iPhone 7 is the walled-off computer Apple has always wanted

So Apple killed the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. But what does that really mean? Think back to Apple’s origin story and the tale of the two young Steves, Jobs and Wozniak, building their first computer in a garage. From the start, Jobs pushed for simpler technology, with fewer ports and expandable options than other PCs had at the time. And then there was the original Mac, which was criticized for requiring special tools to open up.

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That philosophy has only evolved throughout Apple’s lifetime. Look at the iMac, the iPod and, of course, the iPhone, all of which were vastly simpler and more “user-friendly” (but less “tinker-friendly”) than their competition.

Now we have portable computers whose only I/O port is Apple’s very own Lightning standard. No matter what you think of the headphone jack, there’s no doubt that losing it gives Apple even more control over what you can actually do with its latest phone. There won’t be any room for surprising innovations like Square’s credit card reader, or the shutter mechanism used by most selfie sticks. (Yes, there’s a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter included with the new iPhones, but that still gives Apple more control over how that port is used.)

To create devices for the Lightning port, accessory makers have to sign up for Apple’s MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) program. As we say goodbye to the 3.5mm jack, we’re also saying goodbye to a port whose history goes back over 100 years, and whose development was open to just about anyone. That not only gives Apple control over what you can do with the iPhone you own, it’s also another way for it to charge developers licensing fees. (It’s possible to make counterfeit Lightning devices, but Apple doesn’t exactly encourage that.)

That Apple is pushing users toward wireless audio, which still can’t reach the quality levels of wired headphones, isn’t too surprising. Even though it revolutionized the portable music world with the iPod and iTunes, Apple historically hasn’t been concerned about how things actually sound. Early iTunes songs were highly compressed 128kbps files, and Apple pushed its awful white earbuds on consumers for years. The EarPod was a step up in quality, but it still paled in comparison with similarly inexpensive alternatives. (They’re also a terrible fit in my ears; a slight head shake is all it takes to make the EarPods fall out, which doesn’t bode well for the new wireless AirPods.)

Sure, buying Beats was a sign that Apple might finally be looking closely at audio quality, but that was also as much about brand recognition and software. At least the company was wise enough to debut a new wireless Beats lineup this week.

On the one hand, it makes sense for Apple to tighten its control over the iPhone’s hardware — it’s simply what the company has always done. The new MacBook was criticized for only having a single USB-C port, but at least that’s an industry standard. For anyone who’s used Apple products and felt trepidation over how it manages its ecosystem, the iPhone 7 is a red flag. It probably won’t be long before we see the company remove headphone jacks from the iPad, and perhaps even the MacBook. Those are also devices where internal space is scarce, after all.

In what will likely be the beginning of a tech industry meme, Apple’s marketing head, Phil Schiller, said the reason the company dumped the 3.5mm port was “courage.” But as we’ve argued endlessly, that’s not really the case. A better word for Apple’s reasoning? “Opportunistic.”

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Judging from the responses on the web, the Apple faithful (unsurprisingly) is fully on board with the company’s decision to drop the 3.5mm jack. But as someone who’s invested in several pairs of great headphones, doesn’t want to have an annoying dongle sticking out of my phone all day, and enjoys the miraculous ability to listen to music and charge my phone at the same time, it’s a big problem. Most troubling to me: It limits what I can actually do with a device I own.

I won’t be upgrading to the iPhone 7, and I might even hold off on next year’s even more enticing redesign. For now, I’m planning to run my 6S into the ground. But I’m ready to give Android phones (with headphone jacks) an even harder look in the future.


iPhone 7 Plus release date price & specs

Everything you need to know about iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus pre-orders & where to buy the iPhone 7 Plus.

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Apple has announced its flagship iPhone 7 Plus, a major upgrade to the iPhone 6s Plus. Here we round up the features, specs, price and UK release date for the new iPhone 7 Plus & where to buy the iPhone 7 Plus in the UK.

At an event in San Francisco on 7 September, Apple unveiled its new flagship iPhones, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras, new design features and tons of power. Here’s everything you need to know about the new 5.5in iPhone, including iPhone 7 Plus release date, iPhone 7 Plus features, iPhone 7 Plus specs and iPhone 7 Plus price. Plus, find out where to buy the iPhone 7 Plus on pre-order day.

The iPhone 7 Plus boasts a new-to-iPhone dual lens camera sensor that Apple claims is the best yet in any iPhone, and even the iPhone 7 itself missed out on the feature. The other headline upgrades for the iPhone 7 Plus are its water resistance, stereo speakers and claimed longer battery life.

The two 12Mp cameras combine to boast hi-res optical zoom at 2x, a great improvement for casual and professional iPhone photographers alike. The iPhone 7 Plus’ screen is 1920 x 1080 resolution, so no improvement on last year’s iPhone 6s models.

The iPhone 7 Plus is also water resistant to an IP67 standard. Read on to find out more.

How much will the iPhone 7 Plus cost?

The 16GB model of iPhone is no more, with Apple introducing 32GB as the standard base storage option. The 32GB iPhone will start at £719, which is actually £100 more than the iPhone 6S Plus started at before the event. The 128GB model is £819, while the 256GB model costs £919.

For the first time, the iPhone will be available in five colours, including the new Black variation and Jet Black, a glossy variation that is only available in the 128GB and 256GB options, not the base 32GB.

Orders start Friday 9 September and ships on 16 September, with iOS 10 rolling out on 13 September for all other iOS devices.

iPhone 7 Plus pre-orders: Where to buy the iPhone 7 Plus UK
Pre-orders of the iPhone 7 Plus will kick off at 8.01am on the Apple Store Online, but will also be available from third-party carriers and stores. Follow the links below to go to the pre-order pages for each vendor, and bookmark them ready for Friday’s early start. We’d recommend pre-ordering as soon as you can to avoid disappointment – if you pre-order too late you may find that you have a longer wait before the iPhone lands in your hands, and expect huge queues outside Apple Stores on launch day.

Design & build

The first thing you might notice about the iPhone 7 Plus line-up is that there are five models, two of which are new (bye, bye Space Grey). You can now get the iPhone in Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Black and Jet Black.

Jet Black is a high-gloss model that Apple is using in most of its promotional videos and photos. It has a stainless steel Apple logo.

The iPhone 7 Plus also doesn’t have any antenna lines across the black, so it looks more unibody than ever, and you’ll spot that dual-camera on the rear too, but we’ll talk more about that later.

In terms of build, the iPhone 7 Plus is water and dust resistant – IP67 protection standard means you can’t quite take it for a long swim, as highest protection is IP68, but it should be fine in up to one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.

Screen

The display on the iPhone 7 Plus is improved, now 25% brighter than the iPhone 6 Plus, with a wide colour gamut, colour management and the continuation of 3D Touch capabilities.

Camera

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The iPhone 7 Plus’s exclusive new feature is the new camera system. The iPhone 7 camera is improved with optical image stabilisation for the first time on a base iPhone model, but the iPhone 7 Plus boasts a dual lens set up that improves with two 12Mp cameras.

One of those lenses is the usual wide angle, the other is a telephoto lens. These cameras combine to create a zoom feature that works within the tiny body of a smartphone. You have the option to choose between 1x and 2x – 2x gives you the effect of a telephoto lens. This is an optical zoom. You can also touch and drag up to 10x zoom, which is a software based zoom but still using the telephoto lens, so expect much better results.

Performance

Apple’s new A10 Fusion processor has four cores, and Apple claims this is 40% faster than the A9, making the iPhone 7 Plus the fastest smartphone on the market.

Apple claims the A10 Fusion gives the iPhone 7 Plus the longest ever battery life for an iPhone – at least an hour more battery life than the iPhone 6s Plus.

Other features

Apple has also improved the Home Button. It is no longer a physical button but a key with haptic feedback.

The speakers in the iPhone 7 Plus, for the first time, are stereo. One is on the top, the other on the bottom.

That also brings us on to EarPods and AirPods. It was all true as Apple waves goodbye to the 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple will bundle Lightning EarPods with every iPhone 7 and 7 Plus along with a Lightning to mini-port adapter.

Apple also announced AirPods, which are wireless versions of Apple’s famous EarPods. They are the same shape as EarPods without wires. They cleverly have Siri integration thanks to inbuilt mics. One charge will give you 5 hours of battery life and the case holds 24 hours of charge for power on the go. The AirPods are clever enough to let you switch between Apple devices depending on which you are using for audio.

Finally, Japan units of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will now include Felica tech, allowing Japanese Apply Pay users to use the service with Japan’s most used contactless standards

iPhone 7 Plus Specifications

Here are the headline specifications for Apple’s new iPhone 7 Plus:

Retina HD display

5.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit widescreen

Multi-Touch display with IPS technology

1920×1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi

1300:1 contrast ratio (typical)

Wide colour display (P3)

625 cd/m2 max brightness (typical)

Dual-domain pixels for wide viewing angles

Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

Display Zoom

Reachability

Rated IP67 under IEC standard 60529

A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture

Embedded M10 motion coprocessor

12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras

Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
Telephoto: ƒ/2.8 aperture

Optical zoom at 2x; digital zoom up to 10x

iPhone 7, Plus, and Pro model photo leak reveals dual camera and other specs

The news of an upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to be released in September this year has been doing the rounds for the last few months along with its rumoured specifications.

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However, in a latest photo leak obtained by renowned leaks website NowhereElse, which was first posted on Chinese social media website Weibo, shows that not two but three models are expected to be released in Apple’s 2016 iPhone 7 line-up. While the legitimacy of the leak is yet to be verified, there have been previous reports indicating that Apple could similarly introduce a third “Pro” model to the lineup in addition to the usual 4.7-inch model and larger 5.5-inch ‘Plus’ variant. This could be the biggest release Apple’s ever had all at once.

The leaked photos indicate that there are basic upgrades in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with camera enhancements. Also, there is a bigger device, one with two lenses in one camera array. A device that’s meant to reflect the giant power of the iPad Pro, a device made to take the place of the mobile PC.

The photos also included a shot of the back of the devices that shows “S” markings on each phone. The next iPhone isn’t expected to be an “S” year iPhone, as Apple typically introduces those minor updates every other year.

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As for differentiators between the models, an image of the back of the devices shows an iPad-like Smart Connector and dual-camera system, both previously rumoured for iPhone 7, only present on the Pro model.

The iPhone 7 will move the antenna lines that are traditionally positioned horizontally on the back of the smartphone. Now, the antennae on the new iPhone will appear on the top and bottom sides of the casing where they are less noticeable. There are also rumours of somewhat controversial removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the Plus model sports a dual-camera setup.

As the origin of the source is unknown, it is important to take this one with a pinch of salt. However, the details do line up with previous reports, which say the new iPhone would feature a dual speaker and larger camera lens. The reports also have said that aside from the new features, the iPhone 7 would resemble the iPhone 6S externally.

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Watch this space for more news on iPhone 7 leak and related details.

iPhone 7 Plus larger battery and 256GB storage

Apple’s next-generation iPhone 7 Plus could bring big improvements in storage and battery life. According to a new report, this year’s iPhone 7 Plus will come packing the biggest battery we’ve seen in an iPhone to date, and up to 256GB of internal storage.

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The claims come from Chinese website MyDrivers, which cites sources in Apple’s supply chain who say that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in the same 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes as existing models, but with big upgrades under the hood.

One of those could be a new 256GB storage option, which is twice the amount of storage you can currently get in an iPhone. It’s unclear whether Apple would offer this as an additional option, or whether it would finally eliminate the 16GB model and offer more storage in the cheapest iPhone.

The sources also say the iPhone 7 Plus will have a 3,100mAh battery, which is around 12.7 percent larger than the battery in iPhone 6 Plus. This would provide even better battery life — which is already impressive with 6 Plus and 6s Plus — but we wouldn’t get too excited just yet.

Recent rumors have claimed Apple’s next iPhones will be even thinner than those on sale today, which suggests there will be no room for larger batteries. Of course, those reports could well be wrong, but we suggest taking the latest claims with a pinch of salt for now.

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Other changes to iPhone 7 could be the removal of its headphone jack, a water-resistant design, a faster A10 processor, and wireless charging

Best New Cell Phone coming in 2016 iPhone 7

Some smartphones are worth waiting for, and there are some stunners coming in 2016. These are the best new phones coming in 2016, including the best new Android phones, best new iPhones, best new Windows phones, best new Samsung phones, best new Sony phones, best new HTC phones, best new LG phones and more.

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Apple iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 will be Apple’s brand-new flagship phone for 2016, and following tradition should be announced in September. Although the final release date is still many months away, that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill going crazy over the upcoming iPhone.

We’ve already seen rumours that the new iPhone will feature big design changes, with an all-new D-jack headphone jack, waterproofing protection and an eSIM. Loads of rumours are circulating about the screen too – will it get bigger? Will it feature a curved edge? Will it have a Touch ID display, or edge-to-edge glass?

One things for sure, the new iPhone will be faster than ever, with an A10 processor and embedded M10 motion co-processor, plus 2GB of RAM.

All New iPhone 7 Leaked 2015

The phone is only 8% larger than the existing iPhone 5S, this increase is to accommodate the larger screen. Some extra space could be potentially utilised by reducing the width of the side bezels and by also slimming down the top and bottom of the phone frame too. The depth of the iPhone Air is 7mm, coming in 0.6mm smaller than it’s predecessor. This modest reduction in the device depth and larger increase in the width and height could help create a bigger space for the battery and other components.

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The Screen

The next iPhone is widely expected to sport a larger, higher resolution screen. This is an area of great contention as changing the resolution can cause major problems for developers to update their apps efficiently. I decided that 4.7″ was an ideal size, supporting a resolution of 1920×1080, that’s 468ppi (up from 326ppi in the iPhone 5S).

Sapphire Crystal display

The use of sapphire crystal as opposed to Corning Gorilla Glass has been widely rumoured in the past 6 months. The benefits of using Sapphire Crystal come mainly in the form of added strength/durability and added scratch/fracture resistance. It is not currently known whether the costs of producing the new display could be comparable to existing materials but it’s been reported that Apple has been investing heavily in the production of this material, therefore it is not unreasonable to suggest it may be for use in the next generation iPhone.

Other features

The camera sensor will be updated, perhaps to a 10-megapixel sensor and an increased aperture of f/1.8. Other features expected are a faster and more efficient A8 chip.

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