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May 23, 2016

Alleged iPhone 7 Prototype Case Leak Shows Four Separate Speakers

by John_A

In a curious twist on recent rumors about the upcoming iPhone 7, French language blog Nowhereelse.fr today posted a series of images purporting to show a prototype rear case for the next-gen iPhone featuring four separate speakers.

According to previous rumors, Apple could drop the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and replace it with a second speaker that would potentially allow for the use of an additional audio amp provided by Cirrus Logic, which would also supply the noise-cancellation smart codec in an also-rumored Lightning-equipped headphone accessory.

Other more recent rumors based on alleged leaked iPhone 7 blueprints have cast doubt on that claim, showing no second speaker in place of the missing headphone jack and suggesting Apple’s evolving iPhone design will continue to have a single speaker setup.

Today’s post by serial leaker Steven Hemmerstoffer has therefore thrown a curveball into the rumor mill, with some images apparently taken from a promotional video made by an Italian casemaker, which allegedly received a prototype iPhone 7 case in anticipation of the coming refresh in September.

iPhone-7-Prototype Italian 02
While the wider lens and lack of horizontal antenna lines are consistent with previous leaks, the appearance of four separate speaker grilles – two at the top and two along the bottom – is a new, albeit sketchy contender.

As Hemmerstoffer himself notes, it doesn’t seem viable for a speaker to sit so close to the camera module, unless the reorientation of the camera and LED flash holes from a horizontal alignment across the rear of the handset, to a vertical arrangement running down it, somehow allows for the possibility.

In addition, it’s unclear what benefit four speakers would have in such a small profile over one or even two of them. Still, the alleged leak remains an unexpected and therefore interesting development in the continuing iPhone 7 rumor story.

iPhone-7-Prototype Italian 03
Other, more consistent industry mutterings and leaks suggest Apple’s new iPhones will look similar to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series, featuring only minor tweaks to the design such as the horizontal antenna band removal, flush camera, and a thinner Lightning port, while the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus model is thought to get exclusivity to a dual-lens camera system and Smart Connector.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
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