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iPhone 7 rumours: redesigned antenna lines, but no OLED until 2017

Caitlin McGarry | June 21, 2016
What would you want to see in the iPhone 7? (Yes, longer battery life is on our wishlist, too.)

Plausible? These conflicting Apple rumours could mean a few things. Either both leaked photos are fake, one of them is fake, or both of them are real. According to Forbes, Apple is known for creating several different prototypes of its upcoming products to test, so these photos could both be depicting early, but different iterations of the iPhone 7. That both of them would leak, however, seems unlikely.

Glass on both sides?

The rumour: Remember the iPhone 4, encased in glass on both sides, so you'd have twice as many surfaces that could shatter every time it slipped out of your hand? Apple may bring back an all-glass design in 2017. Hopefully it's a bit more durable this time.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks that Apple is planning a major iPhone redesign for 2017 - not this spring. In a note to investors, he predicted an iPhone with a 5.8in OLED screen that's encased in glass on both sides, yet smaller than the current iPhone 6s Plus, meaning Apple would be looking to eliminate as much bezel and 'chin' as possible. DisplayMate president Ray Soneira echoes Kuo's OLED predictions in a recent report, citing the 'rapid improvements' in OLED performance over the last six years.

"Apple simply has no choice in switching," Soneira says, because OLEDs are thinner, lighter, more responsive and can be curved or bent in ways that LCD displays just can't.

Kuo also predicted the all-glass 2017 iPhone would have wireless charging, and some kind of biometrics, like face recognition or iris scanning. The Home button takes up a lot of space on the current iPhones, and replacing it with other biometrics for login and Apple Pay (along with deep-touch gestures for exiting apps) could let Apple expand the screen.

Plausible? In Apple's usual 'tick-tock' cycle, the 2016 iPhone would get a redesign, since the current iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are upgrades to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus designs that launched in 2014. But if Apple really is switching to OLED, that's a major shift that may need more time to perfect. It'll be interesting to see what innovations Apple can add in 2016 to make the iPhone seem exciting even if the overall design stays the same - a better camera and a Smart Connector are a start.

Smart connector?

The rumour: New images and renderings have surfaced allegedly depicting the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models. Quoting the Japanese site Mac OtakaraMacRumors reported that these images could be the 'real thing'. The leaked image of the iPhone 7 Plus shows a Smart Connector, hinting at the possibility of a Smart Keyboard. While the Mac Otakara report seems to confirm previous rumours that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will have a similar design to the current generation 6s and 6s Plus, the website also contests previous reports. Most notably, Mac Otakara refutes the rumour that these new iPhones will have a second speaker to create stereo sound.

 

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