The iPhone 6s has barely been out for six weeks and we’re already starting to see rumors swirling around next year’s iPhone 7. Interestingly enough, it turns out that Apple in 2016 may release not two, but three different iPhone models.
A new research report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — largely considered the most accurate Apple prognosticator on the planet — relays that Apple has plans to release a new 4-inch iPhone model sometime during the first half of 2016. The new 4-inch device is likely to be an enhanced version of the iPhone 5s and may feature the same blazing fast A9 processor currently found in Apple’s iPhone 6s lineup. As it stands now, the only 4-inch iPhone Apple still sells is the 5s, a device released more than two years ago.
Originally discovered by MacRumors, Kuo’s report reads in part:
As there is still demand for a 4-inch iPhone, we believe Apple will upgrade this product line. Because the iPhone 5s is more popular than the iPhone 5c, we think Apple is likely to launch an upgraded iPhone 5s. We predict Apple will mass-produce this new 4-inch iPhone in 1H16 with metal casings. In order to make the current iOS 9 or next-generation iOS 10 run smoothly, Apple may adopt an A9 chip for this new phone.
Unfortunately, those who prefer a smaller form factor but still enjoy the latest technologies Apple has to offer may be out of luck. Kuo anticipates that Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone model won’t incorporate 3D Touch in an effort to push users towards the more margin-friendly and larger-screened iPhone 7 models.
With respect to a new flagship iPhone, it’s a safe bet that Apple next year will release an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While not much is yet known about Apple’s next-gen iPhones, Kuo writes that Apple may try and differentiate the two models by bestowing the larger-screened 7 Plus with a generous 3GB of RAM. By way of contrast, both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus currently sport 2GB of RAM. This tidbit is particularly interesting given that Apple is notoriously stingy with RAM. If the iPhone 7 Plus does, in fact, come with 3GB of memory, one has to imagine it will need it for a rather interesting reason. Additionally, Kuo anticipates that Apple’s next wave of iPhones will come with a brand new A10 processor.
While more substantive iPhone 7 rumors are still a few months away, we have already seen a few interesting reports emerge in recent weeks. Some of the iPhone 7 rumors we’ve spotted thus far include reports that the next-gen iPhone will be incredibly thin and will measure in anywhere between 6 and 6.5 mm thick, easily making it the thinnest iPhone ever released. By way of contrast, the iPhone 6 was 6.9 mm thick while the iPhone 6s is 7.1 mm thick. Design wise, it’s a safe bet that Apple’s next-gen iPhone will feature a completely revamped form factor given Apple’s history of changing things up every other release cycle.
A few other rumored iPhone 7 features we’ve stumbled across (some of which should be taken with a huge grain of salt) include much-improved battery life and an OLED display. Further, an iPhone 7 rumor published in Macotakara this past September claims that the next iPhone will be completely waterproof and dustproof.
Lastly, the most out-there iPhone 7 rumor we’ve seen thus far comes from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster who anticipates that Apple’s next-gen iPhone may incorporate a sapphire display and a wild new design without the mechanical home button we’ve come to know, love, and rely on over the last 8 years.