Superfast A10 processor will be iPhone 7’s highlight
Analyst report appears to leak more details of Wednesday’s launch, including 2.4 GHz CPU, improved display and new cameras and colors
The build-up to an iPhone launch is always accompanied by huge amounts of rumor and speculation, from the spot-on to the wildly fantastic. That chatter has quietened down a bit in recent times, as the iPhone matures and new models become incremental rather than radical.
But Apple’s dearest child still attracts more attention than any other mobile device, and since the death of Steve Jobs, the company has been a little less skilled at locking down the details until the launch day itself – or perhaps Tim Cook’s regime sees less advantage to guarding the secrets. This weekend, a report from KGI Securities, which has a reliable track record on Apple watching, appeared to reveal an unprecedented level of factual detail about a new iPhone pre-launch.
According to the report, the iPhone 7’s big selling point will be greatly increased speed, driven by LTE-Advanced options (region dependent) and a 2.4 GHz A10 processor. This processor will be the highlight of the launch. It is manufactured by TSMC, which is now firmly justifying its addition to Apple’s foundry list alongside Samsung (though Samsung is still making some iPhone chips). Using TSMC’s new ‘InFO’ process, the A10 represents a major upgrade on the A9, which powers the iPhone 6s, though in design the new model is expected to resemble the 6s, with tweaked antenna lines.
The display, one of the most visible and recognizable attributes of the iPhone, will also get an upgrade. The size options – 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches – will be the same, as will the resolutions, but the screens will ‘copy’ the visual features of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. This will enable the iPhone 7 display to render wide-color imagery to improve the appearance of photos taken with the also-reworked cameras.
In recent years, Apple has tried to improve the iPhone’s poor reputation for camera technology and the new smartphone looks like taking a significant leap forward with the rear camera using the much-rumored dual-lens technology, according to KGI, and incorporating other features such as optical zoom, and more natural flash-enabled pictures.
The latest iPhone will come in two new colors, ‘dark black’ and ‘piano black’, but will dump the classic Space Grey, so there will now be five color options. ‘Piano black’ is likely to be exclusive to premium models, at least for a while.
Apple has angered some users with plans to drop the headphone jack and the report suggests it will try to console them with earphones that plug into the Lightning charging port in the box, plus including an adapter to allow traditional headphones to be plugged in. The idea behind removing the jack is to free up space for improved screen and built-in speakers, and a new grille will improve the pressure-sensitive Force Touch display. It could also improve the iPhone’s waterproof rating since the headphone jack is one of the main places where water can get into a handset.