12 most credible iPhone 7 rumors

Apple, iPhone, iPhone Pro, iOS 10, Smartphone, iPhone 5SE, iPhone 7

These are the best of the whispers I'm hearing.

Credit: Coolio Clare/Flickr

What we think we know so far

When we aren’t discussing the FBI’s attempt to make everyone less secure by breaking into Apple’s iPhones, we’re discussing what we expect from iPhone 7 later this year.

iPhone Pro

Rumor claims Apple will drop the numbers in the name. Doing so makes some sense, enabling more flexible product release cycles and more variety in the range, but the existing naming convention has become highly traditional. Might such a move weaken the brand? Maybe, maybe not, but at least one analyst now expects four iPhone models..

Thinner

MacOtakara claims the new iPhone 7 will be 1mm thinner, so where the 6S and 6S Plus measure 7.1mm and 7.3mm thick, the new models will allegedly be 6.1mm and 6.3mm thin. Interestingly, the original iPhone was 12.3mm thick. The smartphone’s slim form will be enabled by some of the numerous improvements noted below.

Bye-bye jack

The humble 3.5mm headphone jack has served us really well since way before the days of the Sony Walkman Steve Jobs loved so much, but now it’s becoming passé. Apple’s quest is to create smaller, thinner, lighter devices -- it must as computers inevitably become almost completely invisible. To help achieve this it intends dumping headphone jacks…(and deploying a thinner Lightning port).

Wireless

The new iPhones are likely to ship with mic-equipped wireless earbuds, so you can take calls, listen to music and ask Siri for assistance. MacOtakara (always first spotted by 9to5Mac) tells us to expect decent stereo speakers, smaller versions of the impressive ones used with the iPad Pro.

Electricity

While we all want it, many don’t yet expect it, but a recent NY Post report tells us Apple is working with Energous Corporation on a wireless charging solution that may charge the phone at distances of up to 15-feet – might this also suggest wire-free iMacs are coming?

Camera improvements

Expect an exciting dual lens camera (this new Huawei phone shows how this might look) with the camera lens(es) flush with the side of the smartphone, trimming the “bump”. This state-of-the-art camera will make use of some of the technologies Apple acquired with LinX Imaging in 2014, consolidating Apple’s leadership in the space.

Harder than nails

Apple will cast these new devices using the same 7,000 series aluminum used in Apple Watch, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it will be harder than nails.

OLED?

Apple had a setback from a previous disastrous tough glass adventure, but it will never give up trying to make tougher displays. In part that's why Apple may introduce OLED displays, says Nikkei, but probably not until 2017. However, when they do appear OLED displays will enable better battery life, flexibility and thinner iPhones.

Faster, too

A six-core A10 processor (manufactured exclusively by TSMC) and more RAM mean iPhone 7 will be an even more credible desktop replacement than before. TSMC should also see its share of the 16-nanometer chip production market climb to 70 percent, up from 40 percent, assuming it can recover from recent earthquake damage.

Apple Watch

An Apple Watch inside the iPhone? Not quite, but Apple may enable continued component compactness and miniaturization using electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding features, developed by StatsChipPac and Amkor, it’s claimed. This could see internal components carried inside an enclosed System on Chip container as used inside Apple Watch, in which the processor is completely encapsulated in resin. This protection means iPhones should be more durable, more waterproof and deliver better network and wireless performance.

Panic

All the goodies and the baddies want to get inside your iPhone. Responding, Apple’s going to make them more secure, potentially by enabling a new TouchID-controlled panic mode that makes data inaccessible if the fingerprint isn’t there.

March, September

We expect a 4.7-inch iPhone (SE?) this March, but the iPhone 7 won’t appear until Fall.

One more thing

Looking through the list of innovations and improvements and it becomes pretty clear Apple is working hard to ensure that every aspect of the product is unique. From custom made processors to unique manufacturing processes, proprietary components to cutting edge materials design, Apple is taking ownership of every part of the device, making its systems hard to imitate at any depth.

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