iPhone 7 Rumor Rollup: iPhone Pro won’t be for amateurs; Slimmed down bodies; Drones on the way?

Apple said to be slimming down the iPhone 7; an OLED display could be coming sooner than later, too

iPhone 7 Rumor Rollup: iPhone Pro won’t be for amateurs; Slimmed down bodies; Drones on the way?
Credit: Methodshop/Flickr

The next high-end flagship Apple smartphone could be minus the Plus if rumors swirling this past week are true: An iPhone Pro, rather than an iPhone 7 Plus, could be on the way.

IPHONE 7 PRO

The reliable MacRumors website isn’t exactly betting the farm on a report from Chinese website MyDrivers that Apple might name a version of its next iPhone phablet, boasting a rear dual-lens camera, the iPhone Pro. “Apple is reportedly considering the name to distinguish the device from the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, said to include standard single-lens cameras,” MacRumors writes.

Reliable source or not, the MyDrivers report triggered a slew of follow-ups about the possible smartphone name. As Forbes notes, the addition of an iPhone 7 Pro to a regular old iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – plus a 4-inch iPhone 5se in March – would be quite the bumper crop of Apple smartphones for one calendar year. 

Boy Genius Report says a new naming convention makes sense:

“Truth be told, this idea actually makes quite a bit of sense. Consider this: At first glance, the only apparent difference between an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus would be their different screen sizes. But with rumors swirling that the iPhone 7 Plus will be the only iPhone model to be graced with the company’s exciting dual camera lens technology, why not make that distinction clearer with a ‘Pro’ designation?”

But not everyone is happy with this possible turn of events. The Know Your Mobile blog has launched an online intervention, begging “Apple, Don’t Mess Up The iPhone 7 By Fragmenting it To HELL!” Writer Michael Grothaus argues that “lots of people want all the latest features without the larger display,” and in particular expresses dismay at the idea that Apple might reserve the dual-lens camera for the larger-screen iPhone. 

THE SKINNY ON IPHONE 7

Every millimeter counts when it comes to smartphones and Apple is said to be introducing an iPhone 7 that will be 1mm slimmer than the 6.1mm iPhone 6s, according to Cult of Mac, which cites Macotakara as its source on this speculation. Cult of Mac points out that the iPhone has been slenderized from 11.6mm if you go back to the first version.

“Personally, I’d rather that Apple provide a bigger battery than focus on slimming down the iPhone even more,” writes Cult of Mac’s Luke Dormehl.

Rumors of a more slender iPhone have gone hand in hand with speculation Apple will ditch the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack for a version of its Lightning port, though some would rather keep a thicker phone if it would mean a beefier battery could be used.

OGLING AN OLED SCREEN

But maybe a beefier battery wouldn’t be needed if Apple does indeed use a more energy efficient OLED screen for its iPhone, as it has done for its smart watches. Such a screen has largely been rumored to be on the drawing board for 2018, but the latest word is that an OLED screen might appear as soon as 2017. 

9to5Mac says that Apple is nearing a deal – worth more than $12B -- with Samsung and LG to pump out the displays.

One result of Apple possibly moving up its OLED timeline would be a delay in producing curved phones, writes Apple Insider, which cites Nikkei for its latest news on this topic. “Manufacturers don't have enough time to ensure panel reliability in conjunction with a potentially unconventional design, and Apple wants to bring OLED to market as soon as possible, the report said,” according to Apple Insider.

DRONING ON ABOUT IPHONE 7

Apple and drone maker DJI are partners, as evidenced by the fact that the new Phantom 4 Camera Drone ($1,400) is available exclusively via Apple for the next few weeks. DJI’s demos have all featured iPads or iPhones being used to control the quadcopters, and concept designers have floated the idea about Apple someday making its own drones. I wouldn’t put it past them…

MORE: Best iPhone 7 design concepts of 2016

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