As the world awaits to find out just what Apple might have in store for the next iPhone, we thought it would be a good time to sum up exactly what we know about the device so far.
Reports that Apple was working on what would mark the iPhone’s eleventh revision first surfaced, back in January of this year.
The 256GB iPhone explained -in detail- how Apple’s top-selling smartphone may soon gain a quarter-terabyte storage configuration, as the report cited various sources coming out of China.
“Today the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are both only available to purchase in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage,” the report read.
“However the introduction of the coined ‘iPhone 7,’ with its expected larger-screened counterpart the iPhone 7 Plus, could see Apple introduce a 256GB offering to the iPhone product line – for the first time.”
This was closely followed up by a similar report that focused on the possibility of the device landing with an enhanced camera system.
Future iPhones Could Adopt Multiple Cameras for Optical Zoom cited U.S Patent Application No. 20160007008 as the basis for its claims that Apple was planning to use several cameras inside a future version of the iPhone, in order to further bolster the smartphone’s “Optical Zoom” capabilities.
Apple even described how such a system would work:
“[…] a first camera unit of a multifunction device capturing a first image of a first visual field. A second camera unit of the multifunction device simultaneously captures a second image of a second visual field,” the application read.
Just a few days later, on January 8, it was Fast Company that claimed Apple’s incoming revision to the iPhone would not carry the device’s long-standing 3.5mm headphone jack.
Present on the iPhone since day one, speculation that Apple may be about to launch the first model of the iPhone that does not feature this audio port – have been persistent, and it all started with Fast Company: Next iPhone Won’t Feature 3.5mm Headphone Jack.
“The publication claims that in preparation for the removal of the universal audio port, Apple is now working with its longtime audio chip partner, Cirrus Logic,” the report read. This, the publication hinted, was to allow Apple to adapt the audio chipset currently found in the iPhone – so that it would “eventually work with the Lightning port.”
Skip forward a full 10 days – and a separate report via iClarified highlighted code strings found in iOS 9.1 as suggesting “Li-Fi” –a bidirectional, high-speed and fully-networked wireless communication technology– capability would be coming to the iPhone product line, “real soon.”
With all this talk of a new iPhone, speculation eventually turned to where such a device –which turned out to be the iPhone SE– may fit into Apple’s current product line-up.
Here’s Where Apple’s (Rumored) 4-inch iPhone Could Fit detailed a device with Apple Pay support, “new camera features” and curved glass chamfered edges.
Kicking off the new month, on February 3, a report surfaced claiming that the so-called “iPhone 7” would arrive without the protruding camera that was first introduced on the iPhone 6 and 6S.
iPhone 7 Expected To Lose Rear Antenna Bands, Protruding Camera claimed that the company’s use of a ”thinner camera module” would be the the reason for the non protrusion, as the report also added with the firm “has plans to remove the [device’s] antenna bands” in favour for a “cleaner” all-metal look on the back.
In March, a conflict to all previous reports was published.
“iPhone 7” May -Not- Feature Dual Camera System cited information originally published by NowhereElse.fr, as claimed “leaked” photos of CAD render screens showing what appeared to be a future model of Apple’s iPhone cast doubt on the device arriving with two cameras.
A few weeks later, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo would publish a report claiming that Apple was soon planning to ditch the iPhone’s aluminium casing, in favour for replacing it with an all-glass enclosure.
“Kuo does not elaborate on how Apple will make the next iPhone entirely out of glass, so currently the specifics of the drastic redesign will have to be left to the imagination,” 9to5Mac reported.
The major design refresh was said to be pegged for “sometime in 2017.”
Due to the rumoured ditching of its 3.5mm audio port, next came the claims that Apple’s future iPhone may carry support for set of unannounced and wireless, “hybrid” headphones.
Apple’s Hybrid Headphones [PATENT] relayed information from U.S Patent No. 20160112787 – “Audio-Class Compliant Charing Accessories for Wireless Headphones and Headsets,” as Apple seemingly detailed its plans for a wireless transceiver, a wired communication module, a power storage device, a speaker, and the accompanying control circuitry.
This was followed on April 25 by claims that Apple could be ready to ditch the iPhone’s iconic “home button.”
Citing hit-and-miss source, DigiTimes, Next iPhone To Carry Flush, Touch-Sensitive Home Button? [RUMOR] would set forth the possibility that the company could be readying a completely flush touch-sensitive home button, plus a waterproof (and rustproof) chassis for the smartphone.
The report based its speculation on “supply chain analysts,” who claimed at the time that the Californian company was secretly preparing to take its operations to the next level, by making the device’s primary button flush with the iPhone’s front plate – and truly touch-sensitive.
“As simple as that sounds, it would likely require a lot of work on Apple’s part,” we wrote at the time. “Especially if what we’re talking about requires the complete rethinking and restructuring of the firm’s currently used display solution.”
On May 23, the world would get its first ever glimpse at what could ultimately be a product mould intended for the mass-manufacture of Apple’s iPhone 7.
MacRumors initially shared the photos, which it noted “appear to depict a larger camera, perhaps to accommodate an improved sensor to boost image quality in the 4.7-inch iPhone.”
The month of June would see various leaked and claimed shots of Apple’s iPhone 7 surface, perhaps the most notable of those being this one, showing what appeared to be a twin-camera.
“The photo arrives via the usually well-informed Nowhereelse.fr, who cites information from its sources as suggesting that this is ‘supposed to be a final version’ of Apple’s expected fall iPhone hardware upgrade,” we reported at the time, whilst highlighting that leaks of this nature are “naturally” going to accelerate – over the coming weeks.
And it turns out — we were right.
Like clockwork, this was followed by another alleged photo that depicted what was (quite obviously) a different cutout for the device’s camera.
This sparked further rumours that suggested Apple may be preparing to launch two models with different camera capabilities.
The photo was lately deemed to be “fake” by many.
On July 14 – speculation surrounding Apple’s next iPhone would reach all-new heights, as the first ever video claiming to show the unannounced device surfaced online.
The 6-second clip appeared to show two versions of Apple’s upcoming iPhone, one in Silver and the other in Space Grey. The video was also the first to show a seeming and blatant lack of that 3.5mm audio port.
As September fast approached and July came to an end, we also got the first claims of the device’s expected retail launch date.
iPhone 7 Slated for September 16 Retail Debut [RUMOR] highlighted comments made by Apple watcher @evleaks, (otherwise known as Evan Blass).
iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016
The Apple analyst posted a number of new tweets through which the reporter cited that the 2016 iPhone release would happen during the week of September 12.
Just to clarify, this refers to the retail release, not the launch event. To be even more specific, it should happen on Friday, Sept. 16th.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016
He quickly followed up these claims with some further clarification, that September 16 would likely be the day that Apple’s next iPhone would be available to purchase.
And on July 28, Blass yet again returned to claim that pre-orders for the device would begin sometime on Sept 9.
Fast-forward to this month … and already we’ve seen Apple’s (Alleged) Next iPhone Shows Up In New Photos, plus a rather convincing and totally-not-blurry photo of what is presumed to be the “Space Black” edition of the iPhone 7.
And just a few weeks ago, we again got the claim that that device would land featuring a 256GB storage option, complete with the separate claim that Apple would deploy even faster charing technology.
As for what to actually believe regarding the upcoming launch of Apple’s iPhone 7? … Well, we’ve done the hard work.
We’ll let you figure the rest out.