The New iPhone Should Be Announced September 7

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

Apple sent out invites for an event on September 7 at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Unless the company throws us for a serious loop, we should see the new iPhone announced that day (although the event invite is noticeably devoid of any details about what exactly we'll be seeing). We'll be there to share the news as it happens, and hopefully get some hands-on time with the new phone.
Update: August 24, 2016: A Taiwanese pop star might have given us the most recent look at the new iPhone. A photo of Jimmy Lin, who, according to Forbes, has accurately leaked previous releases, shows him on an iPhone with the dual rear-facing camera lens that the iPhone 7 is rumoured to have. The photo doesn't show the phone's screen or the bottom of the phone, so it's impossible to tell if there really is no headphone jack or home button — or if it's even a real, working iPhone or not.
Update: August 10, 2016: It looks like the pieces are falling together: We already heard that iPhone pre-orders would open up on September 9. Now, we have word of when the actual announcement — when we'll finally get a good look at the new iPhone — will occur. According to Bloomberg, Apple's big event will take place on September 7, the Wednesday following Labor Day. That timing makes perfect sense, since it's the same as when Apple announced the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus last year.
Update: August 8, 2016: There's new evidence to support three previously rumoured features of the iPhone. Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that there will be an additional speaker taking the place of the headphone jack, a dual camera allowing for sharper, more precise photos, and, finally, a new kind of home button. That last feature is one that we've heard the least about so far, but could be one of the most exciting changes, if true. Right now, the iPhone home button is a button — a mechanical piece of hardware prone to maintenance issues. If, for instance, you spill something on your phone, the crevices around that button can let it in and eventually make the button sticky to use (or might make it stop working, altogether). According to Bloomberg, the new iPhones will have a home button that isn't really a button. Instead, it will be pressure-sensitive and operate more like the latest MacBook trackpads with haptic touch. When you press down on the "button," you'll feel a vibration that simulates the sensation of clicking a button, but minus the mechanical parts that can eventually break with use. Considering Apple uses this technique in the MacBook and the Apple Watch, it's not unreasonable to think it could come to the iPhone, too. If this is real, it could save you future trips to the Apple Store Geniuses for repairs.
Update July 29, 2016: Part of the mystery surrounding the new iPhone isn't just about what cool features it will have, but also when we'll actually be able to get our hands on it. This week, reporter Evan Blass, who has previously leaked accurate iPhone data, revealed a possible on-sale date. According to Blass, pre-orders will begin on September 9. The news, picked up by BGR, implies that the big Apple announcement will come earlier that week, if Apple sticks with its typical schedule of reveal, pre-order, and in-store availability. Apple's large September event tends to come shortly after Labour Day, so a September 9 pre-order date would align with that timing. That also correlates with another rumour — that the iPhone will officially go on sale September 16. Of course, in true super-secret Apple fashion, nothing is really confirmed until event invites land in reporters' inboxes.
Update July 19, 2016: This week, we've got some degree of corroboration for one of the first rumours we heard about the next iPhone. Back in March, reports suggested there might be three new iPhone models: an iPhone 7 and two versions of the iPhone 7 Plus. Now there's a photograph that seems to back up that idea. The image, shared on French site NoWhereElse, shows three models of the phone labeled as iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 Pro. The iPhone 7 is the smallest of the three (about the same size as the iPhone 6s), while the iPhone 7 Plus and 7 Pro about the same size as the iPhone 6s Plus. The main differentiator between the Plus and Pro in the photo appears on the back of the phone. The iPhone 7 Pro sports a dual-lens camera (something that was also previously rumoured) as well as three dots along the bottom of the phone. That may be a smart connector, a feature already available on the iPad Pro used to connect it to keyboard accessories. Of course, as Mashable points out, the so-called iPhone 7 Pro and iPhone 7 Plus in the photo may just be two different prototypes that Apple played with for the larger phone, and come September, only one may be available.
Update July 6, 2016: An image shared by tech site BGR reportedly shows us once and for all what the new iPhone 7 could actually look like. If this photo is legitimate, it confirms earlier reports of a larger camera, missing headphone jack, and a change in antenna line design (no more white lines striping the bottom and top portions of the phone). The photo originated from Chinese website Baidu. Considering iPhone production should be ramping up soon for its fall launch, there is a possibility this could be an accurate look at what to expect. A leaked presentation slide from Foxconn, Apple's key manufacturing partner, also appears to suggest that the phone will finally support wireless charging, as well as water and dust resistant components. And then a recent report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that storage for the new iPhone will begin at 32 GB, as opposed to the current 16 GB starting option offered until now. This is great news: It means much more room for your photos and apps and, thankfully, fewer low-on-storage notifications.

Update June 10, 2016:
Is Apple debuting a new hue with the iPhone 7? Rumours from the Japanese Mac blog, Macotakara, suggest that "Space Grey" is no more, and instead will be replaced by a dark blue option. However, we're skeptical. Since Apple has Space Grey 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 colour change is very subtle — more of a blue-grey sheen.
Update May 27, 2016: Two, maybe duelling rumours 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 aluminium 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 rumours 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 rumours, 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 rumoured 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 rumoured 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 rumoured 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 rumours 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 rumours 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.

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