iPhone 7 rumor rollup: Modem madness, another speaker & a snazzy new concept design

Will Qualcomm's powerful new Snapdragon processor/modem make its way into the iPhone 7?

iPhone 7 rumor rollup: Modem madness, another speaker & a snazzy new concept design
Credit: Methodshop/Flickr

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day perhaps, much of the focus of iPhone 7 rumors over the past week or so has been on what’s on the inside (since that’s what matters of course…). Not to say that eye candy like Herman Haidin’s “iPhone Essence” design concept didn’t get a fair amount of love from iPhone followers this week. 

INSIDE IPHONE 7

The Pocket Lint blog picked up on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon processors that pack a superfast new modem in them that could just maybe find its way into the next iPhone. And why not? Qualcomm has supplied modem technology to Apple for years. The modems will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month.

Pocket Lint writes:

Dubbed the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, the new model is capable of download speeds up to 1Gbps, a huge boost on what is capable today, but without the need to drastically enhance the network infrastructure.

It means users who have the modem in their phone and are on a network capable of delivering those speeds can have instant access to the cloud as if it was on the device, play 360 video instantly, and be able to make even crisper and clearer video calls.

We’re talking 5G here, if you believe the marketers…

In other iPhone processor news, a report from Electronic Times says that Apple is partnering exclusively with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. for the A10 processor, leaving sometimes partner-most times rival Samsung in the cold. TSMC has been supplying processors for Apple smartphones since the iPhone 6, so they are quite familiar with each other. The question is whether Apple is taking too much of a risk not having two suppliers for this key component of its devices. Meanwhile, at least Samsung will get its “iPhone killer” – the Galaxy S7 – out well before the iPhone.

HEAR ME NOW

The latest on Apple ditching the standard 3.5mm headphone jack with a Lightning-based audio input is that Apple would add another speaker to where the headphone jack currently resides. What’s more, Apple would introduce noise cancellation technology, perhaps next year in the iPhone 7s, using technology from Cirrus Logic, according to MacRumors, citing a Barclays analyst report.

As Apple Insider notes, Apple won't be breaking any new ground with an additional speaker on its smartphone:

A number of competing smartphones already offer stereo speakers. Sometimes these are located along the same edge, but in other cases they're on opposite ends of a device, enabling better panning when in landscape mode.

GOOD NEWS FOR APPLE

Wouldn’t it be a shame if Apple was going through all these efforts and then no one bought the iPhone 7? Well, of course that’s not going to happen, but Apple’s stock has famously slumped in recent months. But as ValueWalk reports, not everyone’s outlook for the iPhone is bleak: A survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch finds there is high demand for the iPhone 7 – so much so that it could hurt iPhone 6s sales. About 4 out of 10 surveyed who said they plan to buy an iPhone said they’re cool with holding out until the next big model.

BACK TO THAT DESIGN CONCEPT

It's been way too long since we've had a good Liquidmetal rumor. Apple has had an exclusive license with the maker of this wondrous alloy for years now, promising ever stronger, possibly waterproof, ever more magical smartphones. 

But Herman Haidin's aforementioned Phone Essence design concept got the Liquidmetal crowd fired up this week when he released a vision for the next iPhone that includes a Liquidmetal layer serving as the device's base cooling system (we've reached out to the Ukrainian designer for permission to use an image of his concept, but for now we're just linking to his Behance.net page above.)

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