iPhone 7: leaked photos show headphone jack

By on Feb 29, 2016 in Mobile Design | 0 comments

Leaked images said to be of the forthcoming iPhone 7 could debunk one of the biggest and most controversial rumours regarding the handset.

The photographs, obtained by French website NWE and reported on by Softpedia, appear to show what could potentially be the chassis of the new phone.

If they are legitimate, the images suggest a shake-up to the sizes available is on the cards when the phone is revealed, possibly in September. According to the leakers, the chassis can accommodate a screen size of 5.2ins, sandwiching itself between the 4.7ins iPhone 6S and 5.5ins iPhone 6S Plus.

“While a 5.2-inch version might not make sense at first, it could actually be the next logical step for the company should it decide to revamp the iPhone lineup and create more consistency into the entire Apple lineup,” says Softpedia.

The website adds that the size could point to an entirely new addition to the range: an iPhone Pro, following on from the Pro models for the iPad and MacBook. This could possibly be done by reducing the size of the Plus model to 5.2ins and reserving the 5.5ins for the range-topping Pro designation.

Additionally, if the pictures are indeed of an upcoming iPhone, they would put an end to the big rumour that Apple will drop the headphone jack from the 7 – a hole for a 3.5mm audio connector is present on the chassis.

Reports have been circulating since late last year that Apple will drop the industry standard port in favour of the Lightning port in an effort to make the iPhone 7 thinner than the iPhone 6S.

It would be great news for audiophiles not wanting to invest in a new pair of headphones – but we aren’t quite out of the woods just yet.

Even if they are legitimate, the pictures could be of a prototype chassis still subject to alteration.

Adding to this, the leakers say it’s possible the pictures could be of the Huawei P9, which is expected to feature a similar chassis to that of the iPhone, so take the pictures with a pinch of salt for now.

iPhone 7: Is Apple working on unhackable device?

26 February

Apple is working on new security measures to make it impossible for governments and security services to break into iPhones, people close to the company have told the New York Times.

The tech giant is currently in the middle of a feud with the US government over an order to unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in last year’s San Bernardino terrorist attack, where 14 people were killed.

Now it’s been reported that it is working on strengthening the handset’s privacy measures. If it succeeds, Apple would “create a significant technical challenge for law enforcement agencies” and force them to find new methods of extracting data from phones.

According to the NY Times, the security measures could be so tight that not even Apple could access future iPhones. By doing this, says ValueWalk says, the company would address its ultimate concern – that any back door Apple leaves in for itself could then be exploited by others.

The Independent says it isn’t clear how Apple could implement stricter security, but it could come about by introducing new hardware elements, suggesting that upcoming phones, such as the iPhone 7, will benefit from tighter measures. More likely, an update to the iOS operating system would be sent out to all iPhones rather than new ones being optimised via hardware.

Apple would rectify current security flaws, too. “One potential weakness in existing handsets, for example, is a troubleshooting tool that is built into the phone and allows it to be updated without the user’s password,” says the paper. The measure is meant to allow Apple staff to fix broken devices, but it is believed it may be how the FBI will into the San Bernardino phone.

There are trade-offs, though. If security is too tight, it could make for a worse user experience, experts warn.

iPhone 7: concept video reveals ‘new widescreen display’

25 February

Well off the beaten track of gritty leaks over what the upcoming iPhone 7 could look like, what hardware it could feature and whether it will have a headphone jack, some smartphone fans like to break out and let their imaginations go wild – and the latest concept video goes wilder than most.

YouTube user Sonitdac has uploaded a short film revealing the new handset’s “widescreen” system, which stretches out far past the confines of the phone’s display to reach tablet proportions – perfect for those not satisfied with the “Phablet” size of the iPhone 6S Plus. 

The concept uses a series of arms that fold out from within the handset and a flexible display to dramatically inflate the width of the screen, turning it from portrait to landscape at the touch of a button.

The folding screen rolls in and out of the phone, folding over itself when tucked away.

Despite the chances of Apple introducing something like this being nil, it hasn’t stopped some tech sites from offering their analysis.

It’s “an awesome idea”, says TechnoBuffalo, but the flimsiness and exposed gears and components would go against the tech giant’s design ethos. “Still, it’s fun to imagine how crazy the iPhone 7 could be,” it continues.

The website adds that Apple could introduce flexible OLED screens to their phones in 2018, but a design like this would still be firmly off the table.

iClarified points out some other odd iPhone fan concepts, including a video showcasing a gas powered “parachute” system that would activate if the phone is dropped. 

The iPhone 7 is coming in September and rumours so far indicate it could be quite an overhaul compared to the past generations – just don’t expect a shapeshifting, parachuting smartphone yet. 

New: try our free iPhone app, The WeekDay, for all the news that matters and nothing more. Click here for twice-daily digests distilled from the best of the British and international media

iPhone 7: Video shows how dual cameras would work

24 February

Rumours that Apple will introduce dual-camera technology on the iPhone 7 – possibly in the form of a third handset at the top of the range – just won’t go away.

If the reports are true, the company’s 800 engineers charged with developing the new tech will be tasked with delivering quite a substantial step up in camera performance.

It’s thought the system could use technology acquired from Israeli camera company LinX Imaging, but a different Israeli firm has demonstrated just what a dual-camera setup could mean.

Earlier this week, Corephotonics demonstrated such a system to CNET, showing how it can vastly improve image quality and detail when zooming.

“The new dual-camera system promises optical zoom with no moving parts, while also allowing for better noise reduction that’s not available on current phone camera sensors,” CNET says.

The accompanying video shows the technology in action, giving a glimpse of what might be on the iPhone and most certainly will start to appear on new smartphones “as early as the third quarter this year”.

The feature takes photographs with both cameras before combining the data to create detailed images.

According to ValueWalk, the imminent introduction of dual-camera phones means “it is set to be an interesting couple of years for smartphone photographers”.

iPhone 7: production to begin as suppliers ready dual-camera and speaker setups

23 February

Apple’s chip suppliers have begun to book production capacity and plan their schedules in anticipation of beginning work on the iPhone 7, according to the latest reports.

The rumours were first reported in the DigiTimes, who say industry sources have confirmed to them that Cirrus Logic and Analog Devices are gearing themselves up for second and third-quarter increases in production. The phone is expected to go on sale in September.

According to MacRumors, the news is particularly interesting in the context of strong rumours indicating the iPhone 7 will come with no headphone jack.

A previous investment note by Barclays suggested that Cirrus Logic would manufacture a dual-speaker setup for the smartphone, making use of the space vacated by ditching the industry standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

With the company being touted as a chip partner with Apple on the iPhone 7, it’s easy to put the two together.

The Analog Devices rumour also suggests that a third handset could go on sale when the phone is revealed. 

Previous reports indicated Apple could introduce three iPhones in September – the 7, a 7 Plus and a second Plus model featuring a dual-camera system. The latest whisper is that Analog Devices will provide the tech giant with the driver components for the camera.

The dual camera could be based on LinX technology, which would not only increase the quality of the photos dramatically but would also make for a much smaller camera unit – something vital if Apple is to make the aperture flush with the rest of the phone and make the handset slimmer, adds MacRumors.

Critics are sceptical as to why Apple may wish to introduce a third model to its line-up, though.

Gordon Kelly of Forbes says making an iPhone 7 Plus with a dual camera on top of the other version would be a “terrible idea”, arguing that simplicity has always been at the heart of the company’s product line and that splitting the Plus into two “merely creates confusion”.

For others, however, the possibility creates excitement, with Ubergizmo saying the iPhone 7 Plus DC – as it may be called – would be ideal for photography enthusiasts “looking to get more out of their phones”.

The latest reports also add more to the rumours that Apple will ditch Samsung as a chip supplier and that the A10 chips set to be used on the iPhone 7 will be manufactured exclusively by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

Duties had previously been shared between the two companies, but benchmark tests found the iPhone 6S’s A9 chips, made by the Taiwanese firm, can outperform the Samsung ones by as much as 22 per cent in terms of battery consumption. That’s a blow to the South Korean company as it releases its iPhone 7-challenging Galaxy S7.

iPhone 7: Apple plans ‘to introduce charging from 15ft’

19 February

It was rumoured last month that Apple was interested in adding groundbreaking wireless charging capabilities to its iPhone range, using technology that would enable the handset to be re-charged autonomously from a substantial distance.

Now, fresh reports hint the company could introduce it on their upcoming iPhone 7.

According to the New York Post, Apple has partnered up with tech firm Energous to use their WattUp wire-free charging system in future smartphones.

Energous’s two-part technology allows “practically any type of device” to be charged wirelessly from distances of up to 15ft.

It uses a “tiny” chip – ideal for Apple, considering their design constraints – which receives power from a transmitter. It could mean phones able to be recharged while in user’s pocket, so long as they were in range of the charging beacon.

Apparently, there’s a “good amount of evidence out there” suggesting Energous has landed a major partner who is interested in bringing their technology to the market – and that partner could be Apple.

If the rumours are true, it could herald “the biggest technological advancement in smartphones since Apple released the original iPhone in 2007″ as users will no longer have to be pro-active in remembering to charge their phones.

So far, the company has toyed with wireless charging capabilities on products such as the Apple Watch rather than their iPhones. They have made it known the technology is something they would only pursue if it became truly revolutionary, rather than the mat-based setups most rival smartphone makers have adopted.

It’s also typical of Apple to be late to market with a particular technology only to apply it in a way rivals have yet to fully exploit.

Introducing a feature as radical as this could be key for turning around predictions that the iPhone is about to go into decline. Many users adopted the iPhone 6 when it was released but since then, sales have begun to stagnate. There are worries the smartphone could recede for the first time soon, in part due to current owners not finding the new features so appealing that they want to upgrade. A wireless charging system, which would mean the phone could be recharged passively while in the pocket, for example, would grab their attention.

Regardless of how advanced the wireless charging technology will be when Apple finally introduces it, it’s a feature which could become a necessity – and not just from a consumer’s point of view. One of the longest-running and heaviest rumours regarding the iPhone 7 is that it will ship without a headphone jack in a bid to make it slimmer. If this is the case, the Lightning port will be used to dock headphones. Without a wireless charging system in place, using wired headphones and charging the phone at the same time would be impossible unless Apple were to place two ports on the handset.

According to the International Business Times, Energous aims to launch its technology at some point in 2016 or 2017. If the rumours are true, it could seem that either the iPhone 7, set to be released in September, or next year’s iPhone 7S could arrive with a real game-changing addition.

iPhone 7: Interference shielding will boost handset’s performance

17 January

Apple’s iPhone 7 could arrive with an upgrade to its internal hardware in a bid to find new ways to increase its performance, according to several sources on the internet.

The latest rumour suggests the tech giant is interested in using electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding to unlock more performance and decrease the potential for electromagnetic waves to interfere with processing chips.

At the moment, the technology is used on iPhone 6S’s printing circuit board and connector, but it looks set to be introduced on most major chips within Apple’s next flagship handset, which is due to be introduced later this year.

According to BGR, the benefits are two-fold.

Firstly, by reducing the potential for the chips to be interfered with, the next iPhone should offer users an even better wi-fi and cellular data experience as electromagnetic interference is reduced and performance increased.

They also point out that EMI-covered chips will let Apple “create more elaborate mainboard designs”, packaging internals closer together and freeing up space for a larger battery – something iPhone fans have wanted for some time. The iPhone 7 is said to be thinner than previous models so finding ways to package the battery could be a priority.

Secondly, the amount of electromagnetic waves emitted would be reduced substantially, addressing health concerns people may still have regarding mobile phones.

“As clock signals of digital chips have increased and as diverse functions such as 3D Touch and others were recently added, reduction of electromagnetic waves has emerged as a major topic of this industry,” an industry insider told ETNews.

MacRumors reports Apple has already found South Korean partners responsible for the production of the EMI shielding technology on the iPhone 7, suggesting the rumours hold water.

iPhone 7: how will you connect your headphones if Apple kills off standard jack?

16 February

New reports have shone further details on what Apple could be planning to do with the headphone jack on the iPhone 7.

One of the longest running rumours surrounding the upcoming phone is that it will ship without the industry standard 3.5mm jack and the Lightning port will be used to connect headphones.

Now, a research memo by Barclays and obtained by AppleInsider suggests just what the tech giant could be planning.

The iPhone 7 may come with a second speaker where the port would otherwise be, giving the phone stereo audio output.

“The headphone jack on the iPhone 6s is located along the same edge as its single speaker, which might make it a natural location,” adds the website.

Several smartphones, including Google Nexus, Sony and HTC, use a stereo speaker setup. However, introducing it on the iPhone could give Apple an advantage over Samsung and its upcoming Galaxy S7 as historically, its devices have only had one speaker.

MacRumors adds that the same reports shines light on what removing the headphone jack will mean for the peripherals that typically come with the iPhone and that a “lightning equipped headphone accessory” is expected to ship in the box, with the potential for noise-cancelling technology to be added in 2017.

Apple will use a “simple codec” to introduce Lightning port audio on the iPhone 7, followed by a more advanced noise cancelling codec next year, it says.

The thought that Apple could do away with the jack isn’t far-fetched – the tech giant has made no secret of the fact the jack obstructs it from making thinner devices and they have shipped other products without ports some consider to be essential.

In 1998, Apple launched the iMac with no floppy drive while in recent years, the MacBook has lost both the CD drive as well as standard USB ports.

Whether their gamble will pay off will depend largely on how much third party electronics manufacturers are keen to play ball with the tech giant’s move away from the industry standard. Indeed, back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, many didn’t seem perturbed by the rumours at all.

The Verge reported that most headphone makers weren’t overly concerned – many of them will likely be keen to sell more Bluetooth sets or have Lightning connector headphones either already on sale or in the pipeline.

Should Apple’s jack-free handset appear, the company will almost certainly provide evidence that they’ve considered the concerns of potential iPhone adopters. They could even use it as an opportunity to develop “smart headphones” with new features before introducing noise-cancelling in 2017, as rumoured.

iPhone 7: Apple lands blow on Samsung ahead of Galaxy S7

12 February

Samsung is to launch its new iPhone 7-rivalling handset the Galaxy S7 later this month – but Apple has dealt its key competition an early blow, from a business point of view.

It appears the A10 processor chip set to be used in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 will be manufactured exclusively by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) when the first internals for the handset go into production this summer.

Previously, manufacturing of the A9 chip used on the 6S models had been shared between the Taiwanese company and South Korea’s Samsung. But early benchmark tests hinted the TSMC chip outperformed its Samsung made rival by 3 per cent, something Apple later confirmed in head-to-head tests.

According to MacRumors, Apple has now chosen to delegate full responsibility to the Taiwan firm due to its 10-nanometre manufacturing process, as well as its more advanced device packaging techniques, which “allow for better performance and efficiency”.

Tech site BGR adds that “it’s no secret that Apple has been itching to more fully phase Samsung out of the iPhone for quite some time now” and that the South Korean company, “which has long been an Apple manufacturing partner, is being completely shut out”.

If the rumours are true, says Android Authority, it could leave Samsung’s semiconductor division in a “state of emergency”. The company will lose out on the “holy grail of chip contracts” if TSMC get exclusive purview to make the A10, but could make up for it by courting US telecom company Qualcomm to make the Snapdragon 820 chip that will make its way onto many rival handsets.

They also point out it’s not the first time Apple has sent Samsung reeling. In 2014, the company was left out in the cold over production of the A8 chip used on the iPhone 6. Samsung won back favour for the iPhone 6S – which begs the question as to whether it can get back a share of manufacturing duties when the iPhone 7S comes out in 2017.

iPhone 7: concept points to wireless charging

11 February

Concept sketches for upcoming iPhones tend to come in two distinct flavours: those that try to imagine what the next generation will actually be and those that simply investigate what it could potentially be.

Designer Herman Haidin’s drawings definitely fall into the latter category.

In a series of sketches published on Behance.net, the Ukrainian imagines an iPhone constructed from “liquidmetal” – for which Apple acquired the patent in 2010 and could potentially make the handset completely waterproof and pave the way for wireless charging.

So what is liquidmetal? Many of us already own a piece of it – every iPhone box sold today comes with a small piece of the material in it: the small prong SIM ejector.

Liquidmetal is an alloy with “an amorphous atomic structure and a multi-component chemical composition”, tech site BGR says. “The special metal has high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, water resistance and better elasticity.”

In his concept sketch, Haidin imagines the iPhone 7 with a layer of liquidmetal incorporated just beneath the screen to act as the cooling system for the new handset and help its internal components stay dry.

His drawing proposes that the handset will also have a five-inch display but be only three millimetres thick, half that of the iPhone 6S. A little fanciful, but it is within the realms of possibility according to some leaks, which suggest Apple is pushing to make its next devices slimmer than ever.

The concept also adds wireless charging to the new phone and full-screen gaming, both of which would certainly be eye-catching features.

Previous rumours suggested Apple is interested in making the upcoming versions of its flagship handset waterproof and the liquidmetal design studies are not the only whispers so far suggesting an exotic material could be used to construct the chassis of the phone.

The design of the soon-to-be outgoing 6S – particularly the rear of the handset – has divided critics due to its protruding camera module and exposed antenna bands breaking up what would otherwise be a completely flush surface.

Previously, it was hinted that a new anodised metal could be used to make the phone in the future, meaning the antenna bands would no longer be exposed on the exterior casing. Now, though, a new report by Business Korea says Apple could be looking at incorporating ceramic materials into the design of the iPhone as part of its drive to remove the bands.

Alphr says the material would be used on the back of the device – the area in need of a tidy up. It notes that rival handsets, such as the OnePlus X, use ceramic materials to give the phone a “premium feel” and that using ceramics would be a good place to start if Apple wished to make its iPhone 7 more stylish than the 6 models. However, it says the likelihood of ceramic iPhones is “a mixed bag”, regardless of strong rumours indicating the handset will look different. 

“While the source for the rumour seems to be nothing more than a prediction, it does raise an interesting possibility. Handsets such as the OnePlus X have shown that ceramic materials offer a higher level of premium feel – the sort of feel you’d associate with Apple products. If Apple wants to do something new and make the iPhone 7 even more stylish than its predecessor, giving it a ceramic finish would be a good place to start.”

More likely, says Alphr, are the rumours that the iPhone 7 will feature a waterproof design and ditch protruding cameras and the device’s rear antenna lines.

The idea that the iPhone might be waterproof gathered momentum after Apple filed patents for ports that can eject water.

Titled “Electronic Device With Hidden Connector”, the patent “shows a connector covered by a self-healing elastomer,” Alphr says. “Diagrams included in the patent show the elastomer allowing the penetration of a probe, and self-sealing once the probe is removed. The port is shielded from the elements at all times, but still allows quick and easy access for charging, headphones or anything else.”

iPhone 7: patents hint at touchless, button-free handset

5 February

iPhone users could someday be able to navigate and interact with their handsets without touching them.

Newly discovered patents filed by Apple show the company is interested in expanding its 3D touch features from the iPhone 6S to expand what can be done with its force-sensitive feature on future handsets.

The first patent describes a radical idea called “proximity and multi-touch sensor detection and demodulation” – essentially, technology to allow users to navigate their handsets without even touching them.

According to ValueWalk, the system would use photodiodes or other proximity-sensing hardware connected to the iPhone’s current force-sensitive 3D touch capabilities. This would allow users to control the handset merely by hovering their fingers over the display and pushing virtual buttons created by bouncing infrared emitted from LEDs back into the photodiodes. Apparently, it could improve the device’s battery life as well as saving space.

It’s an interesting feature, but ValueWalk says it most likely will not be coming on the iPhone 7 in September. Apple has yet to roll out comparatively simple 3D touch on many of its devices and according to AppleInsider, releasing hover-touch now could “muddy the waters”. The patent was only filed in March 2015, too.

The second user interaction-based patent outlines plans to introduce 3D touch to the home button. AppleInsider says this would work by arranging electrodes underneath the home button that would connect when pressed and introduce new options depending on the amount of pressure exerted.

“For example, an iPhone can be unlocked by a light touch with a registered finger, while a deep press unlocks the device and executes an operation like opening an app,” it says. “Contextual commands might also be mapped to distinct pressure levels, such as replying to a recently received message with a selection of intelligent responses”.

While most of the focus is on the functions such an addition could bring to the iPhone, TechnoBuffalo says it could have a massive impact on the handset’s design as well. Introducing a home button with force-sensitive touch could mean it no longer needs to be a physical feature and instead could be a flat surface with haptic feedback – curious, considering early iPhone 7 rumours hinted it may have an edge-to-edge display. Using 3D touch like this could mean the home button becomes a location on the screen rather than a physical element.

iPhone 7 leak suggests ‘thinnest, smoothest handset ever’

04 February

New details regarding the Apple iPhone 7 have reportedly been leaked.

According to Macrumours, a source close to Apple with a reliable track record of leaking accurate information has given the clearest indication yet of what to expect when the iPhone 7 is revealed in September.

According to the source, the chassis of the phone will be extremely similar to that of the iPhone 6, with two noticeable revisions.

The first change will be an alteration to the camera which will result in a slightly different look around the aperture. Apple is said to be interested in using a thinner and smaller camera module on the iPhone 7, and doing so would remove the bump the aperture currently creates on the body of the iPhone 6 and 6S, meaning the back of the phone would be smooth and flush.

Forbes says there are three more advantages to introducing the new, flush design. At the moment, when the iPhone is placed on a table, the protruding module becomes irritating as the bump makes the handset wobble. The change also means that such a delicate part will no longer be a continual point of impact when putting the phone down and that third-party case designs will be much simpler.

The other revision is said to be a change to how the antenna bands work on the handset. At the moment, the bands on the iPhone 6 models create white borders on the rear of the phone, meaning the top and bottom of the handset are divided awkwardly. Critics have called the current design unsightly – a criticism Apple may have taken to heart.

According to the source, the antenna bands will still remain exposed on the exterior of the phone, but the bar dividing the rear of the handset visually into three sections will be removed, making for a smooth, all-metal finish.

There have been whispers in the past that Apple is not satisfied with the design of the iPhone 6. Last year it was reported that the company had filed a patent for a new anodized metal design for future handsets which would allow wireless signals to be received strongly with a full metal case. iPhonehacks touted it as a possible addition to the iPhone 7.

The source did not add any information regarding the dimensions of the handset, but it is expected that the iPhone 7 will be slimmer than the iPhone 6 and 6S. Strong rumours have suggested that Apple will controversially remove the headphone jack from the device in order to reduce the thickness of the phone substantially.

Regarding the rumour that Apple will could introduce a ‘dual-camera’ equipped iPhone 7 Plus in September, Macrumours also has new information.

According to sources within the supply chain, Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese camera manufacturers have sent Apple examples of potential iPhone dual camera setups for testing ahead of potential inclusion in the iPhone range. 

It is not clear at this time how a change to the internals of the camera to make it flush with the bodywork will factor in to the dual-camera rumours.

In December, an episode of the US TV show 60 Minutes said the tech giant has more than 800 engineers working on the cameras and detailed the intricate process behind creating a smartphone camera for an Apple device. Around the same time, early rumours of the next iPhone coming with a dual-camera set-up were beginning to do the rounds on the internet. Since then, the reports have modified to accommodate the rumoured third iPhone 7.

New: try our free iPhone app, The WeekDay, for all the news that matters and nothing more. Click here for twice-daily digests distilled from the best of the British and international media

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