According to always-reliable analyst-come-tipster, Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 7 will be the thinnest iPhone Apple has ever produced at around 6mm, making it around the same size as current iPod Touch models.
But that’s not all -- Apple will also bump the memory up inside the iPhone 7 Plus model to 3GB of RAM as well, which should translate into super-fast performance when coupled with Apple’s next-generation A10 chipset.
“Kuo's latest details from Apple suppliers were published in a research note Tuesday evening with KGI Securities,” reports AppleInsider. “In it, he revealed that while the 4.7-inch ‘iPhone 7’ is expected to have the same 2 gigabytes of RAM as the iPhone 6s, the larger ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ will add another gigabyte for even greater performance.”
For the past two generations of iPhones, the only difference between the normal iPhone and the iPhone Plus model, besides display size, has been to do with imaging -- the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus both ship with Optical Image Stabilisation. This situation is likely to remain the same on the iPhone 7, as Apple looks to make the larger handset more attractive to its ever-growing base of users.
Whether making the next iPhones thinner is a good idea or not remains to be seen. Personally, I already find my iPhone 6 Plus way too thin -- I’d definitely prefer something a tad more substantial, as I am constantly dropping it while out and around. The iPhone 6s Plus is slightly thicker and the handset feels all the better for it.
According to new information circulating as of November 20, the iPhone 7 may, in fact, be the first waterproof iPhone (see more on this below). The word comes via research and analytics firmTrendForce. The company's report says waterproofing will be one of two defining new features, the other being the 3GB of RAM previously rumoured elsewhere. It also reiterates that we'll see a third, 4in display iPhone model launched in 2016 (the rumoured iPhone 6c/iPhone 7c/iPhone 5e).
Trendforce expects Apple to ship 260 million iPhones next year, a 12.5% increase compared to 2015, getting Apple 18.5% of the market. Samsung’s smartphone shipments are expected to reach 310 million (that’s a 4% drop, and 22% market share). TrendForce smartphone analyst Avril Wu said that “Samsung’s flagship devices for this year have hit the ceiling in specs, so the South Korean powerhouse will be straining to bring hardware innovations to its next smartphone release.”
According to a new, and somewhat upsetting rumour emerging on December 1, Apple may achieve a super-thin iPhone chassis by omitting the traditional 3.5mm universal headphone jack. The reasoning here seems pretty obvious, firstly, the use of the 3.5mm jack means you can't have a body thinner than 3.5mm, so to go thinner means using a proprietary jack - and Apple loves proprietary stuff. Naturally some users are a bit concerned that this will render their expensive headphones useless, as if Apple does follow this plan it will surely issue its own custom headphones with new handsets and sell its own variants thereafter.
“Japanese technology website Macotakara has reported that Apple is planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the next handset in an effort to make the next iPhone 1mm slimmer,”reports The Week. “The site and its sources have been accurate in the past, and the rumours – while radical – fit in with Apple's past changes, such as the introduction of the lightning port over the original 30-pin charging setup, as well as the latest MacBook using small USB Type C ports.”
“From Apple’s perspective,” notes Forbes, “the move makes a lot of sense. It can gain control over the last industry standard port on the iPhone for increased revenue and licensing potential. It can potentially create ‘smart earphones/headphones’ thanks to the direct digital connection to the phone which could tie into apps, notifications and more creating another differentiator from the competition. And last, but not least, sales of dedicated Lightning headphones would prove another powerful way to lock users into its ecosystem.”
This rumor is bolstered by a January 5 report that alleges to originate from Apple supply chain sources: the iPhone 7 will indeed be so crazy thin as to omit the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. The information comes via Chinese social network Weibo and claims that the 3.5mm jack is being ditched, in favour of a new connection method using Apple's Lightning port. It's also said there will be a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor and the phone will support wireless Bluetooth headsets too.
Apple's Lightning port method will apparently mean wired headphones will need to incorporate independent DAC and amp, as the port doesn't support analogue audio, unlike Apple's older 30-pin connector. That all means that as well as being fiddly an awkwardly proprietary, compatible headphones will probably be expensive and will up battery drain a little bit.