an existing 5.5-inch iPhone.
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