I expect very big things from the next iPhone: the iPhone 7. I feel like Apple’s gotten a bit lazy on the industrial design front over the last few years and I think it’s time for a relatively big change. It just feels due. Don’t get me wrong: I still think the iPhone is the most beautiful phone on the market (though I do like the looks of some other phones). But after awhile it gets a bit, well, boring. It’s not exciting anymore.
When the iPhone debuted it was EXCITING. Now it’s mundane. It’s a tool. As nice as 3D Touch is, as nice as a thinner phone is, as nice as a more powerful Siri is and as nice as each new iteration of iOS is — I want something more. Something that feels REALLY new and different and, yes, truly, genuinely, unmistakably exciting. Not just different for the sake of a scheduled yearly refresh, but something Steve Jobs would have drooled over rehearsing and unveiling. There are several rumors below which could come somewhat close… but I’m really hoping Apple has one more thing that we haven’t been able to guess up to this point that will BLOW US AWAY when the iPhone 7 debuts.
In any case, I’ve done my best to compile the 10 best, most-exciting, coolest, funnest iPhone 7 rumors for you here. I’ve also given a bit of context here and there from my experience as a tech blogger and review and general Apple fan and, finally, I’ve attached what I think is the appropriate percentage of likelihood next to each rumor. These percentages are not scientifically derived, they just come from my gut. Enjoy!
10 Exciting iPhone 7 Rumors
- An edge to edge display. The buzz around the blogosphere is that the iPhone 7 may (finally) have an edge to edge display. Put differently, you could call this a bezel-free display. This rumor makes A LOT of sense to me for one big reason: the design of the iPhone — the actual look of it — hasn’t changed much AT ALL for several iterations. It’s time for something new and bold and an edge to edge display would be just that. Of course it would mean getting rid of the home button we’ve all become so accustomed to… Still, I’d say this rumor is only 65% likely. Source
- A 4K UHD (Ultra-High Definition) display. iPhones shoot 4K video content now, so it kind of makes sense to be able to see that content in 4K on the device that shot it. I say kind of because you can only see so much detail on a phone screen. There’s one phone on the market that currently rocks a 4K display — the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium — and you can see for yourself whether you think it’s worth having a 4K screen on a phone. Personally, I’d love to see this happen (because, why not?) and if you’re holding out hope, there may be some precedent in that Apple usually waits for technology to hit the market and then adapts it and improves on it down the road. Even so, I’d give the likelihood of Apple sticking a 4K display in the iPhone 7 a small 20% chance of becoming a reality.
- The thinnest iPhone to-date. Big news guys: the iPhone 7 may be thinner than ever! This really comes as no surprise — Apple loves making their iPhones thinner and thinner. Of all the items on this list, this is the only one I am going to say is 100% likely. And it’s not just speculation: there’s a report circulating that says the iPhone 7 may be just 6-6.5mm thin. Of course we all hope this doesn’t equate to worse battery life… Source
- An un-crackable screen. Apple filed a patent for an automated bumper system that could deploy as your phone tumbled to the ground in order to protect your iPhone screen. Yes, that does seem a bit far-fetched or sci-fi or just plain unbelievable, but the patent really does exist. Would I love to see this become a reality? Absolutely. Do I think it will be brought to life in the iPhone 7? Absolutely not. Why? For one thing, Apple keeps making thinner phones and I don’t know how they’d fit the necessary gear inside amidst the current guts of the iPhone. Also, how in the world would this ever be possible?! I’d day this rumor is 1% likely. Source
- The first truly waterproof iPhone. Today I watched legendary phone-destroyer Lewis Hilsenteger (Unbox Therapy) play hockey with a Samsung Galaxy S6 Active phone and was amazed that the phone took the beating rather remarkably. I thought to myself, “There’s no way my iPhone would survive that — especially not the screen!” As a person who has accidentally destroyed at least two iPhones over the years, I’d be incredibly excited to get a more rugged (not just less bendable) iPhone. And that’s what the rumor suggests: the iPhone 7 may be water-proof and dust-proof. Of course those two upgrades alone don’t mean it would survive life as a hockey puck, but I’ll take them nonetheless. I’d call this rumor 78% likely as the iPhone 6s is pretty darn near water proof anyway. Source
- A10 processor with 6-cores. Say it with me Tim Allen fans: “More power!” The iPhone 7 is likely to get an upgrade under-the-hood. Obviously, the more a phone or any computing device is capable of doing, the more power it needs to keep things running smoothly. And if you don’t have enough power running things in the background, performance can really suffer. I know from personal experience as a gadget reviewer: the latest edition of Android runs great on a new phone like the Huawei Nexus 6P and it runs FAR slower on a budget Android device like the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. So whatever upgrades Apple has planned, it’ll need to either optimize the crap out of existing technologies or replace them with something more inherently capable. I’m guessing the latter. Likelihood: 87%. Source
- Wireless charging capabilities. Will the iPhone 7 be the first iPhone that can charge wirelessly without an additional case or accessory? Maybe. The technology exists (it didn’t before for a phone with an aluminum body) now thanks to Qualcomm. And frankly I’d love to see it happen, though it’s not really a game changer for me (or anyone else for that matter). Think about it: the Huawei Nexux 6P ditched wireless charging this year. Hmm. I’d say the likelihood of this feature coming to the iPhone 7 hovers around 35%. Source
- Goodbye 3.5mm headset jack. Rumor has it that the beloved headset jack we’ve all known for several years is about to be deep-sixed by Apple on the next iPhone. In it’s place, accessories like headphones will have to connect to iPhones via the Lightning port. I suspect the main reason for this is simply the thickness/thinness of the phone. Look on the bottom of your iPhone right now and you’ll see that the Lightning port is nearly half the height of the traditional headphone jack. Considering Apple’s love for making newer iPhone thinner, this seems like a no-brainer. Yes, this means your awesome, potentially expensive headphones may not work with the new iPhone, but I’m going to venture a guess that someone out there will provide an adapter. In any case there are definitely benefits to using the Lightning port. I’d call this rumor 99% likely. Source
- Panic mode. Apple filed a patent that will allow users to enable a panic mode based on which finger they use to unlock their device. The idea would be to unlock the device with a finger other than your “main” finger to notify authorities, start capturing photo/video and audio of the situation you’re in and generally help you stay safer and/or track down any perpetrators later on. I think it’s a neat idea but I’m really not sure how likely this rumor is for the iPhone 7, so I’ll give it a 50% chance of becoming a reality. Source
- Coming late 2016. Apple is notorious for it’s tick-tock iPhone release cycle. On “tick” years Apple releases a dazzling new model with major enhancements. On “tock” years, which alternative with “tick” years every other year, Apple releases a new model with minor enhancements which are still exciting but not really ground-breaking. Given Apple’s history it’s very safe to assume that the iPhone 7 release date will be set for late 2016. Likelihood: 97%. Source: common sense.