If you’re an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus user, you might be interested because it’s likely you’re still on a cellphone company two-year plan. Many iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users will migrate, too, because they signed up for Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. Do we know enough about iPhone 7 to begin salivating?
No. And yes. At least, maybe.
New! Different! Better!
There is not a company on planet earth (and, admittedly, I haven’t traveled everywhere on planet earth, and Brooklyn is not necessarily representative of the rest of the good old U.S. of A.) that works the annual magic like Apple.
Every year the company throws in enough new, useful, and attractive features to make last year’s iPhone look stodgy and antiquated, despite the trend to two years of similar case and size designs.
Apple hasn’t had the same fortune with other Apple products as it has with iPhone. The Mac? Today’s latest MacBook Pro models look and feel surprisingly like MBP’s from five years ago. Faster, thinner, lighter, longer battery life, yes, but a Mac is a Mac, right?
The same issue exists with Apple’s iPad. Steve Jobs said that Apple wanted a product that would fit snugly between the iPhone and the Mac and they succeeded. Except that the basic function of an iPad is more like the mature functionality in a Mac, hence the longer product upgrade cycle. Like it or don’t the iPad is already a mature product because Apple hasn’t figure out how to make it more attractive so customers will upgrade more frequently.
So far, the iPhone has not suffered from the same malady.
What can Apple add to iPhone 7 that makes it attractive to owners of older iPhones? The ‘s’ models usually mark the end of a two-year case design, so we can expect the case to look different. 3CGA Tech Ops fashioned a few plausible future design ideas last year.
Days Gone By
For most of the iPhone’s history we’ve been treated to the annual run of ‘thinner, lighter, faster.’ Those days ended with the iPhone 6 line. It’s thin enough. It’s light enough. It’s fast enough.
While I don’t expect Apple to dispense with additional power in an upcoming A10 CPU, we’re likely not going to see much of a case or size difference in iPhone 7. Yes, thin and light is in and all the rage with electronic devices but Apple is skirting dangerously close the point of diminishing returns. Besides, too thin and too light also translates to flimsy, bendable, and breakable. Who complains about iPhone 6 models being too large and heavy?
Here’s what I expect to show up in iPhone 7 besides Tim-the-Toolman-Cook’s penchant for more power. More functionality.
Wireless charging – Samsung’s been doing it for years. Watch does it. Now it’s iPhone’s turn. That means extra wireless charging device sales.
Lightning audio – Goodbye headphone jack, hello new models of Beats headphones; it’s upgrade time. Along with this I would expect a new line of headphones, higher quality music, higher quality streaming audio from Apple Music, and an option to upgrade less quality audio to match the new Lightning and headphone audio system. Life is all about upgrading, folks.
Waterproof – Personally, I like the idea, but I see a whole can of worms opening up here, depending upon how much of a waterproof claim Apple makes.
Dual cameras – Apple has a patent for a twin-camera system, and I see some fantastic feature differentiation here; wide angle and telephoto in the same camera phone.
Goodbye Home button – This is a longer shot but isn’t it time to dispense with buttons? All those button holes make waterproofing that much more difficult, so why not put everything you need to press on the iPhone’s screen, un-lockable with Touch ID?
OLED display – Out with the old and in with not quite so old. OLED is the present almost everywhere except at Apple, and it’s likely that display makers LG and Samsung can ramp up production to meet Apple’s demands, but probably not for ultra high resolution displays (like the kind that show up on high Android phones). 3D display? Not yet.
256GB storage – Adding another or larger storage option to the iPhone line is a good thing but only if the company dispenses with the anemic 16GB and makes entry level 64GB.
iOS 10 – Duh.
Face recognition – This is overdue. The front facing camera is good enough to combine with Touch ID and voice recognition to make a nearly impervious security system to protect the iPhone from everyone short of NSA spooks.
3GB RAM – Why not?
Colors, more colors – My fiancé is big on pink gold and Apple seems to have mastered putting color into aluminum, so why not?
Better battery life – Here’s the problem. Size. And battery technology. The iPhone 6 models make it through the day for most owners, but not all, hence Apple’s tip of the hat to the iPhone Smart Battery Case. iPhone 6 and 6s Plus has size on its side so it’s less of an issue. Still, faster charging and longer life would make many customers be willing to upgrade to iPhone 7.
Is all that worth an upgrade? What did I miss? What else do you want in iPhone 7? Besides a lower price (this is Apple we’re talking about, right?).