Apple is about to unveil its lineup of new products tomorrow in San Francisco. Rumor has it that Apple is introducing the iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 Plus and the Apple Watch 2. The company will also talk about iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and potentially maybe the new MacBook Pros. Here’s what to expect.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. For the past three years, Apple has introduced new iPhones at a press event in early September. Based on multiple leaks, this year shouldn’t be an exception.
The iPhone 7 (or whatever Apple calls it, but iPhone 7 seems likely) will feature more or less the same design as the iPhone 6s. The antenna lines at the back will be streamlined and the camera will be a bit more prominent. And yes, it looks like the audio port is going away.
It seems likely that Apple is going to spend quite a bit of time talking about camera improvements. Based on leaked photos, the iPhone 7 camera will be bigger and the flash more effective, indicating that it’s more than a simple component refresh.
Back in December 2015, 60 Minutes unveiled that 800 people were working on the iPhone camera at Apple. Apple is dedicating a lot of resources on its camera as it thinks it could be an important differentiating factor with other phone manufactures and even previous iPhone models.
I would even say that the new iPhone camera will potentially be better than many DSLR cameras out there. A few years ago, before smartphone cameras got really good, many people bought cheap DSLR cameras to get serious about photography. These cameras have gotten old and outdated and cumbersome.
If you haven’t stopped using this dedicated camera altogether already, chances are you’re going to slowly but surely stop using cameras as the iPhone camera gets better. And this year’s new camera could be a tipping point. Convenience trumps quality, especially when you can have a connected camera in your pocket all the time.
In particular, the iPhone 7 Plus is supposedly getting a mysterious dual-lens camera system. This could be a major selling point for the bigger phone, as this new camera module could provide two different angles, better low-light performance with software correction and more. It’s still unclear how Apple plans to take advantage of these new sensors.
More importantly, the iPhone camera isn’t just a component to take pictures. It’s the iPhone’s eyes. The camera enables QR codes, augmented reality apps and more. Apple has just scratched the surface on this front.
New iPhone also rhymes with a new system-on-a-chip. If KGI is correct, the Apple A10 manufactured by TMSC should be a beast. With a CPU clocked at 2.4GHz, it should be much faster than the iPhone 6s processor — and if you’re reading this article on a 3-year old laptop, it could even be faster than your computer.
It’s quite simple — performance improvement for mobile processors has been insane. And Apple’s chips are incredibly important. You can find Apple A chips in many Apple products — the iPhone, the iPad but also the Apple TV, the Apple Watch and why not future virtual reality projects. Apple decided to design its chips in house back in 2010. It’s one of the best technological moves Apple has ever made.
In other iPhone expectations, yes, the headphone port is going away. It’s unclear why Apple needs to kill it now, but Apple likes to remove ports as quickly as possible. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, Apple could ship the iPhone 7 with a Lightning-to-headphone adaptor as well as Lightning EarPods. Apple will also introduce new Beats headphones for those who want to pay more to switch to a wireless option.
The screen should be much better with a wider color gamut like on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It should also be a True Tone display, meaning that the white balance of the display will adjust automatically to match the lights around you. The iPhone 7 might also support the Apple Pencil, but don’t hold your breath for this one.
The Home button could become a touch surface with haptic feedback. Instead of clicking on a physical button, users would press down and get instant feedback thanks to the Taptic Engine. It works well on Apple trackpads and could remove a recurring point of failure for iPhone owners.
Apple will finally kill the 16GB iPhone 7 option. You’ll be able to buy a phone with 32GB, 128GB or even 256GB of internal storage.
When it comes to design, Apple doesn’t plan to drastically change the design of the iPhone 7. It will more or less look like an iPhone 6s with a new “piano black” color in addition to existing colors. The phone should be waterproof in case you drop it
in the toilet in a river.
That’s about all we know about the iPhone 7. There will be quite a lot of internal improvements. But most people will simply talk about the death of the headphone jack anyway.
The Apple Watch was introduced two years ago and launched 18 months ago. It’s time for a refresh. While it doesn’t seem like a big refresh, it should be enough to boost sales for the holiday season.
The second Apple Watch will feature a GPS chip, a faster processor, a slightly bigger battery to run all of this as well as a slimmer display to compensate for the bigger battery. The design should be the same. Thankfully, your existing Apple Watch bands should work with the new one.
Will Apple update the very, very expensive Apple Watch Edition as well? It’s unclear. It seems like Apple wanted a flagship model to show that it was serious about fashion. But now that the Galeries Lafayette, Colette and Hermès sell the Apple Watch, Apple can focus on mass-market watches.
During the press conference, Apple will probably mention iOS 10 again. The upcoming operating system features a massive Siri update with third-party integrations. It could have a big impact on the way you use your iPhone.
Apple has also unveiled a completely redesigned lock screen with rich notifications that can display tiny live widgets and a huge Photos app update with face recognition, deep learning categorization and intelligent photo albums. Apple Maps, Apple Music, HomeKit and the Phone app are also receiving updates. Finally, the company is overhauling the Messages app with many, many new features — an emojify feature, message effects, Slack-like feedback on messages, rich link previews and third-party extensions. iOS 10 should be released next week.
As for everything else, Apple may talk about macOS Sierra, tvOS 10, watchOS 3, App Store changes and everything we already know. It’s less likely, but Apple may talk about the new MacBook Pro and a new external display with an integrated GPU. It doesn’t seem like there’ll be enough time to do a proper product introduction though.
So tomorrow’s keynote should be an interesting one, and we’ll be there to cover it live.