iPhone 7 almost certainly isn't coming until fall 2016, but it's never too early to round up all the rumors!
iPhone 7 is the presumptive name for the next major redesign in Apple's iPhone product line. If Apple holds to pattern, the iPhone 7 would launch in September of 2016 following the introduction of an iPhone 6s in 2015. It will likely feature a new design, more powerful internals, and new features as well.
iPhone 7 NameIf Apple sticks to the same pattern the company has been using since 2010, the 2015 iPhone 6s will be followed by the 2016 iPhone 7.
Any pattern can be broken, of course, and Apple can ultimately call any iPhone anything the company wants — iPhone X, iPhone Pro, Apple Phone, etc. iPhone 7 is simply an easy, understandable way to refer to the next generation flagship iPhone for now.
iPhone 7 PlusThere was an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, so if Apple sticks to that pattern, there'll be an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus as well.
That lets Apple serve customers who want a phone with the 4.7-inch (or thereabouts) display size, and customers who want a tiny tablet with the 5.5-inch (or thereabouts) display size.
iPhone 7 Release DateSeptember has been the month for Apple iPhone debuts for the last few years. Keeping to that pattern, the iPhone 7—and larger iPhone 7 Plus—will be announced the week of September 6 or 13, and ship the week of the 23rd or 30th.
Since the iPhone 5, Apple has announced every new iPhone during a special event held the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of September:
Because of how the calendar falls in 2016, Tuesday the 6th is earlier than usual and Tuesday the 13th is slightly later. Which one Apple chooses may depend on how production schedules settle.
Likewise, since the iPhone 5, Apple has shipped every new iPhone the second Friday following the event, with the exception of the iPhone 6s in 2015, which shipped the third Friday following the event:
If the event is Tuesday the 6th, the iPhone 7 could be released on Friday the 16th or 23rd. If the event is Tuesday the 13th, it could be released on Friday the 23rd or 30th.
Past patterns are the best indicator of future events, but they aren't perfect. Apple can and will throw curveballs whenever the company's logistics or strategy demands. So, be aware of the dates but don't be bound to them.
iPhone 7 DesignAt any given point in time, Apple is working several years ahead on the iPhone line. Upcoming models may already be in the testing or prototype stages while future models may be little more than components attached to boards. Sometimes multiple versions will also exist, some more conservative, others more audacious. What eventually ships depends on what can reliably be produced given the limits of technology and economics.
Since 2008 Apple has also followed a "tick tock" cycle for iPhones. On the "tick" year the company unveils a new design and on the "tock" year the company takes that same design to its limits.
If Apple holds to pattern, 2016 will be a "tick" year and feature a new design. Current rumors suggest that design will be lighter and potentially smaller, with less bezel around the sides and at the top and bottom.
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