Friday, 9 August 2019

Updated: iPhone 7 release date, rumours, news, specs, price and everything you need to know

Forget the iPhone 6S, that's old hat now, it's all about the iPhone 7.
Yes, yes, it might only be February, but the upcoming iPhone 7 release date has already become the talk of tech town​. We're fully aware that the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are still just a matter of months old, but the rumour mill has already started to churn – just don't shoot the messenger, alright.

Given the fickle, impatient nature of the tech industry and our insatiable need for something faster, thinner and with a new design – something the iPhone 6S lacked – the iPhone 7 is already being tipped as one of the most eagerly awaited additions to the 2016 smartphone roster. Despite being set to host increased storage and a new, dual-lens super zoom camera, it might not appease everyone, however, with claims it will ditch the headphone port - yes, really.

So, what exactly can we expect from the iPhone 7 release other than a potentially early launch? Well, read on to find out and bookmark this page as we'll continue to update it with all the latest iPhone 7 rumours, leaks and announcements moving forward.

iPhone 7 release date: When can we expect it?

If you're putting off that overdue upgrade until the iPhone 7 drops, we've some bad news for you; you've got one hell of a wait ahead. Probably the better part of a year. That's right, at least 9 more long months, more than 250 sleeps of waiting as rival handsets – such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 – come and go, tempting you along the way.

Although Apple is currently holding its iPhone 7 release date cards close to its chest – and will likely continue to do so right up until the brink of unveiling – the company's past smartphone launches can give us a sign of what's to come moving forward.

Over the past five years – ever since the iPhone 4S, Apple has unveiled its latest smartphone wares in early September, bringing the devices to retailers' shelves just a few weeks later. As such, there's little reason not to expect the iPhone 7 to formally enter the realms of reality in September 2016. 

There have been claims from mooted supply chain sources that the iPhone 7 release date will be pushed forward to early summer, but we'd take these with a pinch of salt for now. This might be pure conjecture right now, but one thing we know for certain is that you're not going to have this device filling your pocket anytime soon, sorry, folks.

iPhone 7 design: It's time for something new

The iPhone 7's design will inevitably be the phone's big talking point, after all, tradition tells us it's time for something new, and who isn't excited about that? The iPhone 6/iPhone 6S design is now in its second year, the traditional cut-off point for past Apple efforts. With the next full step in numerical announcements should come an all-new look and feel.

Just like the rounded iPhone 6 followed the boxy 5S, and the 4-inch 5 lined up after the smaller 4S, the iPhone 7 will mark a new design direction for the company that has time and again set the standard in smartphone aesthetics. Sadly, what form this new look and feel will take is currently a mystery. Well, mostly.

Apple is known to be working on curved and flexible phone designs – leaked patents have told us so – but it is unclear if such a radical new form factor will be bestowed on next year's phone or held off for future iterations. It's also been mooted that the device could ape the likes of the Moto X Style and Sony Xperia Z5 in boasting a water-resistant finish.

One thing we do know about the iPhone 7 design, however, is that it will be slimmer than its predecessor. Leaked Apple patents have suggested the phone could be considerably slimmer than this year's model, with the iPhone 6S having jumped from the 6's 6.9mm to a slightly plumped 7.1mm form factor. As such, expect the next-gen model to dip back beneath that 7mm marker. It's even been suggested the phone will line up a full millimetre slimmer than its predecessor, while the protruding rear camera looks set to be flattened out and those slightly ugly antenna lines dropped.

iPhone 7 specs: It might be time to buy new headphones

This iPhone-themed Atkins diet could come at an audio-enabling cost. Despite the headphone market universally supporting a standard 3.5mm audio jack – you know the one – Apple patents have shown the iPhone 7 could forge its own path in audio connections. It has been suggested the iPhone 7 could ditch a physical headphone port altogether, forcing people to adopt either Bluetooth-friendly or Lightning connection cans.  A petition has already started to stop this happening, however. Instead, it has been claimed the phone will boast improved internal speakers.

A slimmer handset can add features though, and here increased storage capacities are expected. With iPhone's having capped out at 128GB in recent years, leaks have suggested a new, 256GB model will land for the deep of pocket. Battery life shouldn't suffer either. Heck, it could even improve, with Apple known to be working on contactless wireless charging to make re-juicing a whole lot easier.

This isn't where the early iPhone 7 specs leaks have stopped, either. The phone's new power supply has already made a premature appearance. As if the Apple's current A9 chip didn't offer enough power, early leaks have claimed the upcoming iPhone 7 will see the iPad maker move to a new, more powerful six-core processor. As well as introducing added grunt, the new chip – presumably set to be dubbed the A10, because that's how numbers work – the added cores should see Apple better manage this power, further helping extend the phone's already impressive battery life. Longterm partner won't be making the A10 though, with TSMC having been given the nod. A new wireless connection standard LiFi - which transmits data over a light-based spectrum - has also been tipped for inclusion.

Another potential change teased by Apple's busy patent filers, is the addition of a virtual keyboard. An unlikely addition for next year's model - this is probably one for a lot further down the roadmap, Apple is known to be working on a way of digitally projecting a keyboard onto flat surfaces, letting users type freely without a physical add-on - sounds handy, right?

iPhone 7 screen: It's time to move to Full HD

Like with the phone's design, it's time for Apple to up its screen efforts. Although the iPhone 6S offers one of the brightest, most vibrant and colour accurate displays on the market, its resolution is lacking by current standards.

The device's 4.7-inch screen boasts a 1334 x 750 pixel resolution. When the likes of the LG G4 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ are now rocking 2560 x 1440 pixel, QHD panels, and the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium has just landed as the world's first phone with a 4K display, the Apple offering is starting to look slightly grainy and dated.

While it's unlikely that Apple will jump straight to a QHD display - that sort of numerical specs race baying is not the company's style - early speculation has suggested the iPhone 6S Plus's 1080p, Full HD panel could be scaled down for the smaller of Apple's two flagship phones.

A feature tipped to have been bestowed on the 6S before sadly missing the cut, we'd be hugely surprised to see the iPhone 7 not running a Full HD, 3D Touch-friendly panel.

iPhone 7 camera: Dual lens snapper to offer super zoom skills

In keeping with the phone's design and screen updates, expect the iPhone 7 to be on the receiving end of a major camera update. Well, potentially.

The iPhone 6S already features one of the best smartphone snappers in all the land, and this 12-megapixel offering looks set to be given a dual-lens spit polishing. While an improved megapixel count isn't guaranteed, the iPhone 7 has been tipped to adopt a dual-lens construction.

What's the benefit? Well, according to leaked Apple patents, the move would allow the next-gen iPhone to offer impressive zoom options without hampering image quality. It will also enable split-focus skills which lets users choose focus points after shots have been captured.

Despite the second-lens snapper being far from a confirmed addition, the 12-megapixel sensor looks set to tweaked in some capacity. Apple has a team of 800 engineers working on the phone snapper, with the camera to be made up of more than 200 pieces. A few further software enhancements will be thrown into the mix too. 4K video capture, a new addition on the 6S, is likely to be an increased focus in late 2016, too as the next-gen imaging tech becomes more prevalent.

Given that the iOS 9 update has only just hit existing iPhones and iPads, Apple's next software release is still a largely unknown entity. It's pretty damn likely to be dubbed iOS 10 (or X) though, because, again, that's just how numerical progression works.

While the ins-and-outs of the iPhone 7-bound software are unclear, a couple of early rumours have started to float around.

One such report has tipped further Siri progression to be atop the features hit list. According to unnamed insiders, it has been suggested that Siri will soon gain the ability to transcribe your voicemails, converting them into text form. Handy? Sure. Sinister that Siri's listening into your voicemails? You bet.

iPhone 7 price: Start saving now

As we're sure you can appreciate, there's no official word on the iPhone 7 price just yet, and there won't be anytime soon. Again though, just like the company's launch patterns, Apple's past pricing structures offer a heavy hint as to what's to come next time around.

The iPhone 6S is expensive. A lofty price tag is a staple feature of all Apple handsets, so don't expect the iPhone 7 price to be anything but wallet-stretchingly high.

iPhone 6S prices start at £539 for the 16GB model and we can't expect the iPhone 7 to rock up any cheaper. You might want to start saving those pennies now then.

That's all we know for now, but stay tuned for all the latest iPhone 7 news and rumours as new details emerge.

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