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July 7, 2017

Apple iPhone 7S and 7S Plus: Rumors and news leaks

by John_A

The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus might feature some of Apple’s most intriguing designs in years. If you want to know everything about them, here’s all the information we’ve got. If you want to read about the rumored high-end OLED iPhone with a curved screen and other game-changing tech, check out our iPhone 8 news post, or our iPhone 7 review if you’re wondering how Apple’s latest headset stacks up against the competition.

Here’s everything we know so far about the new iPhone 7S and 7S Plus models, likely coming in September.

Design

iPhone 7

Nikkei Asia, citing “two industry sources,” reports that Apple is planning to use advanced OLED displays in iPhone models from the second half of 2018. But it says that the iPhone maker’s suppliers might not be able to meet demand if Apple opts to use the new displays across its new iPhone lineup. (Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting said shipments of new iPhone models in the second half of 2017 will reach 90 million, half of which will be OLED handsets.)

Original device manufacturer and Apple partner Wistron recently revealed some details about the iPhone 7S Plus, saying it will receive wireless charging and waterproofing. Apple’s current phablet, the iPhone 7 Plus, is already rated IP67 water resistant — making the mention a bit peculiar. Perhaps the company is looking to improve water resistance on the upcoming models.

Wireless charging, however, is a new feature that has been previously linked to the upcoming flagship iPhone X, but not so much the refreshed 7S line. The system would work similarly to conventional devices that charge wirelessly, through contact on a pad. Earlier in June, it was rumored that the iPhone 7S would receive an aluminum unibody like its predecessor, which would put wireless charging out of the question.

The iPhone 7 was the first device in the iPhone family that could be submerged up to a meter underwater for 30 minutes. But Apple’s could take it a step further with the next iPhones, ramping up the IP rating from IP67 to IP68 and putting it on par with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. That rumor comes from the Korea Herald, which cites “multiple sources.” Most people will hardly notice a difference. The IP68-rating allows submersion up to about 5 feet for 30 minutes, a minor improvement over the 3.3 feet depth against which IP67-certified devices are protected.

The iPhone 7S models may feature a familiar design. According to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri, the mid-range iPhones will serve as upgrades to the existing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. They’ll likely sport LCD screens instead of the OLED technology rumored for the iPhone X, Arcuri says, and eschew the high-end iPhone’s “wraparound” design in favor of the current crop’s familiar flat display.

The iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus may ship in a new color. The jet black iPhone was a huge hit for the iPhone 7 despite the $100 premium, and according to recent rumors, Apple may well do the same thing with the iPhone 7S models. According to the Japanese Apple blog Macotakara, the new color’s red. Since this rumor spread, Apple has released a special Product (Red) edition of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, in partnership with the HIV/AIDS charity, making another Product (Red) edition of the new models likely.

Specs

Every year, Apple upgrades the processor in its new iPhone. The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will likely get the new A11 chip, which DigiTimes reports will use a 10nm manufacturing process. The chip should be even faster than the A10 Fusion processor. It’s safe to assume that we’ll see 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options for the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus.

Analyst Timothy Arcuri from Cowen and Company speculates the iPhone 7S, the iPhone 7S Plus, and the mysterious iPhone X will all feature 3GB of RAM. The iPhone 7 Plus is the only iPhone model at the moment with this amount of RAM, meaning the smaller model may get a bump to match the performance level of its larger sister phone. However, a previous report from TrendForce disagrees, saying the iPhone 7S will retain the current 2GB of RAM configuration.

Release date

In late February, a Wall Street Journal report corroborated rumors that Apple would launch updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2017; but their precise release date remains a mystery.

We’ve long expected the iPhone 7S to show up at Apple’s normal mid-to-late September event, however, some reports suggest that perhaps we’ll see the device a little earlier. According to a research note from BlueFin that was picked up by Barron’s, Apple is ramping up production of the next iPhone, and reportedly scheduling it for June. The report notes this doesn’t mean Apple will release the phone sooner.

Camera

A new rumor suggests the next iPhones will feature dual-lens, vertically mounted cameras, likely with functionality similar to the cameras on the existing iPhone 7 Plus. Japanese blog Mac Otakara, citing an unnamed Taiwanese supplier, suggests dual cameras will be a part of the upcoming iPhone lineup. They’re rumored to be arranged in a vertical configuration as opposed to the current horizontal layout on the 7 Plus.

According to a report from The Korea Economic Daily, Apple is collaborating with LG to create a dual-camera module that will take 3D photographs. This would certainly make sense, as LG is already the company behind the iPhone 7 Plus camera. While Apple previously patented 3D-object and gesture recognition, it’s unclear whether the upcoming iPhone will bring these patents to life.

Screen size

After some initial confusion, it seems Apple will announce an iPhone 7S, an iPhone 7S Plus, and a special iPhone X (often referred to as the iPhone 8) model in 2017. Rumors indicate the iPhone 7S will have a 4.7-inch screen, and the iPhone 7S Plus a 5.5-inch screen. The mystery iPhone X is different, and may be a more elaborate 10th anniversary device, and have a 5.8-inch curved screen. None of these phones are officially confirmed yet. You can read all about the iPhone X here.

Noted KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo agrees with many of the rumors. He writes that Apple’s iPhone 7S lineup will feature iPhones with screens measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches diagonally. He also suggests that Apple may experiment with either glass, ceramic, or plastic backs on the iPhone 7S.

In his latest report, Kuo suggested that the 4.7-inch iPhone 7S will serve as a mid-range or perhaps even low-end iPhone. And he said that the iPhone 7S models could account for between 30 and 35 percent of new iPhone shipments in 2017.

Update: We’ve added in new predictions for the iPhone X by Nikkei Asia, which reports that all models will boast high-contrast OLED displays.




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