One way Apple could head off complaints that its iPhone 7 smartphones are simply incremental improvements over recent models would be by making the devices Li-Fi ready out of the box.
Li-Fi, not Wi-Fi
No typo there: Li-Fi is a newish optical wireless network technology that supporters claim can move data 100 times faster than Wi-Fi using light. A Li-Fi Consortium was formed in 2011 to foster the light modulating technology’s development and companies such as PureLiFi have begun rolling out products (PureLiFi co-founder Harald Haas did a widely seen demo of Li-Fi during a TED talk back in 2011 and is said to have coined the term LiFi as well).
The clue that Apple might be tinkering with high-speed optical networking came in the form of a mention of “LiFiCapability” in iOS 9.1’s library cache file, according to developer Chase Fromm. Apple Insider spotted Fromm’s revelation and citing a 2013 patent application filed by Apple, notes that “In addition to the software references, Apple is known to be working on hardware implementations for light-based wireless data transfer, or optical wireless communication.”
Don’t get your hopes too high yet, however. Li-Fi might very well turn out to be more of a supplement than replacement for Wi-Fi, which itself keeps getting faster.
Boy Genius Report says there’s “not a chance” Li-Fi will show up in iPhone 7, as it “remains something of an experimental technology.” Among other things, it can’t penetrate walls, BGR notes.
Throwing a curve
Speaking of light-related technologies… rumors keep popping up about Apple moving toward OLED (organic light-emitting diode) and/or AMOLED (active-matrix OLED) displays for its new phones.
AppAdvice lays out some of the possible benefits of going this route:
“[OLED] uses less power, which means an iPhone would be even more battery efficient. OLED displays are also thinner and lighter, offer wider viewing angles, higher brightness, and improved contrast levels.”
Though according to sites that track Apple suppliers such as LG and Samsung, we might still be talking about 2018 for these upgrades.
DigiTimes does report this week that LG is cranking up production during the first half of this year for curved OLED displays, so that would certainly put a new twist on the iPhone.
Nothing gets iPhone rumors cooking like the lead-up to Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, and one early game is figuring out when the event will be held.
While Apple is mum on WWDC ’16 (the website still references 2015), MacRumors’ snoops note that only a “narrow window” is unspoken for on the Moscone West convention center’s online schedule, and that’s the venue where Apple usually holds its popular conference each June. The dates of June 13-17 are the open ones for now…
While a new iPhone introduction is unlikely there, iOS 10 could make its debut.
Google recently revealed that its always sold-out Google I/O conference will take place in mid-May.
And finally, a new iPhone 7 concept design
The prolific Arthur Reis shares his latest vision of what the iPhone 7 might look like on the behance.net website.
It’s a shimmery vision at that, with a thinner, stronger phone boasting an AMOLED display, 4x faster CPU and GPU, 16 hours of battery life and a built-in air thermometer. Oh, and if you’re crying over this, it’s also water resistant.