Apple today unofficially announced the reveal date for the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2, sending out press invites for a September 7, 2016 event at the Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. (via MacRumors).
Apple will be livestreaming the iPhone 7 event, available on iOS, OS X, Windows 10, and Apple TV devices.
The iPhone 7 is expected to largely retain a design similar to the current iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, while foregoing the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom in favor of an additional speaker grill, providing stereo audio without requiring headphones.
This year’s fall iPhone event is expected to herald the release of more than just the iPhone 7, however. Rumors suggest that a newly upgraded Apple Watch 2, sporting a larger battery, will also accompany this year’s new iPhone. As with every iPhone model upgrade, a faster processor and improved camera will be a welcome upgrade for earlier-model iPhone owners, and offer a debatably good reason to upgrade from last fall’s “s” models. Thankfully, the unsightly antenna bands running across the back of the iPhone 6s should be relocated near the top of the iPhone 7.
Another welcome addition to the iPhone lineup should be improved water resistance. The iPhone 7 has been long rumored to up its resistance to water damage – putting it more in line with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and newer Note 7 smartphones. This water resistance will be better accomplished with the removal of the headphone jack, and the rumored pressure-sensitive home button coming to the iPhone 7.
The new pressure-sensitive home button on the iPhone 7 is expected to function similarly to the 3D Touch functionality that debuted with the iPhone 6s and Apple Watch. Instead of physically depressing a clickable home button, the iPhone 7’s home button should be flush with the front of the iPhone, responding to pressure on the designated area while providing a vibrating feedback similar to the Apple Watch and iPhone 6s’ Taptic Engine.
Base storage options of the iPhone 7 should finally see the death of the 16GB iPhone, instead making 32GB the lowest option. Apple appears to have finally realized that a 16GB iPhone is a crippled device, preventing users from taking advantage of new features like Live Photos and high-quality video recording due to a lack of storage space. The iPhone 7 Plus may even include a storage option of up to 256GB, while the iPhone 7 may max out at 128GB (a huge upgrade from the current 64GB max). iPhone 7 storage options are expected to include 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB options, while the iPhone 7 Plus is expected to offer 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options.
Other standard upgrades that are sure to be included with the iPhone 7 are faster LTE speeds, and improved Wi-Fi speeds through upgrades to MIMO functionality. Both of these upgrades will require support from cellular providers (like T-Mobile or Verizon for LTE) and your home internet router for Wi-Fi. Without upgrades to cellular towers in your area, or a compatible Wi-Fi router at home, these upgrades may not be usable to many upgraders, especially outside of major metropolitan areas.
Unsubstantiated rumors also suggest that the iPhone 7 Plus model will see an additional RAM increase, from the iPhone 6s Plus to 3GB, from the current 2GB (which was an upgrade from the 1GB of the iPhone 6 Plus). This would be a welcome upgrade, furthering the speed advantage the iPhone 6s Plus has over Samsung’s latest Note 7.
Additionally, an upgraded Apple Watch should also make a debut. While the Apple Watch 2 is expected to retain the same design as the current Apple Watch, the battery capacity is expected to increase by 35% – from “0.94 Wh-246 mAh to 1.28 Wh-334 mAh” (via 9t05Mac). This should be a noticeable upgrade for power users, although I find that my Apple Watch easily lasts me through the day (provided I am not playing COSMOS RINGS).
Finally, we should receive finalized release dates for iOS 10, watchOS 3, and macOS Sierra. iOS 10 should arrive shortly before the release of the iPhone 7 (September 23, 2016), with watchOS 3 arriving around the same time.
Apple’s 2016 Fall iPhone 7 event will begin at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, and will likely run for around two hours.