Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is about to put an end to nearly a year of speculation by finally taking the wraps off the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Come Wednesday, Sept. 7, every eye in the tech world will be on Apple as rumors turn into concrete details.
But Apple has telegraphed a great deal, and AAPL analysts are no dummies, so we can expect at least a few things with a lot of certainty.
Here’s what to look forward to when Apple unleashes the new iPhone 7:
#1: For Better or Worse, The iPhone 7 Will Look Familiar
One of the key points about the iPhone 7 is that is it going to look awfully familiar. Analysts have largely been in agreement that Apple is moving to a three-year upgrade cycle for the iPhone. That means the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will look almost identical to last year’s iPhone 6S and 2014’s iPhone 6. Spy shots support this assumption.
That’s a concern in terms of convincing upgraders. It’s tough to sell a new, $649-plus smartphone that looks the same as a 2-year-old version.
#2: iPhone 7 Plus Gets a Big Camera Upgrade
The big selling feature for Apple is expected to be an all-new dual lens camera exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone has led the charge in decimating the sales of point-and-click cameras.
Expect Apple to position the iPhone 7 Plus as the smartphone that can replace your DSLR.
Even for a virtual lookalike compared to last year’s model, the new iPhone 7 Plus camera might be enough to push holdout iPhone owners to upgrade.
#3: Other Features
Over the past year, Apple rumor websites have published hundreds of reported iPhone 7 leaks. Some of them are highly unlikely and many conflict with each other. But this close to launch, some very convincing photos have made it online.
A consensus has built around what we’re likely to see with the iPhone 7. Here are the highlights:
- A10 processor with 2GB RAM (iPhone 7) and 3GB RAM (iPhone 7Plus)
- Entry-level storage capacity finally boosted to 32GB, with 256GB maximum
- More water resistant design
- Home button moves to pressure sensitive design with haptic feedback
- 3.5mm headphone jack eliminated
- New color options, including a glossy “piano” black
#4: About the Headphone Jack
As if concerns about the iPhone 7 looking virtually identical to its predecessor weren’t a big enough potential drag on sales, there’s the headphone jack. Apple is expected to kill it, eliminating an audio port that’s been standard equipment on consumer electronics for decades.
In an effort to minimize the expected outcry, expect Apple to spend time hammering the point about the headphone jack being archaic. AAPL also will show off new Beat headphones that utilize the all-digital Lightning port.
It’s also widely expected that Apple will include a Lightning adapter with the iPhone 7 to allow use of standard 3.5mm headphones. The company may also introduce new wireless earbuds called AirPods.
What About an Apple Watch 2?
While the new iPhones are expected to have the starring role at the September Apple event, there’s a decent chance we may also see the Apple Watch 2.
The company hasn’t updated its market-leading smartwatch since releasing it nearly a year and a half ago. With wearables rivals like Pebble, Samsung and Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) releasing new models in the lead-up to the Christmas shopping season, the time is right (no pun intended) for Apple to respond. It also makes sense for Apple to try selling the Apple Watch 2 alongside the new iPhone 7 that’s drawing people into its stores.
The Apple Watch 2 is expected to be significantly faster, with a bump in battery life and a built-in GPS to cut reliance on the iPhone during physical activity.
Look for full coverage of the September Apple Event immediately after AAPL CEO Tim Cook wraps it up on Wednesday afternoon. We’ll have full details on the new iPhone 7 — including official release dates and pricing — along with anything else Apple announces, such as the Apple Watch 2.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.