Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is wrapping up on stage at his company’s September special event in San Francisco, but the big reveal has already happened: the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are here.
And yes, the headphone jack is gone.
iPhone 7: The Basics
As expected, the iPhone 7 looks almost exactly like the previous two iPhone releases (although Cook described it as a “gorgeous new design”).
The primary visual difference compared to the iPhone 6s is the near-disappearance of visible antenna bands on the back, new color options — including an extremely glossy Jet Black — and the lack of a headphone jack.
If you’re still rocking the ancient wired headphones Apple is apparently trying to kill off, don’t worry. A Lightning adapter is included in the box, and the pack-in EarPods are now Lightning-connected. Oh, and AAPL will gladly sell you new Lightning or wireless headphones from Beats if you don’t want to look cluelessly outdated. If you want to be the coolest kid on the block, you can fork over for Apple’s new wireless AirPods.
As predicted, the Home button switches from a mechanical button to a force-sensitive version with “Taptic Engine” feedback.
One of the benefits of losing that jack (and the new Home button), is water resistance, a feature the iPhone 7 finally offers. That eliminates a key advantage Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) smartphones have held over the iPhone.
Inside, the new iPhone is much faster, with a big leap in graphics performance than the outgoing model thanks to the new A10 Fusion processor. All the better to play Mario with Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) today announcing Super Mario Run is coming to the App Store for iOS. Apple also claims much better speakers (now stereo), better battery life and a 25% brighter Retina HD display. The camera sees significant improvement with optical image stabilization, quad-LED flash and a faster Apple-Designed image processor standard.
Apple has finally caved in to reality and boosted the base storage of the iPhone 7 to 32GB from 16GB.
So not a compelling upgrade for all, but so far as incremental upgrades go it’s not bad –especially if you take a lot of photos, constantly run out of storage, or make a habit of getting caught in the rain.
iPhone 7 Specs
- Quad-core A10 Fusion CPU
- 4.7-inch Retina HD display with wide color gamut
- 32GB base storage (also available in 128GB and 256GB capacities)
- IP 67 Water and dust resistant
- “Taptic Engine” Home button
- New camera is optical image stabilized, faster 12 MP sensor, quad-LED True Tone flash, supports RAW
- iPhone 7 Plus exclusive dual-camera with 2x optical zoom (both at 12MP)
- 7MP FaceTime HD “selfie” camera
- Stereo speakers with increased volume and dynamic range
- Battery life of 14 hours and 15 hours (iPhone 7 Plus) of Wi-Fi browsing
- LTE Advanced
- Felicia support for Japan, supporting Apple Pay and Transit
- Includes Lightning EarPods
- Lightning to 3.55mm headphone jack adapter in the box
- Available in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black
- Runs iOS 10
iPhone 7 Plus
Besides its larger, 5.5-inch display, Apple’s big smartphone is almost functionally identical to the iPhone 7. However, as usual, AAPL includes an extra feature exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus to help justify its premium price.
This year, the iPhone 7 Plus gets an advanced dual-camera system with 2x optical zoom and a separate wide-angle lens that can combine for a depth effect. It will definitely appeal to prosumer photographers. In fact, given how the basic iPhone camera has helped to decimate point-and-shoot camera sales, DSLR manufacturers will be eying this development nervously.
iPhone 7 Price and Availability
Apple is keeping the iPhone 7 at the usual $649 base price, despite the boosted base storage. The iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769. Both new iPhones will be available for pre-order starting today, and in stores Sept. 9.
Stay tuned for everything else AAPL announces at today’s event.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.