IPHONE 7 RELEASE DATE, SPECIFICATIONS And Review
Hello my dear friends, Today i have big news for you, I am going to tell you about IPHONE 7 RELEASE DATE, SPECIFICATIONS And Review. In 2014, we were lucky enough for Apple to launch not just its best iPhone yet, but its two best smartphones, with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As good as it was to finally have some proper choice in the line-up, the truth is that the phones just whet our appetites for what the company could do next. It should come as no surprise that we’re now in full-on rumour mode, sifting through all of the information to find out what the company has in store.
=> In this article, we’re focussing on the iPhone 7, which will be a big change from the existing handsets and have all of the new technology. Given Apple’s usual release schedules, we’ll see an updated version of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this year, which will carry the ‘6S’ name. There have been some more recent rumours that Apple is planning to jump straight to the iPhone 7, but we’ve not seen any convincing evidence that this is true and that the company will change its usual pattern. Either way, this article focuses on the next generation smartphone; for the next release, due this year. While 2016 sounds like a long time away, the truth is that the iPhone 7 is where all of Apple’s new technology will be going. Following it from now will help us understand better what the company is developing and how its products are likely to evolve.
=> One rumour doing the rounds at the moment is that Apple is ready to introduce wireless charging to the iPhone 7, largely ditching the need for the Lightning cable. So far, the rumours haven’t come from any definitive sources, so this rumour can be filed under hearsay or ‘things that we’d like to have’. However, while that may be the case, the truth, the fact is that wireless charging is a big thing. Samsung has gone all-out for it with the S6 and S6 Edge, while Ikea has even released furniture with built-in wireless charging. With so much interest around wireless charging, it would make a lot of sense of Apple to follow suit and use the technology in its phone. Besides, wireless charging is easier and more convenient than having to plug a cable in.
=> If Apple did go down this route, we’d like to see it largely extinguish the need to have a cable at all: at the moment, while you can synchronise your phone via Wi-Fi with iTunes, you still have to make the initial connection via the Lightning cable, in order to enable wireless synchronisation. At the moment, until there’s more information available, we’re going to have to say that there’s no real truth to this rumour and we’re going to have to wait a bit longer to find out if Apple will go down this route.
=> As we’ve said before, we don’t put a lot of stock in patent stories: companies register hundreds (if not thousands) of the things every year, and it doesn’t mean that a product is going to come to market. Instead, it’s often a blocking tactic to prevent someone else from implementing an idea. That doesn’t mean that this kind of story is completely without merit, though, and a recent patent for voice activated unlocking certainly seems interesting. Patently Apple has discovered a new Apple patent that would let you wake up phone using a simple voice command. Will we see such technology in the iPhone 7 ? For it to come to market there are several technological hurdles that need to be overcome.
=> First, Apple would need to implement an always-on microphone, so that the iPhone is constantly listening to what’s going on. That’s not a big issue, as low-power chips are already available that do this.
Secondly, Apple would need to pattern-match a voice to the phone’s owner and recognise the wake-up phrase. Again, this kind of technology is available, so implementing it in hardware shouldn’t be a massive problem. The big issue, for us, is that the phone would also have to be able to tell the difference between a real person speaking and a recording of their voice. This is much trickier and harder, say, to implement than recognising the difference between a live finger and a copy for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. If Apple can’t make it secure, it may be that this technology just gives simple access to certain Siri commands, rather than unlocking the entire handset. As interesting as this one is, we’re going to have to wait for some more details before we can be sure of how it will work and if Apple will even use voice to unlock a smartphone.
=> A camera is one of the most important parts of a smartphone, with many people preferring to use their phone rather than a dedicated compact. In recent years, Apple has focussed on quality over resolution, with the result that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus take some of the best quality shots that we’ve seen. Things could get a lot better soon, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Apple has splashed $20m on buying Israeli camera company, LinX. This startup has been developing sensors that it says will bring SLR-like quality to smartphones. It has developed sensor arrays that use multiple sensors, alongside bespoke optics and image processing, to improve image quality.
=> Using multiple sensors means that LinX sensors can measure depth, which can help speed up auto-focus or simply let you focus the shot after you’ve taken it, as we’ve seen before with HTC’s Duo camera. It’s also possible for the cameras to scan objects in 3D and give accurate measurements for objects, too. We’ve seen similar technology inside the Dell Venue 8 7840 tablet, although it’s measurement capabilities were a bit hit and miss. LinX sensors also use a new clear pixel channel design, which the company says reduces crosstalk and helps reduce noise, all in a smaller package. The net result is a smaller camera that’s smarter and produces cleaner and more detailed images: just the thing that Apple requires. For more information on the LinX technology, you can read this Scribd presentation.
=> Although we know that the iPhone will not get a bigger battery (see below for more information), it doesn’t mean that Apple isn’t working on making battery life better. From a recent job advert, we can see that Apple is keen to improve battery life on all of its devices. The job ad calls for hardware engineers to work on battery design (most likely to create innovative new battery packs, such as for the new Macbook), but also for iOS engineers. From the information that’s in the job advert, we can see that Apple wants software engineers that can use iOS to examine what’s eating battery in real-time, and then come up with methods of saving power. Crucially, Apple doesn’t want this affect performance or the user experience.
=> It seems most likely that this kind of improvement will make its first appearance with iOS 9, which is due to be released this year. It will be an ongoing project, though, so by the time that the iPhone 7 is released next year, the technology will be more mature. There’s even a good chance that Apple will make additional hardware changes, with components that can be turned on and off via software in order to get further efficiencies.
=> Don’t expect Apple to install a bigger battery in the iPhone 7, except where chassis space will allow for it. In a rare interview, Sir Jony Ive said that a bigger battery would make the iPhone “less compelling”. His argument goes that the iPhone is so slim and light that people are always using it, draining the battery faster; making it fatter to contain a bigger battery would make the phone less compelling, so that people would use it less. Our take is that as long as the phone has enough juice to last through a day ‘s worth of heavy use, it’s done its job for most people: something that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus achieved. For people that really need more power than this can offer, there are other handsets that are built to last a lot longer, as you can see from our battery test of 2014’s smartphones.
Could we get a 256GB smartphone?
=> One of the rumours doing the rounds is that the iPhone 7 will be the first smartphone to have 256GB of storage. This would be double the current 128GB maximum of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Technically there’s no reason why Apple can’t add more storage to the phone; instead, it’s more a restriction on cost and need. Flash storage for phones isn’t particularly cheap and most people find that a 64GB handset is enough, let alone a 128GB model. It’s currently doubtful how many people would want to pay even more to get 256GB. If anything, Apple may follow the course it took in the past, which is to upgrade the iPad to 256GB first, before rolling out the option to the iPhone line.
Apple Watch and MacBook’s Force Touch incoming
=> Apple first introduced Force Touch technology with the Apple Watch: it’s a pressure-sensitive touchscreen that knows the difference between a soft tap and a hard press. This technology was introduced to increase the number of ways that you could interact with the Watch. However, Apple has also seen scope for the technology on different devices, including the new MacBook, which has Force Touch integrated into its Touchpad. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the iPhone 6S will have this technology. This makes a lot of sense, as Apple clearly has the ability to integrate Force Touch into a variety of different devices. It also makes plenty of sense that Apple would continue to roll-out Force Touch, with the iPhone 7 a clear contender for the technology. With updates to iOS supporting the hard press, Apple will be able to provide new ways to interact with the iPhone, which Android manufacturers can’t simply replicate.
= > A more resilient and tougher iPhone 7 is something that we all want to see and we may get our wish, with the latest rumours stating that the new handset may be waterproof. A new patent application points to the company using a technique known as Plasma-Assisted Chemical Vapour Deposition (PACVD) to coat the internal components and make them resistant to moisture. This would mean that the company doesn’t have to make the case completely watertight. This kind of technique makes sense, as we’ve already seen companies, such as Liquipel (not available in the UK), offer an after-market waterproofing service. Using this technology, your phone is coated in water-repellent material (inside and out), protecting it from water damage. Apple doing the same thing at the factory stage could improve things and, crucially, would definitely not void your warranty.
=> One of the rumours doing the rounds for the iPhone 6S, and reported by AppleInsider, is that Apple is going to pre-install its own SIM. First launched with the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, the Apple SIM is a multi-carrier model, which lets the user choose their own contract directly from the device. This would be even more powerful on a handset: imagine being able to switch carriers when you want, or even to get better deals when roaming. If this technology makes it the iPhone 6S, it would definitely make it to the iPhone 7 and, if there’s enough support, Apple could even integrate the SIM directly into the phone, getting rid of the SIM-card slot completely. There are obstacles to overcome, though.
=> First, there’s support, with relatively few carriers supporting the Apple SIM (only EE supports it in the UK). Second, some carriers don’t want to support it and see it as Apple intruding on their relationship with customers. Apple’s got a lot of clout, though, and we’d love to see it win this battle and force networks to support the Apple SIM, giving consumers more choice and an easier way of switching networks.
While we don’t generally have a lot of time for Apple patent stories that state the latest invention will definitely come to the next handset, this bit of information has legs. With its Mirror Tilt Actuation patent, Apple describes the invention as “an image sensor and a zoom lens assembly including a plurality of movable lens elements arranged to be moved independent of one another”. In other words, it’s a better optical image stabilisation system, with the lens able to keep the path of light through the lens straight, eliminating camera blur.
=> What’s interesting about this design, is that the lens assembly looks a little like a periscope, as you can see from the image below. Apple already has OIS with the iPhone 6 Plus, but it makes sense that the company want to build on and improve the technology that it has already – the question is, can it make this technology fit inside a smartphone?
If there’s been one reliable thing about Apple’s iPhone launches, it’s that they happen just once a year. Not so this year, if you believe a report from StableyTimes, which claims that this year Apple will stagger its launches, releasing both new handsets. According to ‘sources close to the supply chain’ talking to the site, Apple wants to release the iPhone 6S to coincide with the launch of the Apple Watch, in order to give a boost in sales. According to the logic behind this statement, more and more mobile contracts are letting people upgrade more regularly, giving Apple an opportunity to launch handsets every six months, and sell more in the process. To hit that schedule, it would mean that the iPhone 6S would be a minor upgrade to the iPhone 6, with a new flagship iPhone 7 launched at the end of the year. It would also let the company keep up with Samsung, which releases far more phones throughout the year.
=> There’s a certain amount of logic to that, but this doesn’t seem to strike true with us. If anything, Apple would seem to want to launch the Apple Watch separately to any new iPhones, in order to give its new product more attention. Secondly, Sony has stuck to a six-monthly cycle with its Xperia range, with the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z3 launched just six months apart. While the Z3 is the superior product, mostly from a design perspective, the big problem is that there’s actually little difference inside between the two models. Simply put, a six-monthly release schedule doesn’t give a company enough time to make significant changes and runs the risk of stagnation and people becoming bored with the product. Secondly, with new product every six months, the temptation is there for people to keep putting off their purchase, knowing that a newer and better phone is due soon.
=> Instead, we imagine that Apple will stick to what it usually does: launch the 6S in September, with the new models having upgraded internals, but keeping the same bodies. That will mean that the iPhone 7 will launch in 2016; there’s a slim possibility that it will launch in Spring 2016 (six months after the iPhone 6S), but we think that the iPhone 7 will launch in September 2016.
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