Apple’s iPhone 6s series is wildly successful, and it’s likely the best “S” generation the company ever made. Even so, the first iPhone 7 rumors have already emerged, even though there’s almost a year to go until Apple unveils it.
The most recent iPhone 7 speculation comes from Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, an analyst best known for his insistence over the years that Apple will make an HDTV.
In a note to investors seen by Barron’s, Munster now claims that the iPhone 7 will bring a whole new design next year. According to him, the new iPhone could ditch the home button, increase the display size, improve the battery life and equip the smartphone with a sapphire screen.
“Given a number change cycle, we expect the iPhone 7 to sport a unique design from the iPhone 6/6S,” he wrote. “As many have speculated, the addition of 3D Touch may provide Apple with a way to eliminate the home button on the phone and use the additional space to make the screen bigger or make the device smaller. One barrier to this could be Touch ID, which is integrated into the home button currently. Apple would need to move the Touch ID reader to potentially the side of the phone to remove the home button.”
He continued, “We believe a home-buttonless iPhone has a 50% chance for the iPhone 7. Another area on which we believe Apple may focus is battery life. Looking at Macs over the past few years, Apple has close to doubled battery life for its Macbook line up (largely 5 hour battery to ~10 hours). It has achieved this through more efficient processors and software. We believe battery life is one of the biggest areas of potential improvement and one that might be most welcomed by customers. Finally, a sapphire screen has long been rumored for the iPhone. Since Apple now uses sapphire on the Apple Watch, it could make sense for them to adapt it to the phone. We note that Apple is using the stronger aluminum from the Apple Watch Sport for the iPhone 6S case.”
Apple’s interest in sapphire displays isn’t new, and the company’s new 3D Touch technology does suggest the Home button will disappear from the iPhone at some point in the future, especially considering some of Apple’s most recent patents. However, these are just predictions from an analyst at this point, that aren’t backed up by any other data.