The iPhone 7 is arguably the biggest tech launch of 2016, but it also looks set to be the most leaked. And now we appear to know the two biggest changes the new phone will bring, as well as its biggest disappointment…
Working alongside red hot YouTube tech channel Unbox Therapy and acclaimed Apple AAPL +0.11% leaker Sonny Dickson, we can reveal a case for the iPhone 7 which shows off three key changes:
Goodbye Headphone Jack
17 months ago my analysis of Apple developer rule changes concluded that Apple would ditch the headphone jack on the iPhone within the next two years. Numerous leaks have since corroborated this and Unbox’s video again backs this up.
The case not only lacks a dedicated headphone jack port, but no slot on the case can even fit the Apple headphone plug – it’s a no go. Furthermore the case backs up growing talk that it will be replaced by an all in one (music and charging) Lightning cable and dual speaker arrangement.
The iPhone 7 case has no gap for a headphone jack and indicates it will be replaced with a second speaker. In fact a pair of 3.5mm headphones won’t even fit any more – the gaps are too narrow. Image credit: Unbox Therapy
Major Camera Upgrade
Again, Unbox’s case ties in perfectly with a flurry of leaks that say Apple is working on a greatly upgraded camera for the iPhone 7. The case shows the camera slot has been enlarged dramatically for either a significantly larger module or even a dual lens camera.
The iPhone 7 looks set to have a much larger camera signalling a major upgrade. Image credit: Unbox Therapy
What is less clear is which model will get this camera. This case is for the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 but there is growing momentum behind an ‘iPhone 7 Pro’ being introduced alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The Pro will be based on the Plus with the sole difference being an exciting dual lens camera.
Almost Identical Design
We all know the drill, the iPhone range gets internal changes in an ‘S year’ and a redesign in a ‘new number year’. But it looks like Apple is going to break form here as Unbox’s video shows the iPhone 6S fits almost exactly into the leaked iPhone 7 case.
In terms of dimensions, the fit is so precise it suggests we shouldn’t expect the overhaul many had hoped for – particularly in terms of more compact top and bottom bezels. This would be frustrating given how Samsung has surged ahead with the ultra compact 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge designs.
An iPhone 6S inside the leaked iPhone 7 case – it fits almost perfectly. Image credit: Unbox Therapy
There some some changes: the aforementioned enlarged camera and loss of the headphone jack mean key sections don’t line up, but otherwise it’s a case of as you were.
So how much should you trust this leak? Both Unbox Therapy and Sonny Dickson have rock solid track records, which is why I’ve coordinated with them for this story. Sonny has become the go to guy in the tech industry for Apple leaks coordinating with the ever reliable OnLeaks (Steve Hemmerstoffer) and I’ve witnessed their diligence working alongside them for this announcement.
All of which means Apple is in an intriguing position. It appears to be simultaneously making changes which are too radical (the loss of the headphone jack) and too minor (a near identical design).
Apple is famed for its ability to still surprise an audience and I suspect it still has some tricks up its sleeve, but 2016 looks set to be one of the most controversial in iPhone history…