Apple is set to release its latest iPhone, the so-called iPhone 7, early next month. The Californian tech giant usually updates its smartphone lineup in early September so it can see out the end of the year on a high, and now the iPhone 7 rumors and leaks detailing its features, specs, design, and release date are flowing in thick and fast.
But, as with almost everything on the internet, it's sometimes tricky to decipher between what is trustworthy and what's not. Which why we've pieced together every reliable leak, rumor and piece of information on the new iPhone and put them all together with sources included. We'll also update the post each time new information comes in, so be to check back in between now and the release.
Here's everything we know so far about the new Apple iPhone 7.
It might not actually be called the iPhone 7
While most people (us included) expect Apple's next iPhone to be called the iPhone 7, some leaks have suggested that Apple may opt for the name "iPhone 6SE" instead. The rumor first came from German tech news site Apfelpage, who quoted Chinese supply chain sources who had seen finished packaging and labels with the 6SE name. It would be a big shock given that almost every publication on Earth has been calling it the iPhone 7, but it would make sense: it's Apple's 40th anniversary next year and they reportedly have big plans for all of its devices - there's no way that it would call that device the iPhone 7s on such a momentous occasion.
By the looks of a leaked photograph (see the first image, above) taken outside the offices of Lite-On, a company with expertise in optical technology, the design will be very similar to that of the iPhone 6s. It does, however, look much cleaner with the antenna lines relocated to the the edge of the phone.
Other concept drawings have speculated that the lineup will include an iPhone 7 (4.7-inch screen), an iPhone 7 Plus (5.5-inch screen) and a new iPhone 7 Pro, with each available in new colors of “deep blue” and “space black.” The new "deep blue" color, however, is pure speculation and not a single leak or report has confirmed it. Videos like the one above have helped peddle the "deep blue" iPhone fantasy, but given the color doesn't feature on any of Apple's other devices, it's introduction now looks very unlikely.
Following months of rumors, Bloomberg News reported on August 8 that the device will indeed feature a dual-camera system. The significant upgrade will allow both sensors to capture color differently and simultaneously take pictures that are then merged into a single photo. It's said to improve brightness and detail, and sharpen snaps taken in low-light. It will be only be available on the Plus version of the phone.
What's important here in terms of reliability is who is saying it. This, and other iPhone 7 rumors since seemingly confirmed.
That same Bloomberg report quotes unnamed people “familiar with the matter” as saying the new iPhones will have a home button that “provides feedback to the user via a vibrating haptic sensation.” If true, it will mean the new button will be more akin to the trackpads on the latest MacBooks than the traditional physical click.
Leaked blueprints provided to reliable tech insider Steve Hemmerstoffe for uSwitch earlier this year confirmed what had been widely speculated since early 2015: the iPhone 7 does not have a standard headphone jack. The removal is said to allow Apple to add a second speaker and thus improve the quality and volume of the sound. It will instead promote the use of its Lightning and Bluetooth headphones.
We know for sure that the new iPhone 7 will arrive with Apple's iOS 10 software and an upgraded processor, therefore offering more power and better efficiency than its predecessors.
In perhaps better news, an IHS Technology analyst with an "impeccable track record when it comes to disclosing new Apple products" told 9to5mac that the forthcoming iPhone 7 will not be available with the familiar 16GB of storage. Instead, a 32GB model will be offered as standard.
Elsewhere, a leak Italian website, HDblog, suggested that Apple's iPhone 7 Plus, which is expected to launch alongside the iPhone 7 this September, will feature a monumental 256GB of storage. That's double the storage of an entry-level Macbook Air, and would make the iPhone 7 Plus Apple's most high-capacity smartphone yet. The site shows pictures of a 256GB SanDisk NAND flash memory chip that "could be appropriate for the next generation smartphone," according to MacRumors.
Other than that, we don't know a great deal.
[UPDATE] Thursday, August 18 - Contrary to the previous reports of a September 16 release date detailed below, it appears the Apple iPhone 7 release date may be later than expected. The ever reliable 9to5Mac has attained information from a source at AT&T, which revealed it will not go on sale until September 23.
Evan Blass, a tech reporter at VentureBeast, first “confirmed” on Twitter that pre-orders for the iPhone 7 will begin on September 9, with a subsequent release date of September 16. This means we should expect Apple to schedule the phone’s official announcement for September 7.
In that same insightful Bloomberg News report, it was also stated that, according to “people familiar with the matter,” the Apple iPhone 7 will be released on September 7.
Just like with the mysterious "Space Blue" model, there are no reliable leaks as yet regarding the price of the iPhone 7. We can estimated that it will fall between $800-900 USD based on previous pricing and the lack of a 16GB model, but that's all we can do for now.
[UPDATE] August 15, 2016 6:00am EST
It may be completely waterproof
A new patent awarded to Apple last week strongly suggests the device may be completely waterproof. The patent, granted this week and reported by Quartz, outlines a system for color-balancing photos shot underwater. Therefore, we can only assume that if Apple is working on technology to make photos taken underwater come out looking good, then the company must also be ensuring that the phones themselves are waterproof.
This would make sense when considering Apple's decision to remove the headphone jack – the easiest place for water to seep into a smartphone.
[UPDATE] September 2, 2016 12:pm EST
Details on what's included
Some alleged iPhone 7 paperwork is making the rounds on several tech blogs, indicating that Apple will package the iPhone 7 with Lightning EarPods in the box, which would prove the 3.5mm headphone jack is being abandoned. Additionally, the document lists a lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor as included in the box. Also of interest, the header on this leaked document shows that Apple could be producing a model with 256GB of storage.
On the software side of things, Apple reactivated its Twitter account, which was registered in 2011 but never used. Bloomberg writer Mark Gurman, speculated that Apple could have intentions to live tweet next week’s event.
iOS 10 & Siri Updates
As well as new iPhone, MacBook and Apple Watch products, Apple may be rolling out iOS 10 on September 7. The operating system update will contain a smarter, more helpful Siri, who will understand more commands and play a more functional role in the iPhone 7. App integration will be improved, allowing users to send money, order an Uber, or search Pinterest using voice commands.
[UPDATE] September 2, 2016 12:pm EST
In a recent interview, Cook was asked whether Steve Jobs would have been disappointed to see that Apple introduced the stylus with the iPad Pro, something that Jobs had publicly mocked. he replied:
Well we launched a pencil, not a stylus, first of all, and there’s a big difference, and the things that people are doing with this pencil, I think that Steve would have loved. He loved to help people create. And if you’ve ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it’s really unbelievable. You should really show some of these to your audience.
It’s possible that Cook simply misspoke, but the addition is certainly plausible. Apple will release new iPad Pro models next year, but with the fate of the iPad mini uncertain, MacRumors speculates that the company may scrap it and angle the iPhone 7 Plus as its smallest creative device by adding support for the Apple Pencil.
Stay tuned for more information as we have it.