iPhone 7 Rumor Rollup: WWDC invites; Storage party; 3-year cycles

iPhone 7 Rumor Rollup: WWDC invites; Storage party; another leak
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Is Apple really going to make us wait 3 years between big upgrades from now on?

It can be painful enough stretching out iPhone rumors for a year or two, but a new report suggests Apple is changing its cycle for major iPhone refreshes from 2 years to 3. In other words, yes, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus could be as boring as headlines have claimed.

Nikkei reports that a slowing smartphone market and a lack of room for enhancements have forced Apple to change its ways. 

Nikkei says look to 2017 if you want excitement:

"On the other hand, the 2017 model will likely involve major enhancements and design changes, including adoption of an organic electroluminescent display. The new device will also be able to create more complex tactile vibrations on the display because of a tiny, but high-performance motor equipped inside."

Apple sends WWDC invites

While the dates for Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference were already known to be June 13-17, the company made things really official this past week by issuing media invitations for June 13, the day it will presumably suck us in to one of those endless announcement shows.

While the iPhone 7 will likely not be mentioned, the software that it will run – iOS 10 – surely will.  Expect the software to include upgrades to Siri, HomeKit, Apple Pay and Apple Music, among other things.

Data hoarders rejoice!

Word on the Web is that Apple is planning to offer 256GB storage options for its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in the fall, doubling the current top-of-the-line storage choice. For those who like to do things like carry around music on their smartphone rather than gobbling up data by streaming it, such a higher capacity could be a boon.

Market research firm TrendForce cites a steep drop in NAND Flash prices since the second half of last year for inspiring phone makers to up storage as a selling point. One casualty of a move to 256GB might be the currently popular 64GB mid-range option, TrendForce says. 

In addition to a storage boost, memory is likely to increase on the iPhone 7 Plus to 3GB from the current 2GB standard on Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Same old, same old

A new indicator that the new iPhones will look a lot like the current iPhones comes via a leaked image on the Asian site Weibo and analyzed on sites like 9To5Mac.

On the outside, the main differences appear to be a bigger camera hole, possibly translating into a better camera, and more discreet antenna lines, confined to the phone’s edge as opposed to the entire back of the device.

But of course what you really care about is what’s on the inside, right? See the internal storage upgrade above for that...

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