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What You Need To Know About The Latest iPhone 7 Rumors

Photo: Courtesy Apple.
Ed. note: We will continue to update this post with the latest iPhone 7 news.

Update: Is Apple debuting a new hue with the iPhone 7? Rumors from the Japanese Mac blog, Macotakara, suggest that "Space Gray" is no more, and instead will be replaced by a dark blue option. However, we're skeptical. Since Apple has Space Gray in both its iPad and Macbook lines, if anything, it seems more likely that a dark blue option would be an addition, rather than a replacement, unless the color change is very subtle — more of a blue-gray sheen.

Update: May 27, 2016: Two, maybe dueling rumors about the size and looks of the next iPhone have cropped up. According to purported iPhone 7 cases encountered by Pocket-Lint, the next iPhone will be exactly the same size as the current 6 and 6s. But according to one of Apple's suppliers, Catcher Technology, the next iPhone won't have that brushed aluminum exterior we've grown used to. Instead, one iPhone model will be wrapped entirely in glass, à la the Samsung Galaxy S7, in a move to make it more "distinctive," Catcher Technology's CEO said. If both of these rumors were true (big "if"), it could be that the iPhone 7 remains similar in design to the iPhone 6s, while the 7 Plus gets a glass facade circled by a metal frame. Sure does sound like the old iPhone 4 design, so we're curious to see how this plays out.

Update: May 23, 2016: Well, this is new. French site NoWhereElse, which has published prior iPhone 7 rumors, released new images revealing an extra pair of speakers on the iPhone 7. The photos also show a larger camera hole, which fits with earlier speculation about a high-quality dual-lens camera. As CNET points out, the extra pair of speakers would make the new iPhone more like Apple's iPads, which also have pairs of speakers along their top and bottom edges. More powerful beats? We're in.
Update: May 11, 2016: The latest rumored images of the iPhone 7 agree with much of what has been speculated so far. The blueprints, leaked by @OnLeaks to uSwitch, come from Catcher Technology, where other rumored images have come from, as well. They show two models, a larger iPhone 7 Plus (or iPhone 7 Pro, perhaps) to replace the iPhone 6s Plus and a smaller iPhone 7 to replace the iPhone 6s. Both models lack a headphone jack, which means that wireless headphones will be a must. Only the 7 Plus shows the high-quality dual-lens camera, but uSwitch notes that both designs no longer feature a metal ring around the protruding cameras.

Now, the newest rumored feature of the new iPhone is a Smart Connector on the back of the iPhone 7 Plus, which would be compatible with iPad Pro accessories, such as the Smart Keyboard. The keyboard is handy, because it doesn't require switches, plugs, or, most exciting of all, pairing — it just snaps into the iPad and the rest takes care of itself. It would definitely be interesting to see an iPhone take on this feature...
Update: March 14, 2016: We may have a first glimpse of the (supposed) iPhone 7, thanks to French site NoWhereElse, which has shared accurate leaks in the past. It looks largely similar to the iPhone 6/6s, except for those white antenna bands that stripe the back. In the photo, reportedly sourced from Apple's metal chassis manufacturer Catcher Technology, those white antenna lines are less visible, only ringing the edge of the phone's rear casing. This photo also shows a larger camera cut-out. This would support rumors that the camera may not protrude as much as the current iPhone, but not that Apple's going with the fancy dual-lens system previously reported.

If you held off buying a new iPhone 6s last year, you may have made a smart call. Reports about Apple's next iPhone are starting to roll in — and it sounds like it could be a big upgrade.

A report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, an often-accurate Apple analyst, says that two models of the iPhone 7 Plus are in development right now. The higher-end model will include an amazing new dual-lens camera system incorporating technology Apple gained when it acquired Lynx Imaging last year. The camera itself would be smaller (so no more protruding lens on the back) and would have better light sensitivity. In particular, it would offer better low-light performance.

This is great news, because other phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, have really been improving their camera game.

Other reports
suggest that all models of the iPhone 7 will be thinner than the current 6s. It will also ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom — to listen to your tunes, you'll have to stream over Bluetooth or use an adapter to play audio through the Lightning port. It could also come with stereo speakers, making it a better option for on-the-go video watching. It will also likely include a bigger battery. There is no phone in existence that can boast having too much battery life.
Artist renderings of the new iPhone, such as these two on the right, suggest that it could also have a larger, edge-to-edge display, but we'll have to wait and see if that actually plays out.

If you've been counting, these rumors only account for three phones: The iPhone 7 and two versions of the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple is also reportedly working on a smaller 4-inch iPhone SE — basically a "special edition" of the iPhone 5s that shares its screen size and looks, but features upgraded innards that are more on par with the iPhone 6s, including an A9 processor.

While the brand-new iPhone 7 models won't launch until the fall (when Apple usually debuts new iPhones), we may get to see the smaller iPhone SE later this month at an Apple event on March 21.
This article originally published March 2, 2016.