iPhone 7 is still wet behind the ears, but rumors are already flying over 2017 iPhone. It will be the iPhone’s tenth anniversary, and expectations are high for Apple’s next model. It’s still early in the rumor cycle, but here are some of the highest-profile rumors and supposed leaks so far, as well as what they might really mean.
What’s in a Name?
One of the earliest rumors was that Apple might call the next iPhone “iPhone 8,” skipping the iPhone 7s in Apple’s “tick-tock” release cycle. According to AppleInsider, however, a source in the Taiwanese supply chain suggests that instead of an iPhone 8, Apple will indeed release the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus.
Some people were initially disappointed with this year’s iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus having the body of two-year-old iPhone 6. While packed with new features, it looks very similar to the previous two iterations. If this Taiwanese source is accurate, however, the iPhone 7s will continue this new trend. It might have a new color option—red—but its physical appearance will otherwise remain mostly unchanged.
This runs counter to rumors from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He says the next iPhone’s body will be a bezel-less glass design, with a home button integrated into an OLED screen and wireless charging. Kuo also says this will be a third model debuting alongside the regular two variants.
Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions are highly rated, and he is thought to be firmly embedded in Apple’s supply chain. If he’s right, either Apple is going to release a third model iPhone or the leaks that say iPhone 7s will look just like prior generations are wrong.
Ceramic/Jet White iPhone
According to Japanese website Mac Otakara, Apple might add a new color to the lineup: Pure White or Jet White. Mac Otakara says that Apple should add this color to its existing iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus lineup, but it’s possible we’ll see this in the next model.
Note, however, that “jet” is a black substance. Things are jet black because they are black as jet. The idea that Apple would use “Jet White” is far fetched. While Apple could certainly release another white iPhone, it won’t be called “Jet White.”
A different rumor says the next iPhone will be made of ceramic, following the Watch Series 2. If we compare these rumors side-by-side, we see a similarity: pure white ceramic. Both rumors could be referencing the same thing, namely an iPhone made of ceramic.
Former Microsoft executive an sometime pundit Robert Scoble posted on Facebook in October about another rumor. He said a source told him the next iPhone will be a slab of glass. He also said it will incorporate a form of “mixed reality,” a mix between virtual and augmented reality. Lastly, Mr. Scoble mentioned the possibility of a new, smarter Siri.
Following the iPad Pro, an early rumor said that the iPhone 7/7 Plus would feature a smart connector. That didn’t pan out, but speculation on this feature continues. If the next iPhone is supposed to be one piece of glass, then adding a smart connector lets Apple remove the final port: Lightning.
The strongest rumor is probably Ming-Chi Kuo’s—an all-glass enclosure, or even a “slab of glass” could be the hallmark design feature of the next iPhone. The idea the device will be completely wireless is compelling, too, though we believe Apple is likely to continue use of the Lightning port for some time to come. At the least, however, wireless charging seems likely.