With the Galaxy S6 having already been unveiled, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be working hard on its next rival, the iPhone 7. The iPhone release is always the highlight of any tech year, and the latest model of this iconic range will be no exception to this rule. Although some publications have suggested that Apple might decide to call this smartphone the iPhone 6S, in line with previous releases such as the iPhone 5s, it seems more likely that the consumer electronics giant will brand the next iPhone device as an entirely new series.
In addition, Apple was criticized somewhat with the release of the iPhone 6 for being unambitious. It is perhaps hard to describe Apple in these terms considering the massive commercial success that the corporation achieved in 2014. Not only did Apple become the world’s first company to achieve a $700 billion market capitalization, but it also recorded the largest single-quarter profit in recorded business history. And to put the cherry on the cake of these achievements, Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT) recently announced that Apple is now selling more mobile devices in volume than Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930).
But the iPhone 6 was seen by many who were lukewarm to the handset as merely an upgraded version of previous Apple devices. Certainly it did everything well, and it was unquestionably an extremely competent mobile device, but he could not possibly be described as revolutionary. Even some of the rumours which were heavily expected to come to fruition with the iPhone 6, such as Sapphire Glass protection for its screen, failed to materialize.
Apple has always prided itself on it being an innovator, and this was indeed the very modus operandi of the company when it was set up by the late Steve jobs. So given that the iPhone is the most successful product range of Apple, it is reasonable to assume that the iPhone 7 will build on the huge commercial success of the iPhone 6 and deliver something truly outstanding and groundbreaking.
With this in mind, there are already numerous new features rumored for the iPhone 7. At the time of writing, it is extremely difficult to know which of these Apple is even seriously considering, let alone which will finally end up in the iPhone 7. But it is always fun to speculate, and there is no doubt that Apple will be looking to include some new functionality in the iPhone 7 which makes it stand out from the crowd.
New iPhone 7 models
The first rumour related to the iPhone 7 is one that has been doing the rounds for a while, namely that Apple will release a third variant of the iPhone 7 which is significantly smaller than the two main handsets. This is particularly seen as being an Apple Watch tie-in, although obviously this purported handset was not announced in conjunction with the release of the Apple smartwatch.
However, another possible iPhone model has also been mooted. It is suggested that Apple will release multiple versions of the iPhone 7, and that one will be targeted specifically emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. This would be likely to be a cheaper version of the iPhone 7, and distinct from other models targeted at other geographical regions.
It has also been suggested that Apple will include pink in its range of iPhone colors, possibly with the intention of attracting more female users. This seems like a bit of a stab in the dark at the moment, but it was noticeable with the release of the Apple Watch that the consumer electronics giant attempted to create as many versions of the smartwatch as possible.
The major innovation rumored for the iPhone 7 is the inclusion of a brand-new feature in the form of Force Touch. This has already been unveiled in the Apple Watch and MacBook track pad, and enables Apple devices to detect finger movement and distinguish between hard and soft tabs. Degrees of pressure will effectively result in contextual menu pop-ups depending on the strength of touch used.
Sapphire Glass may not have been included in the iPhone 6, but with the Apple Watch is taking advantage of this toughened product, and it is possible that the iPhone 7 will finally include this innovation. This obviously wouldn’t have much impact on functionality of the iPhone 7, but it could add attractive durability to the device.
It is also being reported that the iPhone 7 will be significantly waterproof, with Apple emphasizing health-related functionality in its mobile devices going forward. This would be a logical move for the smartphone, enabling athletes to utilize it while swimming.
With Samsung having dropped Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) as a component manufacturer with the Galaxy S6, it is also being suggested that Apple will move away from the manufacturer with the iPhone 7. It is instead being reported that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) will manufacture at least some of the chips utilized in the iPhone 7.
The chip in question will be Intel’s new 7360 LTE modem, which provides wireless modem capabilities. Although other reports have suggested that this chip will only be included in the iPhone model which is purporting to be released in emerging markets.
Dual-lens or periscope camera
Apple is also expected to greatly improve the photograph taking capabilities of the iPhone 7 when it is finally unveiled. With this in mind, it has been suggested that Apple will produce a dual-lens camera which produces photographic quality pictures. A new patent filing suggests that Apple’s future products may feature a revolutionary periscope camera, and that the iPhone 7 may be the device that debuts this.
Quad HD / 4K resolution
Finally, Apple is expected to significantly improve the resolution of the iPhone 7 display. With the corporation having recently released the world’s first 5K resolution desktop, It is even possible that we might see a 4K iPhone 7 Plus phablet. At the very least, we should see a quad HD iPhone 7 Plus, and a full HD iPhone 7 smartphone.