iPhone 7 won't include game-changing features, report claims

Apple logo from inside Apple Store in Boston
Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

With WWDC now behind us, the next big event on Apple's schedule is its highly anticipated iPhone 7 unveiling. Likely to take place sometime this coming September, the iPhone 7 will be under a lot of pressure to boost sales. Of course, iPhone sales are still incredibly strong, but Apple in 2016 experienced its first year-over-year drop in iPhone sales in history. In other words, analysts and pundits will be looking at the iPhone 7 to deliver in a big way.

That said, a recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that the iPhone 7 may not include any game-changing features. Specifically, the report relays that Apple's traditional schedule of implementing major design changes to the iPhone every two years will be adjusted ever so slightly.

Apple Inc. plans to break with its recent pattern of overhauling the design of its flagship iPhone every two years, and make only subtle changes in the models it will release this fall, according to people familiar with the matter.

Among other things, those people said, Apple’s newest phones will maintain the current 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. Those are the sizes of the larger-display models Apple introduced in 2014, and refreshed with newer models last fall.

The biggest planned change in this year’s phones is the removal of the headphone plug, which will make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance, said people familiar with the matter.

If this report pans out, it will be interesting to see how iPhone 7 sales fare.

Complicating matters is Apple's rumored decision to completely abandon the tried-and-true 3.5mm headphone jack. Recently, there has been no shortage of passionate debates regarding the wisdom (or perhaps stupidity) behind Apple completely eliminating a worldwide standard. Some well-known industry figures have even taken to calling Apple's rumored design move (which we should point out isn't official by any means) "user-hostile and stupid."

Interestingly, Apple has a history of phasing out established technologies. Remember, the iMac shipped without a floppy drive and Apple, with the MacBook Air, shipped a laptop with no optical drive.

All in all, it appears that Apple and iPhone fans will have to wait for 2017's iPhone 7s for some major iPhone changes to take foot. From what we've gathered thus far, Apple's 2017 iPhone will likely feature a curved OLED display with an embedded home button and Touch ID sensor.

As a final point, the one wild card in all of this is the iPhone 7's camera. If the iPhone 7's camera truly represents a tremendous leap forward in quality, then perhaps that's the big selling point Apple is banking on this year. Thankfully, we won't have to wait too much longer to find out.

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