iPhone 7 rumor rollup: Heavy metal! Fingerprints! A kinda-sorta-maybe release date!

Would you believe there are people so interested in Apple and all of its works that they want to know what’s going on with the next generation of the iPhone before it even comes out? My editors assure me that this is the case. So, despite the obvious lunacy of the idea – I mean, surely it’s enough to know that there will probably be another one coming out at some point, right? – I am stepping in to provide you with the latest scuttlebutt on what may or may not be the iPhone 7.

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Probably the biggest news comes, as it frequently seems to, from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose latest research note indicates that the next generation iPhone will be made of the same 7000-series aluminum used in advanced devices like the Apple Watch and the F-22 Raptor. (H/T: Macotakara)

The 7000 series of aluminum alloys is characterized by the presence of zinc, and they are the most commonly chosen alloys for high-strength-to-weight-ratio applications, like military aircraft and consumer electronic devices owned by clumsy people. Such alloys are also likely to be more expensive, but how much that will affect the unit costs of the iPhone 7 remains to be seen.

The analyst’s note also predicted the availability of a rose-gold model of the phone, and a minor increase in the size of the device to accommodate the haptic force-sensing “Force Touch” display rumored for it.

Ming-Chi Kuo is the iNostradamus of the Apple world – Cult of Mac called him “the most accurate Apple seer around,” but also pointed out that he’s far from infallible, so make of this what you will. Still, military-grade, ultra-premium construction materials? Rose-gold finishes? Sure sounds like Apple.

A release date? A sick camera? A-hunka-hunka-burnin love?

Tech blog Geeksnack reports that the iPhone 7 will be released in March 2016, along with the second generation of Apple Watch, while the iPhone 6S will come out in October of this year, citing anonymous sources within the company.

The iPhone 7 will have “DSLR-level photography” capabilities, incorporate the TouchID fingerprint sensor into the main screen – doing away with the home button – and “adopt a slightly different design language,” according to Geeksnack’s sources.

Obviously, it’s not clear what “a slightly different design language” could look like, though it’s worth noting that Apple isn’t exactly given to making big, seismic changes in product design. Something will be squared-off that was rounded before, or something will have its edges beveled differently, and presto – “a slightly different design language.”

More from the illustrious Ming-Chi Kuo

The eminent reader of Apple’s tea leaves, earlier in the month, also stated that the next iPhone – likely the iPhone 6S, not the iPhone 7 – will pack 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM. That’s the same type of RAM used by the Samsung Galaxy S6, and a substantial upgrade over the 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple’s clearly not indifferent to the growing performance gap between Samsung’s latest and greatest and its own flagship designs. (A good illustration is available here, at the always-excellent Tom’s Guide site.)

(H/T, again: Macotakara)

(Note: Bob Brown is on vacation.)

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