iPhone 7 Will Look Familiar, iPhone 8 to Offer Major Design Overhaul

Jun 21, 2016 - 19 Comments

iphone-7

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the next iPhone model to debut this year will largely resemble existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S in appearance. Instead, Apple will opt for a more dramatic design overhaul with the 2017 model year iPhone.


According to WSJ, the most notable visual change in this years iPhone release will be a removal of the 3.5mm audio port on the bottom of the device. That means the Lightning charging port will serve as a means of connecting headphones or audio output to the iPhone:

“The biggest planned change in this year’s phones is the removal of the headphone plug, which will make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance, said people with that matter.”

The new report from WSJ coincides with longstanding rumors that iPhone 7 will largely look like an iPhone 6 without a headphone port, though it’s notable that this is the first time a major news organization has reported directly on the matter.

Presumably the removal of the headphone port would mean a special adapter is necessary allow existing 3.5mm hardware and AUX cables to connect to the iPhone for audio output.

iPhone 7 mockup

(iPhone 7 mockup based on MacRumors mockup design)

Other loose rumors about iPhone 7 are that it will be slightly thinner, have a much improved camera with dual lens capabilities, offer larger storage options up to 256GB, may feature a different naming convention straying away from the traditional numerical progression (similar to the naming of iPhone SE), and perhaps offer a new color option to visually differentiate the device from existing models.

The next iPhone, whether it be called iPhone 7 or otherwise, is likely to debut in the fall.

iPhone 8 to offer radical redesign?

Interestingly, the same Wall Street Journal report skips ahead of this years iPhone and also discusses rumors about the 2017 model year device, colloquially referred to as iPhone 8:

Apple plans bigger design changes for 2017, the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. Those changes could include an edge-to-edge organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen and eliminating the home button by building the fingerprint sensor into the display, according to people familiar with the matter.”

It’s hard to imagine what an iPhone 8 would look like without a Home button and a smaller bezel, but it would surely look more impressive than this poor quality mockup:

iPhone 8 mockup

Presumably iPhone 8 will launch in Fall of 2017, though historically Apple has also launched new iPhones earlier in the year.

It’s important to remember these are simply rumors at this point, and nothing is set in stone until Apple unveils new hardware.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, News, Rumor

19 Comments

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  1. Edwin Gables says:

    To me this Wall Street Journal report sounds like a controlled leak from Apple, they are punting on the new design and getting people to anticipate a lackluster update this year, iPhone 6SS or iPhone 6 SE or something equally uninspired, and the touchdown arrives a year later.

    I am skeptical of this move, and the headphone jack removal. My house stereo uses AUX, and my car stereo uses AUX. When I visit someone elses house or get in someone elses car, they also use AUX cables. Apple doing away with the 3.5mm port on an otherwise boring retelling of the same uninspired iPhone 6 design is a mistake. Can’t they at least make the new one look like an iPhone 4 if they will rehash yesterdays design? That model was great industrial design, and far more attractive. For removing the headphone port, there is no benefit to the user for doing so, except to shareholders since by removing the port everyone would be required to purchase an adapter which will surely cost $29 or more. If we’re lucky, Apple will include the adapter with the iPhone 7, but they typically don’t do that. I just don’t see this as a good move.

    Count me out for this years iPhone if this is true, I just use AUX too often and none of the stereos I use have Bluetooth. I don’t want to carry yet another dongle or adapter with me.

    Now, the iPhone 8 sounds interesting, however. I expect a major beautiful design direction on the 10th anniversary of the device. And maybe by then Apple will include Bluetooth headphones to soften the punch of losing our AUX ability.

  2. Jared says:

    iPhone 8 rumors already?? Come on, Iphone 7 isn’t even here yet!

    I hope they don’t cut headphone port, I use it all the time!

  3. Matt says:

    I can’t believe I am agreeing with The Verge, but The Verge says it best “Taking the headphone jack off phones is user-hostile and stupid”

  4. The Piedmont Piper says:

    This sounds like a bad idea, I hope it is not true. Knowing Apple, it is probably true.

    I think maybe the problem is that Apple designers and decision makers are insulated from the rest of the world and the average user. Think about it, if you are a millionaire or billionaire, you probably have the newest luxury car, the newest fanciest stereo, the latest and greatest of everything, and you almost certainly don’t use an auxiliary cable to connect to your car or stereo system. In new cars and new stereos, everything is Bluetooth. I bet that is what Apple designers use too, so they think that applies to everyone and therefore must assume auxiliary port is outdated. In the real world on average folk I know two people with a Bluetooth car stereo and only one person with a Bluetooth home speaker system. The rest of us use auxiliary cables and will continue to use auxiliary cables for years to come. I have no intention on buying a brand new car just so I can listen to my iPhone during a commute!

  5. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Same same but different. iPhone edition.

  6. Laurie says:

    The camera is already takes really great quality pictures, so if they are making it better I am curious to see what the pictures will look like. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Fraser Gray says:

    I agree with most of the comments posted above. What a cash cow to remove the existing audio jack and to use a lightening port adapter. I love my i-phone 6S Plus but am very hesitant to consider anything newer unless it has very much improved bells and whistles. What’s wrong with the existing camera. It provides great pictures and streaming video. I’m not a member of a professional photographer group, I just want good quality pictures that are easy to take and download to my photo software program. This sounds more like a five gallon overhaul and paint job to me. Come on Apple give me something to shout about.

  8. gary hein says:

    How about wireless headphones. Surely wireless earbuds are possible. For the older equipment, a jack transmitter is possible.

    This would be innovative and you all would be jumping up can down with co … ol on your lips.

  9. Charlie says:

    Removing the audio port is not liked by most people. Apple says it will make the phone thinner and more water resistant. Does the Samsung Galaxy 7 which is waterproof up to a certain depth, does it have the regular audio port? If so, why can’t Apple do it like that and the Samsung Galaxy 7 is very thin too. Now to make up for the removal of the audio port, if Apple would only charge $100 for the new iPhone with at least 128 GB of memory, I could live with that, lol. Apple could easily afford to do so and think about the press that would get.

  10. noway says:

    Elimination of the hp jack is just another example of Apple driving consumers to buy additional peripherals at inflated prices, as the loss of FW and other ports to Thunderbolt is.

    To what gain really, maybe a couple mm?. In all seriousness this is not going to affect anyone except to part them from more money towards Apples pockets.

  11. John says:

    Everyone whining about the loss of the aux port are not mentioning that you actually get a better quality sound through the new connector than the old aux port.

    • Twinkle Dee says:

      Unfortunately the sound quality from Bluetooth audio is not that good, and it can lag, stutter, catch interference, disconnect, echo, and generally just not work that well. Bluetooth works well for short distance keyboard and mouse, very low bandwidth activity, but it does not have sufficient bandwidth for true HD audio in my opinion.

      The census I have found on the internet myself included in that is that Apple has lost their mind and is killing the auxiliary port for no good reason. I do not want to carry an adapter dongle for using headphones or a stereo hookup. I use the auxilary cables regularly at home, at work, in the car, it would be a joke if they cut it out. Maybe in another five years, but no technology exists to make it up.

      To make matters even worse, a dongle adapter would be necesary because Apple does not have Lightning as an open standard, so it will be completely proprietary to use their headphones or adapter. Bad idea! User hostile is right!!

  12. Jim Roberts says:

    Another site says they will leave the headphone jack because they already had negative feedback on deleting it. Also says they dropped the dual lens because of “immature technology,” whatever that means. I think all the Apple devices will be migrated to the USB-C ports, it’s just a matter of when. One MacBook already has one as it’s *only* port for connecting and charging. While I use Bluetooth in my car, my girl friend’s doesn’t have it — agree w/ comments above, especially The Piedmont Piper.

    • Twinkle Dee says:

      From a rumor standpoint, The Wall Street Journal is very reliable, they basically get controlled leaks from Apple. I would trust a The WSJ report over any other that I have seen so far. If it’s coming from The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, it’s probably a controlled leak and it’s legit. To me that means they are removing the headphone jack.

  13. Tate34 says:

    Have to wait over another year for a phone with a curved qhd amoled screen water resistance wirless charging, wow this will be old tech by the time it comes, Samsung S7 has the lot. Poor lost souls who buy into this.

    • Jim Roberts says:

      I’ve been wondering when they will finally get wireless charging. Speaking of wireless, maybe they will add NFC for all things, not just Apple Pay. Since my iPhone 6 is working fine, will wait for 8 and MAYBE go with that.

  14. Chad says:

    It’s funny how people complain about a lack of re-design and innovation, but stay stuck in 1964 when the 3.5mm jack was introduced. It’s 2016, time to move on and accept that that jack is WAYYYY outdated and there are lots of better options. If nothing was ever changed, no new innovations would ever arrive. Kinda like forcing people to switch the HDTVs, and that turned out fine.

  15. Ted says:

    As long as stupid idiots and teenagers, who can’t do anything but fart through their nose, will exist, Apple will flourish. For those are the only ones buying this crap with the Apple logo.

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