So far iPhone 7 leaks have had one consistent message: prepare to be disappointed. But, following the release of new chassis photos, that might be about to change…
Picked up by the ever reliable Nowhereelse.fr are new images which suggest the iPhone 7 may actually make a few very significant design alterations after all. Let’s break them down:
Change #1 – Four Way Speaker Heaven
Last year Apple introduced a brilliant quad array of speakers with the iPad Pro 12.9, something it continued with the smaller iPad Pro 9.7 and now these new photos suggest Apple will bring them to the iPhone 7.
iPhone 7 chassis leak shows four speakers, including two at the top. Image credit: Nowhereelse.fr
How is this done? The photos show dual speakers top and bottom. No, they still aren’t front firing like some rivals but they would likely give the iPhone 7 external audio which is up there with the best.
No this wouldn’t be world changing or my default route for music, but for those who enjoy audio books, podcasts and so forth it could prove very useful and do away with the need for smaller Bluetooth speakers. Furthermore this was hinted at in April.
Change #2 – Larger Camera, Repositioned Flash
Another area where the iPhone 7 looks to be taking design cues off the iPad Pro line is the camera. Just like the iPad Pro 9.7, the iPhone 7 chassis photos show the flash repositioned under the camera instead of sitting alongside it.
iPhone 7 chassis leak (left) shows flash repositioned like the iPad Pro 9.7 (middle) which differs from the iPad Pro 12.9 (right). Image credit: Nowhereelse.fr
This could free up the necessary internal space for the top edge speakers, but it also ties in with a larger camera cut out which hints at a notable sensor upgrade (likely aperture ahead of megapixels). Given Apple is now playing catch up to Samsung, this is vital – even if it again suggests the more radical dual camera technology the company has will be saved for the new iPhone 7 Pro.
Change #3 – Goodbye Headphone Jack (Yet Again)
Yes, once again a chassis leak has shown the iPhone 7 removes the headphone jack (a long term Apple strategy I broke nearly two years ago). At this point the leaks around this are so consistent that it looks to be nailed on. How users react to this loss is likely to be the single biggest factor affecting the phone’s success or failure.
The Big Warning
Of course there’s one additional point which needs to be made here: why we’re still finding slight discrepancies in these iPhone 7 leaks?
The obvious point is some are simply wrong (and that will undoubtedly be the case), but the other factor is Apple is known to test multiple prospective iPhone designs for each generation so we’re likely just seeing some of those variants here.
What I would say is I hope Apple picks this one. This chassis is by far the most compelling we’ve seen to date with others being uninspired retreads of the iPhone and iPhone 6S. No, they still aren’t as exciting as the all glass and edgeless display iPhone 8 revelations, but they could do enough to satisfy Apple’s famously loyal supporters.
Only time will tell…