Editors’ note, August 31: This article was originally published on July 29 and we’ll continue to add new rumors and stories as they emerge.
It’s official. Apple willon September 12 at 10 a.m. PT, at its new Cupertino headquarters.
That’s all we know for sure: the date, the time, and the location. (Apple did not respond to our requests for additional details.) But a steady stream of rumors has painted a pretty crisp picture of what we’re expecting to see. But there’s more than just a new flagship model marking. We’re also looking forward to getting our first glimpses of the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus.
Based on the speculative evidence we’ve seen, Apple is swinging for the fences with the iPhone 8 (or whatever it ends up being called). But the forthcoming “S” series may also feature some pretty significant upgrades, too.
So, despite persistent rumors aboutthat might force Apple to postpone the announcement of the three new phones — just this week the Wall Street Journal reported that the new Steve Jobs Theater might not be ready in time — an announcement is imminent. And, to further ramp up excitement, September 12 and a .
iPhone 7S specs we might see:
- Overall, an incremental update of the current generation iPhone 7
- Slightly heavier, thicker, and longer than the current generation
- LCD display with TrueTone
- Apple’s next-generation processor (the A10X or A11)
- Physical home button with support for Touch ID
- iOS 11 (preview)
- Inductive wireless charging
- Aluminum and/or glass case
- Enhanced waterproofing
- Black, silver and gold options
- 2GB of RAM
- Priced around $649 (iPhone 7S) and $769 (iPhone 7S Plus)
How are the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus different from the iPhone 8?
According to the rumors, the differences between the flagship and the “S” series may be more stark than in previous years. The big divergences include:
- Display: the iPhone 8 is said to have a new edge-to-edge OLED display, while the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will likely stick with the current LCD technology;
- Touch ID: the “S” series models will have the familiar Touch ID-fingerprint scanner-home button system, while the new flagship will step up to , Apple Pay, and more;
- Cameras: to enable this new “Face ID” system, the iPhone 8 will come with a front-facing camera, infrared transmitter, and infrared receiver array that will also support a whole bunch of new AR features coming in .
The new OLED display and case design will certainly drive the two different iPhone tiers apart aesthetically; the iPhone 8 will look pretty different from the “S” models this year. It’s possible that only the flagship may have a few other premium features like inductive and/or fast USB-C charging. Otherwise, we expect to see mostly minor differences; for example, the iPhone 8 will probably have more RAM and a higher max memory size, and, of course,.
Announcement and release dates
After months of palace intrigue about Apple’s reported manufacturing issues, the company has officially invited media to an event at its new Cupertino headquarters. This week the Wall Street Journal corroborated an earlier report by tech blog Mac4Ever, citing French telecom sources, pegging September 12, 2017 for the introduction and September 22 for the release.
For months, we heard speculation that Apple might not haveready to go until late 2017, and that the “S” series was also in jeopardy of missing the deadline. In mid-July, Economic News Daily (via MacRumors) reported that all forthcoming iPhone models were facing “production delays.” Nevertheless, it appears as though all of those issues were either overly hyped or somehow resolved.
They may be a bit bigger
Most reports suggest that phone sizes will remain the same, setting the stage for a 4.7-inch iPhone 7S and 5.5-inch iPhone 7S Plus. German site giga.de reports that this year’s “S” series may bethan the previous generation, though with slightly less of a bulge around the camera lenses. And Technobuffalo (via Slashleaks) has leaked what it says are the final dimensions: 5.45 inches x 2.64 inches x 0.28 inches for the iPhone 7S and 6.24 inches x 3.07 inches x 0.29 inches for the 7S Plus.
They may be made of glass and steel
There’s no clear consensus on what material Apple will use for the “S” phones. Some expect them to have an aluminum alloy chassis (DigiTimes); others say the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will be all glass and steel — just like the iPhone 8.
One or both may have dual cameras
The forthcoming 7S Plus is nearly certain to have two cameras on the back, consistent with the current generation 7 Plus, though it’s conceivable that the entry-level iPhone 7S could also get two rear-facing lenses in order to make fuller use of thefeatured in next generation of Apple’s mobile operating system’s (more on that below).
They will probably have Touch ID
Much of the speculation about the iPhone 8, and one of the major factors faulted for delaying production, involves aand its integration with Touch ID. The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, however, are expected to stick with the current generation’s conventional setup: a fingerprint sensor embedded in a physical home button.
They might support inductive wireless charging
Most of the “wireless charging” rumors — technically, it’s called inductive charging — have revolved around the iPhone 8. But the CEO of Wistron, a Taiwanese iPhone assembler, reportedly revealed that that an upcoming 5.5-inch iPhone model — assumed to be the 7S Plus — would be. That noted, the iPhone 8 is said to be very similar in size to the iPhone 7 Plus, so this is one of the murkier rumors around. Nevertheless, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next generation of iPhones will support faster USB-C-powered “plugged-in” charges, as well as an .
They may step up to Apple’s next-generation processor
We do hear that the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will get a performance upgrade; all three 2017 models are said to use Apple’s next-generation A11 chip.
What about the iPhone SE?
Most of the iPhone buzz has centered around the 10th-anniversary model, and, to a lesser extent, the 7S and 7S Plus. There’s been hardly any discussion of the future of the littlest member of Apple’s lineup: the. Of course this, in and of itself, may be a signal of some kind: veteran Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has speculated that Apple will not deliver a new iPhone SE in 2017. And Pan Jiutang, another analyst, says that, given low demand for the smaller form factor, Apple may abandon the product altogether (via Cult of Mac).
The 4-inch iPhone SE debuted in March 2016, a few months after the introduction of the, upon which it is closely based. Last May, Apple increased the SE’s storage capacity but left the price unchanged — $399 for the 32GB model and $499 for the 128GB edition.
How big a deal is iOS 11?
Potentially pretty big, given what we know so far. Apple delivered a preview ofat this year’s WWDC and released the public beta in June (here’s how to install it). AR will be a big part of iOS 11, and both the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus could feature dual lens rear cameras in order to . Other highlights of the mobile operating system include a smarter, more capable Siri, screen recording, and a new Music app. Read more about iOS 11 in our preview.
They might be more expensive
Given the dearth of blockbuster features, we don’t expect Apple to tinker with the “S” series pricing too much. That noted, the current 7S Plus model costs $769 — up from $749 for Plus models in previous years.
We still expect pricing to stay more or less consistent, with the iPhone 7S starting around $649 (£500 and AU$850) and the iPhone 7S Plus at $769 (£580 and AU$980). The iPhone 8, on the other hand, is rumored to be the most expensive iPhone yet, starting at $999, according to the New York Times, and going as high as $1,200 for higher storage capacity editions.