Rumors about the new iPhone 7 are swirling after an alleged "leak" this week revealed that three separate iPhone 7 models are heading to manufacturing soon. (Apple has not commented on the leak; the tech behemoth rarely comments on speculation in the months before its annual iPhone announcement.) If you're already anxious to get your hands on the newest model, you still have a bit of a wait — Apple has traditionally announced new models at a press event in the first or second week of September, with the models hitting stores about two weeks later. The iPhone 7/iPhone Plus/iPhone 7C (I'm speculating) are each rumored to have slightly different tech specs but generally the same design and improvements over the previous 6S model, prompting questions about exactly what changes the iPhone 7 will feature.
Unlike some previous iPhone models, some of the more outlandish rumors have a higher probability of being true for the iPhone 7. Why, you ask? Well, to fend off other manufacturers from gaining market share, Apple might just step up its game with the new release — the more revolutionary the design, the better, or so the line of thought goes. While some releases in the past have featured little physical changes from their predecessors, the iPhone 7 is bound to knock some socks off. Here are some rumors swirling...
Some major smartphone companies, such as Samsung and Motorola, have been selling waterproof phones for over two years now, so it might be time for Apple to take the plunge and introduce a hydrophobic model. A more durable design might make a deep cut in the third-party phone case market, but the waterproofing could also give Apple the value needed to offer the new model at a significant price hike.
Plastic Over Metal
Speaking of the more durable design, the waterproofing would be more easily accomplished by plastic casing instead of metal, so it's possible that the iPhone 7 could see that major switch as well. The vibrant iPhone 5C offered users more colors, which might mean a rainbow spectrum for the new model as well.
Again, Apple might be following in the footsteps of its competitors and introducing wireless charging for its newest models. It's unclear how this will work exactly; the Lightning cable may attach to a charging mat that comes with the phone when you buy it, or it might be available for additional purchase in stores or online. However, if this next rumor is true, easy access to wireless charging will be necessary.
No More Headphone Jack
Experts have floated the idea that Apple might shed the headphone jack for months now, speculating that the company will include headphones that plug into the Lightning port instead. If Bluetooth headphones are still an option and a 3.5 mm to Lightning adapter will undoubtedly become available somewhere, but the shift is bound to disrupt the headphone market if it does actually happen.
The iPhone's photography software has improved dramatically in the last few years, and it looks like the company will be stepping up the hardware as well. The new iPhone 7 Plus is rumored to have two lenses instead of one for a wider range of shots — whether you're a casual Instagrammer or a mobile video journalist, the amped-up photo abilities should be beneficial to every iPhone user.
More Storage and Processing Power
This one is a safe bet; the newest version of the iPhone almost always features a big step up in computing power. The iPhone 7 Plus is expected to have 3GB of RAM embedded in an A10 chip. The everyday user might not need quite that much processing speed, but anyone using the iPhone in a serious tech capacity should be thrilled about the jump in RAM.
No More Home Button
The most drastic, and therefore least likely, rumored change in the iPhone 7 would be the elimination of the home button, a feature on every iPhone since the very beginning. Touch ID would still work through the display screen, giving the user an even larger screen without increasing the size of the device, but it would be such a shift in the way the public uses iPhones, that there's the real possibility of backlash. This one will be interesting if it does come to fruition.
You should expect these new models in stores near the end of September, if Apple follows tradition again in 2016, but if you're desperate to get it ASAP, make sure you put in your pre-order when it becomes available.