The iPhone 7 is just around the corner. But unlike nearly all solid-number-update iPhones that came before it, the iPhone 7 WILL NOT be a major update over last year’s model, the iPhone 6s.
This means Apple will have used the same chassis design for three years on the trot which has lead most to assume Apple is switching to a three-year re-design cycle; that, or it's just getting incredibly lazy.
As it stands, it is looking more like the former scenario and, adding further weight the assertions, it is also the iPhone’s 10th birthday next year, so it stands to reason that Apple will want to do something special.
So what will be so special about 2017’s iPhone?
According to sources inside FOXCONN next year’s iPhone will be made entirely out of glass, so you can expect some definite physical changes to how the handset looks. The display will also be an AMOLED panel.
“Foxconn has been trying glass chassis since last year,” reports NIKKEI. “It is only natural that Foxconn is trying to come up with glass chassis as the capabilities to provide more components will bolster its standing within the supply chain and help with more orders,” a second source noted.
Another rumour doing the rounds is that Apple will get rid of the Home key. This is an oldie, but now that the iPhone’s chassis will be made from glass it is starting to look more plausible — TouchID could easily be embedded inside the chassis and activated using Apple’s existing haptic technology seen inside the Apple Watch and new MacBooks.
It is believed Samsung will supply the majority of Apple’s AMOLED panels next year. FOXCONN, however, is said to be keen on developing its own production unit, a move that could be worth billions to the company, as Apple will do all it can to avoid using Samsung-made gear, as evidenced by its switch to TSMC for its SoCs.
What will be interesting is how Apple sells this year’s iPhone. I mean, it kind of feels like common knowledge now that this year’s iPhone will be a bit, err… meh. I know the camera will receive a massive update, but beyond this — save for CPU improvements — I am struggling to see where Apple can add in value?
Millions of units will still be sold, no doubt, but I for one will certainly be holding out for 2017’s iPhone. In the meantime, I’ll make do with Android, as that seems to be where all the innovation is these days.