The latest iPhone 7 rumors, which come in advance of the expected September launches of the new devices, say the upcoming handsets could have pressure-sensitive “haptic” home buttons that respond to varying amounts of user pressure to control functions.
Haptic touch capabilities already built into other Apple products, such as the MacBook Pro laptops, will be one of several new features included in the new iPhones, according to an Aug. 8 report by Bloomberg, which was based on reports from sources who are familiar with the details. Also coming are dual main cameras on a larger iPhone 7 model and the deletion of the long-included headphone jack, both of which were also mentioned in previous rumor reports as well.
The new phones will include “more advanced photography capabilities and upgraded hardware in a design similar to that of last year’s models,” the sources told Bloomberg. As part of the release, Apple is also planning to move away from its typical two-year iPhone redesign cycle, the story continued.
A source who apparently has tried out the new camera design said that both cameras, “which each capture color differently, simultaneously take a picture, and the device produces a single, merged photograph,” according to the story. In addition, the “dual system sharpens photos taken in low-light environments” and “the combination of the merged photos from the two camera sensors also allows users to zoom while retaining more clarity.” The dual camera feature will not be included in the smaller iPhone 7 model, the report continued.
The new haptic home button “will have a pressure-sensitive button that provides feedback to the user via a vibrating haptic sensation rather than a true physical click,” the sources told Bloomberg.
The rumored removal of the headphone jack will provide more space for a second speaker in the handsets, the story reported. Users will have to connect headphones to the devices using Bluetooth or the Lightning charging connector. The upcoming iPhones will also be running Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 10, the story reported.
Rumors about the upcoming features in the next-generation iPhone 7 models have been persisting for months. In July, reports said that Apple is potentially considering an even larger version of the iPhone, which would be designated the iPhone 7 Pro and include dual rear cameras and a Smart Connector like the one used in iPad Pro devices. The iPhone 7 Pro would accompany new iPhone 7 Plus and standard iPhone 7 handsets, while Apple will also continue to sell its smaller, less-expensive iPhone SE as well, the rumors continued. Only the iPhone 7 Pro would receive the dual main cameras and the Smart Connector that are also rumored, according to that report.
One well-known Apple rumor source, Evan Blass, who is known as @evleaks, tweeted on July 19 that he believes there will be only two new iPhone 7 models, without mentioning a larger Pro version, according to an earlier eWEEK story.
None of this, obviously, will be confirmed until the new devices are unveiled during Apple’s customary September releases, but they add interesting fodder until then.
The rumors about Apple deleting the iPhone headphone jack have been around since last December, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The rumors at the time also indicated that Apple will likely stick with the existing 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display sizes that are used on the latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (pictured) when it brings out its next phones.
As iPhone 7 Debut Approaches, Pressure-Sensitive Home Button Rumored
Other previous iPhone 7 rumors circulating in the last few months include a move to a thinner flush-mounted rear camera, replacing the protruding rear camera that is built into the existing iPhone 6 devices, and the removal of antenna bands that are now on the rear of today’s iPhones, according to a February eWEEK story. Also rumored was a possible dual-lens rear camera on upscale iPhone 7 Plus devices.
Bigger changes could come in 2017 when the iPhone is slated to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Apple needs a big hit with its next iPhones to generate demand again after it has two disappointing financial quarters, which saw iPhone sales level off and then drop. In July, the company’s third-quarter revenue and net income fell for the second consecutive quarter; the iPhone maker reported $42.36 billion in revenue, down 15 percent from $49.6 billion a year earlier, and $7.8 billion in net income, a drop from $10.7 billion.
Apple’s year-over-year declines in revenue and net income for two straight quarters contrast with the company’s prior string of 13 years of quarterly revenue reports without a decline, dating back to 2003. Bringing that streak to a halt was the company’s 13 percent revenue decline to $50.6 billion in the second quarter ended in April from $58 billion the company posted a year prior.
Hitting the company’s third-quarter revenue and net income hard were a 15 percent drop in global iPhone sales to 40.4 million units from 47.5 million in the third quarter of 2015.