iPhone 7: Could it actually be called iPhone 6SE?

Jul 26, 2016

German site warns fans not to expect a new line-up – and all the signs say they could be right

Apple is gearing up for an iPhone launch, with critics widely expecting the tech giant to reveal the iPhone 7 this September.

However, a new rumour doing the rounds suggests this may not be the case at all.

According to German blog Apfelpage, in a report picked up by Apple leak big guns 9to5Mac, the phone will actually be an expansion of the current flagship range called the iPhone 6SE.

That's the name that has been printed on the retail packaging for the smartphone, says the site.

While there's nothing beyond Apfelpage's word that this is true, a new iPhone 6 certainly isn't out of the question, considering what we think we know about the device.

This year's iPhone has long been rumoured to only include small, incremental changes over the iPhone 6S, with the introduction of new camera systems across both the standard and Plus-sized devices, some internal hardware upgrades, a slightly modified look by way of repositioned antenna bands and, controversially, no headphone jack.

The size is not expected to change, coming in at 4.7ins and 5.5ins, and the aluminium unibody casings will look vastly similar to Apple's current offerings.

As a result, many believe this year's iPhone is merely a stop gap before a much-rumoured, vastly overhauled iPhone to mark the handset's tenth anniversary in 2017, with an original design and fresh technologies such as an OLED display.

This device is expected to mark a shift in the way Apple names and refreshes its smartphone line-up. An iPhone 6SE would introduce the change from a two-year to a three-year upgrade cycle a year earlier.

Based on that, Forbes says calling this year's release the iPhone 6SE makes perfect sense and that names still using the "6" have already been suggested as a possibility by some noted smartphone leakers.

Apple also introduced the 4ins iPhone SE in March, a name that adds to the argument.

However, 9to5Mac argues "iPhone 7" still remains the most likely choice as we head towards the device's expected 16 September launch.

iPhone 7: Release date for Apple's next smartphone revealed

25 July

With anticipation building for Apple's next smartphone release, one well-known tipster has revealed the day fans will be able to get their hands on the iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7 will be released the week of 12 September, says established smartphone leaker Evan Blass. 

Blass adds that the handset will get a retail release on 16 September, but does not go into specifics. However, many believe that is when pre-order books will open and the full rollout won't happen until at least the week afterwards.

This would mean Apple holding a keynote event either on 12 or 13 September, says Know Your Mobile. This makes sense if you look back at some of the company's earlier releases – the current iPhone 6S was announced on 9 September 2015, before pre-orders opened three days later, with stock in store on 25 September.

It is expected that Apple will reveal two phones: a standard iPhone 7 using the iPhone 6's 4.7ins display and a larger Plus model with a 5.5ins phablet-style screen.

Few design changes are anticipated. The phones should get new antenna bands, packaged into a neater arrangement, as well as larger and more powerful cameras, with a dual-lens system on the iPhone 7 Plus.

Most controversially though, it's expected that neither device will feature a headphone jack. It's long been rumoured that Apple will ditch the port from the iPhone 7 and use the space to add new features to future iPhones, as well as opening up the possibility of making devices thinner. As BGR reports, credible sources now suggest a jack to Lightning port adaptor will be bundled with the phone.

iPhone 7: What you need to know ahead of September's release

22 July

Critics and insiders have widely rounded on a September reveal for the next chapter in Apple's smartphone business.

In line with convention, 2016 should be a big year for Apple: the company introduces new model lines in even numbered years and this year sees the iPhone 7 go on sale.

Leaks about the phone are two a penny, but most of them point to one thing in particular – that despite being a new generation, the handset won't feature big changes.

Here's what we've seen and what's being said.

Design

Apple looks set to release the device using the same display sizes as the iPhone 6 generation of phones, so a standard iPhone 7 with a 4.7ins screen alongside a Plus version sporting a 5.5ins panel. Leaked schematics and dummy handsets seem to confirm this.

It's also expected to have the same design – an aluminium unibody frame, although with one or two minor revisions. A video posted on YouTube by ConceptiPhones gives an overview of the differences we're expecting.

The devices in the video are probably not real iPhones, but they are an accurate representation of all the leaks put out so far from reliable sources, such as the schematics renders posted on uSwitch, sourced by noted smartphone tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer.
The antenna band has been repositioned so it's slightly neater, tucking in to the top and bottom edges instead of lapping around the back of the phone. The camera has changed form, too. It still bumps out but the cut-out is much larger and it's placed more in the corner of the device. It will be different still on the iPhone 7 Plus, which is hotly tipped to be getting a dual camera, with a pill-shaped housing.

The most controversial rumour? No headphone jack. Apple may drop the port on the next model and use the space instead for other hardware upgrades or slimmer iPhones in the future. If so, users will have to use the Lightning port to attach headphones or move on to a Bluetooth pair.

Display

According to MacRumors, the iPhone 7's display technology is unlikely to move on from the baseline 1080p LCD screens of the iPhone 6, although improvements plucked from some of the firm's other product lines could make their way onto the device.

For instance, True Tone, the colour temperature-shifting feature seen on the 9.7ins Pad Pro, could be added, as could the tablet's DCI-P3 colour gamut, allowing the iPhone 7 to display more vivid and realistic hues.

As for the two displays, on the iPhone 6 and 6S, the larger Plus models have a pixel density of 401ppi, higher than the 326ppi used on the standard phone. Elsewhere, 3D Touch capabilities will almost certainly return.

As for when Apple will ditch LCD screens in favour of OLED panels, rumours have long centred on 2018, although there's evidence to suggest it could happen next year.

A research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, reported on MacRumors, outlines the big 2017 changes and it seems the iPhone 7 could be the last to use LCD technology.

Cameras

Significant camera upgrades should be on the way if rumours and leaked pictures are to be believed.
The juiciest scoop is that the iPhone 7 Plus will get its very own exclusive system. Apple has been hotly tipped to give its big smartphone a dual camera in 2016 – a huge upgrade that could mean near DSLR-quality photographs. The technology is already being picked up by some other manufacturers.
The camera on the standard 4.7ins iPhone 7 has been overshadowed by the Plus rumours, although the new shape seen on leaked pictures can only point to big changes here, too. The large, gaping hole could house an increased CMOS sensor.

Hardware

The processing power of the iPhone 7 will almost certainly jump up compared to the iPhone 6S, says PC Advisor, and Apple's A10 processor chipset could be installed on the phone alongside the M10 motion co-processor.

An increase in the RAM the processors are mated to isn't completely out of the question. A recent rumour and yet another leak from Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 7 Plus could get 3GB RAM, up from the 2GB used on the iPhone 6S. The Verge picks up the angle, but there's nothing to suggest the upgrades will be on the standard phone - the upgrade could be exclusively to deal with the added demands of two camera sensors.

Wireless charging rumours are never far away and early whispers inevitably tagged the iPhone 7 as an adopter of the technology.

However, the whispers have gone quiet since analysts began predicting that this year's release won't be a major leap forward from the iPhone 6S. It could be a feature waiting in the wings for the much-rumoured heavily revised iPhone said to be coming next year to mark the phone's tenth anniversary.

Software

Apple has already revealed the software set to ship on the iPhone 7, unveiling iOS 10 at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference.

iMessage will undergo an overhaul, with users able to add emphasis with animations – the speech bubbles can pop or shake, for example, or an image can take over the entire screen. Added to that are stickers, bigger emojis, rich inline links and the ability to draw and send sketches instead of text.

Also expected are a new lock screen displaying more information and a big overhaul of the iPhone's photos app. Other Apple-brewed apps such as music, news, and maps will also get a redesign.

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