iPhone 7 rumor rollup: May the Force Touch be with you

Debate swirls about whether the next iPhone will be the 6C, 6S, 7...or even 8?

Credit: Methodshop/Flickr

Perhaps because of this past week’s buzz about Apple Watch going on sale, the iPhone 7 rumor mill has spit out relatively little for Apple fans and the media to overreact about. About the biggest excitement has been figuring out if the next phone will be called the iPhone 6C, 6S or 7.

Although the reason for that renaming is of interest. Namely, that Apple might be planning to fit its next iPhone with a variation of the Force Touch technology going into its Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook. Comments to this effect from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made the rounds after he issued a note to clients and the note was quoted by MacRumors: “We believe that iPhone’s Force Touch sensor doesn’t directly detect the pressure applied by fingers. Instead, it monitors the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is.

Such an advance would be waaaay too important to bury in a 6S iPhone, but would be just right for an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (Kuo expects Apple to stick with 4.7- and 5.5-inch models, like with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus).

And who’s to argue with Kuo. He’s been right on a number of Apple predictions before, so much so that MacRumors cites his “respectable track record” and International Business Times describes him as "renowned."

Though going with iPhone 7 would throw off a pattern of smartphone naming by Apple in which it alternates going with straight number, then S model editions, year by year.

If Apple is to make a major release of the iPhone 7 this year, its staff better get cracking. Among the other things expected/hoped for in the next major iPhone would be improved battery life, and Apple is said (by AppleInsider) to be hiring plenty of new people to work on that, and water-proofing, as evidenced by a new patent. Although Apple is expected to stick with LCD technology for its iPhone displays rather than moving to OLED, as it has done for its smart watches, so that could help move production along.

iPhone 6C speculation

All this speculation quickly buried buzz from earlier in the month after images surfaced online of a supposed rear casing for an iPhone 6C, a new edition of Apple’s budget model iPhone. A bare-bones mobile blog called Future Supplier initially shared the images, which some have suggested are Photoshopped, and in true Upworthy form, tease readers with “You may get a shock by what we recently found.”

iDigital Times isn’t sure it’s buying the 6C photos. It notes that while there are some slight differences between the 5C casing and the purported 6C one (such as the hole where Apple’s camera flash peeks out), it thinks the case would need to be thicker to contain some of the 6C features at a time when Apple is increasingly about thinning things down.

On to iPhone 8

If you’re already tired of the 6 vs. 7 debate, then we invite you to take a look at Mihael Merkler’s vision of iPhone 8. The Macedonian designer has posted images on the Behance site in which he envisions Apple bringing out a laser-projected keyboard, allowing users to switch between battery-saving quad core processor or a more powerful octo core processor, and packaging the whole thing in glass, aluminum and carbon fiber.

iphone concept
Behance/Mihael Merkler
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