In Brief

iPhone 7 review: Why the new iPhone is not worth buying

Critics say the phone's 'poor' battery life, predictable design and lack of headphone jack are 'disappointing'

iPhone 7 release and reveal: All the rumoured features

7 September

Our first look at the next iPhone is now just hours away, with Apple expected to reveal the device at a product launch in San Francisco this evening that kicks off at 6pm UK time.

A new iPhone handset has been released every September for the last four years and those in the know are confident that it'll be the same this year. Following last year's release of the iPhone 6S, which made use of the same body as the iPhone 6 before it, this year should see a brand new design and model number – the iPhone 7.

Rumours suggest it could be a fairly controversial smartphone, though it seems Apple cannot wait to unveil it – the company's online store has been taken offline, with the promise that "something special" will appear when it goes back up.

The phone is likely to make its debut alongside other new products. A second generation Apple Watch is expected and there are hopes that the firm might unveil a new MacBook or iPad as well. Even if you're not planning on upgrading your handset, it's worth looking out for the iOS 10 – the next Apple operating system that will launch alongside the iPhone 7.

Here's everything we're expecting in the next chapter of Apple's smartphone business: 

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.

The size and shape will feel very familiar too, the only real differences being repositioned antenna bands, plus larger camera holes and bumps. 

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.

It's a move that would no doubt frustrate countless amounts of people – especially those with expensive headphones. Apple has a track record of removing ports from devices before they’ve become obsolete, so don't think a headphone jack-less iPhone is a stretch too far.

Of course, this would mean the EarPods typically bundled with the iPhone would have to be a completely new design if Apple decides not to include a Lightning-port-to-headphone-jack adaptor with the handset.

Closer to launch, more and more whispers have pointed towards Apple changing the home button. A recent report from Bloomberg says the iPhone will ditch a moving button altogether in favour of a touch-sensitive patch.

This would use the 3D Touch technology of the iPhone 6S, possibly alongside hardware taken from the latest MacBook. The trackpad on Apple's latest laptop doesn't truly press in but uses haptic feedback to simulate the sensation. According to Bloomberg's sources, the next iPhone could get the exact same treatment.

Removing the headphone jack and replacing the home button with a touch sensitive patch would go some way to making the iPhone waterproof. Rumour has it that the iPhone 7 will ship with an IPX7 water resistance rating, making it relatively safe to take into water up to one metre deep. 

The most recent design leak comes from Mac Otakara, which suggests the phone will be available in five colours - a new "glossy black" being the latest shade. 

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.

Elsewhere, it's strongly suggested iPhone users will be getting a long overdue bump in storage, with the iPhone 7 tipped to have twice as much space to save messages, apps, photos, videos and music.

At the moment, the iPhone 6S comes with an entry-level 16GB, which isn't good enough compared to most flagship Android rivals, which come with at least 32GB and the option of expandable memory through SD card slots.

It's reported the iPhone 7 will have 32GB as its base option – great news for those who want to get the cheapest phone. Above that, there should be a 128GB handset with a 256GB device acting as the range-topper.

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.

When will it be released?

It's all but confirmed that we'll be seeing the iPhone 7 for the first time next week, at Apple's keynote event on 7 September.

You can watch the reveal live on the internet through Apple's website, with the event set to kick off at 6pm UK time.

Pre-orders are expected to begin two days later, on 9 September, and new owners will get their hands on the iPhone 7 on Friday 16 September, according to information leaked by Evan Blass, who has a notoriously reputation for being accurate when it comes to these things.  

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Information is scarce and there is no explanation for what is on display in the picture other than it is a small part that comes from the same manufacturer that supplies the new iPhone's SIM slots.

What is interesting, given that customers can currently choose from gold, rose gold, silver and space grey, is that the alleged mute switch is black. This has further added to speculation that the space black next-generation iPhone is on its way.

According to AppleInsider, the iPhone 7 is expected to be a modest upgrade with a faster processor, a better camera and 32 gigabytes of default storage, while the "7 Plus" could feature a dual-lens camera and a Smart Connector, which is used to pair the likes of keyboards and iPads.

iPhone 7 'to be released 16 September' 

02 August

Prepare to empty your wallets and purses – the iPhone 7 has a release date.

According to Venture Beat reporter Evan Blass, the hotly anticipated new smartphone will be released in September.

Writing on Twitter, the renowned leaker said the iPhone 7 will be released on Friday 16 September. Pre-orders will be accepted from Friday 9 September, with the phone officially announced on Monday 12 September.

These dates are not official and are based in part on information from previous releases: the iPhone 6s and 6 were both unleashed on Fridays, September 25 and September 9 respectively.

However, Blass is a respected commentator and, says KnowYourMobile, "does have a habit of hitting the nail on the head when it comes to rumours, leaks and predictions".

The release comes in a tough year for Apple. In April, it was announced that shipments of the iPhone fell by almost 44 per cent during the first quarter of 2016 as fears of "peak iPhone" translated into a huge slowdown in purchases of new handsets.

Within days, hedge fund manager Carl Icahn, who has made billions buying and selling some of the US's biggest companies, sold his entire holding of Apple stock, sending the tech giant's share price tumbling on Wall Street.

iPhone 7: Is this Apple's solution for offering no headphone jack?

29 July

It's the most controversial iPhone 7 rumour of them all – that this year's Apple smartphone will come with no headphone jack.

The rumour has been swirling for some months, and leaked schematics drawings – as well as what are believed to be accurate dummy handsets – strongly suggest that the 3.5mm port has had its day on the iPhone.

However, just how Apple plans to compensate for a headphone jack-less iPhone has been open to interpretation.

Previous leaks and rumours have pointed towards Lightning port compatible Apple EarPods, and pictures of Apple's iconic white headphones fitted with Lightning port connectors have emerged on the web.

In contrast, now that we are closer to launch, word is that Apple will bundle a Lightning port to headphone jack adaptor in the box with the iPhone 7.

And now, photographs and a video of what's claimed to be Apple's headphone jack solution have hit the web. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"98131","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

 MacRumours picks up the leak, and notes that while there's no proof that this is a legitimate item – the adaptor's leaker claim's it's a part straight from an Apple Foxconn facility – it looks like an official Apple part, especially when compared to some of the company's other adaptors.

The adaptor in the video won't work with devices running iOS 9 or lower, however it springs into life when attached to a phone running iOS beta software. Despite the fact older phones will get iOS 10 when it releases in September alongside the iPhone 7, this indicates it's not a part devised with Apple's older phones in mind, and BGR says it's a "compelling piece of evidence" that the adaptor is real.

There's really not long to go now until we discover Apple's plans – renown smartphone leaker Evan Blass recently tweeted that the iPhone 7 will be available to pre-order from 9 September, suggesting we could be seeing the device the week starting the 5th.

iPhone 7: Videos offer best look at the handset yet

28 July

The best look yet at the upcoming iPhone 7 has been captured on camera, in two hands-on, high definition videos.

The first is from YouTuber Austin Evans: [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"98046","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

The second video, offering a similar overlook, has been posted by Jonathan Morrison: [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"98047","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

The handsets aren't real; instead, they're what are referred to as "dummy models", made for third-party accessory-makers so they can have iPhone 7 products on the market as soon as the phones are ready.

The units aren't officially anything to do with Apple and are made using leaked schematics drawings and measurements.

The finish on these mock-ups is high quality, though, and dummy units often nail the designs months before the phone was revealed – take a look at this iPhone 6 dummy leaked in 2014.

These new videos get up close and personal with the iPhone 7 design unlike any before them and break down the various design changes now all but confirmed to be arriving on this year's handset.

For starters, the phone will look very similar to the iPhone 6 generation, using the same screen sizes and near identical aluminium casings.

The only real design changes of note are the neater antennas, as well as the much larger camera hole on the new iPhone 7.

Perhaps that is the most revealing new feature – it strongly suggests that significant camera upgrades are on the way. Even if the current 12-megapixel iSight camera is used, the larger sensor and opening, allowing much more light into the aperture, would improve photography by some margin.

The new setup isn't great news for those not keen on the iPhone's protruding camera, however. The iPhone 7 comes in at 0.26ins, a fraction thinner than the 0.27ins iPhone 6S. However, the new camera makes the iPhone 7 0.3ins across at its thickest point, meaning it will rock even more when placed down on a flat surface.

Alongside the new camera, the videos also focus on the removal of the headphone jack, showing that Apple is likely to place a second speaker in its place.

This is probably the clearest look at the standard 4.7ins device yet, though the larger 5.5ins Plus device is still waiting for similar treatment. BGR says we can probably expect dummy versions, with its much rumoured dual-camera system, to appear in the coming days.

iPhone 7: Next iPhone may have no home button

27 July

An iPhone 7 with no physical home button is back on the agenda, with the often reliable Mac Otakara issuing a fresh report backing up older rumours of an innovative way to use Apple's upcoming smartphone.

According to the report, the iPhone 7 will feature a new, flush home button powered by the 3D Touch technology used in the iPhone 6S. It would mean the button is a touch sensitive patch.

You'll still be able to feel it physically, though. Mac Otakara says the un-clickable button will be capacitive, using haptic feedback to give the impression of moving down when pressed.Haptic feedback makes use of rapid vibration. Pressing a non-physical button or icon on a screen recreates the sense of touch by instantly applying vibrations or motions to wherever the user is pressing. It is also respondent to how much pressure is being applied.

It's a concept Apple has already added to its product line and can be found on the company's latest laptops - the Force Touch trackpads on the 2015 12ins MacBook and the new MacBook Pros use the technology.To some, the feature may sound like a gimmick, but it could have genuine advantages.

9to5Mac says combining the controversial removal of the headphone jack with a non-physical home button would go a great distance towards making the iPhone 7 waterproof, a feature many of Apple's key rivals currently have.

The new technology could also prove more reliable in the long run. Home-button failure is one of the most common problems with the iPhone. With no physical weak point, it will be far less likely to break and need replacing.

A set of renders created by graphic designer Martin Hajek shows what the new phone could look like in Space Black – a new colour scheme being mooted by some.

While it's a rumour that goes against the established thought that this year's iPhone won't be too different from the previous model, the iPhone 7 is still expected to look similar to the iPhone 6 generation, with the same aluminium casing and screen sizes.

 

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