iPhone 7: Top rumours rated

iPhone 7 dual camera
Apple has taken note of the success LG and HTC have had with a dual-camera set-up, and the iPhone 7 is expected to have the same

Technology’s rumour mills are working overtime and the grapevines are buzzing hard. This can mean only one thing — Microsoft is launching a new product…

Okay fine, maybe in an alternative universe, Microsoft’s looming launches have people camping outside the stores days in advance. But in this world, only one brand gets that kind of attention and adulation: Apple. In particular, the iPhone. And come September 7, the Cupertino-based company is expected to thrust a shiny new version upon the world.

Unlike previous years, expectations are high this time. After 13 years of staggering growth, Apple’s revenue declined for the first time this year, largely because of falling demand for the iPhone, which now accounts for around two-thirds of its total earnings. If Apple wants to get back on the growth path and convince people to buy the new iPhone instead of the holding on to the old one or, horror of horrors, jumping ship to join the Android brigade, the company will have to pull out something magical this year. Revolutionary, not evolutionary.

Will that really happen or has Apple, as some believe, lost its mojo and the upcoming iPhone 7 will underwhelm us by being just an incremental update? We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, here is a roundup of interesting rumours swirling around.

Bye-bye headphone jack

This one has gotten the most attention and polarised opinions. The 3.5mm headphone jack might be dropped from the new iPhone. Is that a big deal? Well, that tech has been around for 100 years, and it is universal — pick up any headphones anywhere in the world, and simply plug them in without worrying about compatibility. But you will now need to go wireless or buy special headsets that plug into the Lightning port, though Apple is also expected to offer an adapter that will plug into the charging port and allow you to connect  regular headphones. And some headphones manufacturers are already out with versions that will work with the new iPhone.

Chances of it happening: 9/10

Swim or sink

Sony and Samsung have been doing it for years, with flagship models that can go swimming with you, or let you reply to emails in the shower. The iPhone 7 is expected to join the waterproof club. Beta testers of the upcoming iOS 10, which the iPhone 7 will come loaded with, have noticed a new feature that warns users not to plug the charging cable in because liquid has been detected. This warning is similar to what existing waterproof phones display. Additionally, Apple has recently patented its own take on waterproofing tech.

Chances of it happening: 7/10

Dual camera

A standout feature on the LG G5 and some HTC phones is the dual camera setup that delivers significantly better pictures. The iPhone is known for taking great pictures, and Apple will want to ensure future generations continue to impress with the best of the breed camera setup. The iPhone 7 is expected to leverage camera tech from LinX, a company Apple acquired last year. The new phone will include multi-aperture cameras that improve overall image quality and fix a major weakness in previous generations — poor low-light performance.

Chances of it happening: 7/10

Speed thrills

Yes, the new generation will obviously be faster and better-performing than the old one. But this year, Apple is expected to hit the ball out of the performance park with the new multi-core A10 chip paired with a massive (for iPhones) 3GB of RAM. This results in a Geekbench score of 6,430. As The Daily Express notes, “If accurate, that score blows the Snapdragon 820-powered Samsung Galaxy S7 (which scored 5,498) and the previous iPhone 6s (4,385) out of the water. In fact, the iPhone 7’s reported performance would also beat the top-of-the-range Dell XPS 13 laptop, which packs a sixth-generation 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, and retails for around £1,300 (about Dh6,154). That’s incredibly fast.”

Chances of it happening: 7/10

Subtle antenna line

Aluminium might look good on phones, but it is terrible for signal reception. Apple’s compromise solution was to have plastic strips cutting across the back of the phone. For design purists, those lines were an eyesore that marred the beauty of the device. Well, they can soon rejoice. The iPhone 7 is expected to tuck the antenna line out of sight (well, almost), by making it wrap around the phone instead.

Chances of it happening: 8/10

Smart Connector

Apple introduced it with the iPad Pro and it is only a matter of time before the iPhone comes with the Smart Connector, a 3-pin port on the back that allows for data and power exchange between the device and accessories such as a keyboard. However, later rumours suggest Apple has dropped this feature from the iPhone 7. Or maybe it will come only on the larger iPhone 7 Plus. Or perhaps, there will be a third device called the iPhone 7 Pro, which will have the Smart Connector.

Chances of it happening: 5/10

Touchy-feely

The home button is no longer a button. Or is it? The iPhone 7 may — or may not — have a Macbook-style touch-sensitive button that uses haptic feedback to deliver the sensation of physical touch. Eliminating the physical button also means the phone has one less moving part and is less prone to failure over time. And of course, you don’t have to worry about gunk collecting under the button. Haptic feedback also provides more control — you can vary the intensity or turn it off completely.

Chances of it happening: 5/10

Dazzling display

On its flagship phones, Samsung uses OLED screens to deliver sharp images and vivid colours that pop out of the display. The blacks are also deeper than anything LCD screens can deliver. At some stage, Apple is expected to switch over to OLED, and maybe this is the year for that. The move will at least eliminate the lead LG and Samsung have in display tech. It will make watching movies and photos on the phone a richer experience. Note: We said richer, not better — OLED display tech has its share of critics who find the colours too saturated and artificial.

Chances of it happening: 4/10 (next year for sure!)

Stereo speakers

HTC has wowed users with the incredibly rich audio delivered by the tiny dual-speaker setup on its flagship phones (though not in the latest model). In comparison, the iPhone’s mono speaker sounds dull and lifeless. The iPhone 7 might finally upgrade to a stereo setup that will produce enough oomph for you to use the phone as a boombox during an impromptu party. And where will the second speaker be located? In the space left behind by the missing headphones jack.

Chances of it happening: 4/10

Bigger battery

It seems the new iPhone will have a 14 per cent bigger battery than the iPhone 6S — 1,960mAh versus the current 1,715mAh battery. This should give you at least an extra hour of juice before the phone needs to be plugged in. Incidentally, with the new camera setup, the iPhone 7 is expected to be slightly thicker, and it seems to be a no-brainer for Apple to make use of that extra bulge to fit in a bigger battery.

Chances of it happening: 9/10