Apple's iPhone 7 Will Make Current iPhones Obsolete

Now that the MacBook and Apple Watch are shipping, it's time (gulp) to start thinking about the iPhone 6s (or iPhone 7 according to some rumors). Just when we think the iPhone can't get any better, Apple seems poised to blow us away. Again.


Jonny Evans at Computerworld thinks that "Apple’s iPhone 7 rumors really are the best yet." Features Included in his compilation are:

  • Liquid metal case.
  • Stiffer. More resistance to bending.
  • Force Touch. Eliminate the Home button?
  • DSLR-class camera thanks to acquisition of LinX.
  • Even more powerful 64-bit A9 processor combined with 2 GB RAM.
  • OLED display.

My own addition to the list is a much richer, more powerful UI that will be born of Apple experimenting with a 12-inch iPad Pro, even if that product never ships.

Regarding the list above, I for one am not enthusiastic about the elimination of the Home button. The reason is that one always has a hardware recourse if one gets into a jam. It's reassuring to know that there is a button that's sure to bail me out and get back to a good place.

However, as always, when Apple engineers think about things like that, if they proceed with Force Touch alone, they'll make sure we have a reliable substitute for the classic Home button. As Mr. Evans reports, eliminating the Home button would provide more room for a larger, cooler looking display. I think the Holy Grail for the iPhone is to have 100 percent of the surface be the display, and that would be breathtaking on the iPhone 6s Plus. (7 Plus?)

The subject of sapphire has come up again, but in my opinion, Apple is done thinking about sapphire for iPhones. It's an expensive and brittle material, excellent for small areas like the Apple Watch that's secure on the wrist, but not so much for things that get dropped, like an iPhone. Corning has made great strides with Gorilla Glass improvements.

In any case, the next iPhone looks like it's not going to be just a yawner update but rather a real ride. You'll want one.

Next page: the tech news debris for the week of April 20: A new challenge for Apple's car.

Page 2 - The Tech News Debris for the Week of April 20


Image credit: GM

Now that Chevrolet has the Chevy Bolt on its way to production for 2017, the question is, what's next? This new concept car (link below), introduced by Chevy at the Shanghai auto show, suggests that the company is thinking aggressively—perhaps inspired by the prospect of Apple getting into the car business.

See "The Chevrolet FNR concept is impossible to describe — seriously, just look at it."

Looking at the FNR concept car makes me wonder about how Apple will approach the market in 2020. That is, should Apple go for something that's ultra cool like the FNR? Or should Apple avoid being head faked and produce a sensible family car, full of battery capacity, that can command a wider audience and be genuinely profitable?

Aside from all the technical issues associated with the design of an electric car, there is the traditional requirement to rightly design a car that appeals to a wide range (and the desired range) of people. That's why cool concept cars at auto shows often get toned down when they go into production.

And so I am not tempted to think that Apple has to outdo these exotic concepts, lest it be led astray. But the comparisons and wishful thinking will, not doubt, remain inevitable.

Image credit: Apple

When I consider how many millions of iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses have been sold and the Apple Pay usage to date, it doesn't appear that the Apple Watch will boost the numbers dramatically. Even accounting for the fact that Apple Pay on an Apple Watch is supported back to the iPhone 5, the number of Apple Watches sold this year (perhaps 20 million) will pale compared to the number of iPhones sold.

However, I'll make a prediction. The ease of use of Apple Pay with an Apple Watch will be so great that it the process will become a social phenomenon. After all, pulling the iPhone out of a pocket or purse and touching a finger to it is almost as tedious as pulling a credit card out of a wallet and swiping it. Jazzy? Yes. More secure? Yes. Quicker? Perhaps not.

However, the action of paying by touching an Apple Watch button and moving one's arm close to the terminal will become such a powerful visual meme that Apple Pay alone will drive the sales of Apple Watches to unexpected levels. Assuming Apple can meet demand. That, in turn, will affect how Apple thinks about the UI for Apple Pay on future iPhones.

For more on the evolution of Apple Pay, I present another gem by Jonny Evans, "The Zen of Apple Pay."

This ZDNet article has much more detail on IBM, Watson and Apple health apps than I have seen elsewhere. It's a good read. "After medical school, IBM's Watson gets ready for Apple health apps."

Finally, this next article on the strategy of using an Apple Watch syncs perfectly with my own thinking. One has to, I submit, have a plan for the usage of the Apple Watch so that it serves your particular needs. Going hog wild with every notification and loading it up with myriads of apps is just going to result in disappointing battery life.

While this article by Martin Bryant may be very specific to his needs, it should get you thinking about your own strategy. "What’s your Apple Watch notification strategy?" I'll be writing about that a lot more when my Apple Watch arrives. Someday.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed by a discussion of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.