Apple Leaks Reveal iPhone 7 Nasty Surprises
iPhone 7 Nasty Surprises
There is no headphone jack. By now the whole world knows Apple has made the controversial decision to axe the world’s most ubiquitous port from the new iPhone 7. But now users may not be getting the goodies they expected as compensation for this loss…
A pair of leaks this week make grim reading for potential iPhone 7 buyers as Apple appears set to cut back on two innovations widely expected this year.
‘Great Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular columns investigating software updates and new hardware for the best features / biggest problems hidden behind the headlines.
Nasty Surprise #1: No Stereo Speakers
The first bad news comes via highly reliable French site Nowhereelse.fr which has attained schematics of the iPhone 7. The schematics say the matching second speaker grill on the bottom edge of the iPhone 7 (added thanks to the removal of the headphone jack) is purely cosmetic and simply houses the microphone.
Apple has pulled a similar stunt before with the iPhone 4S which also had matching dual speakers on the bottom edge (the headphone jack was at the top of the phone back then). Many predicted stereo sound at the time, only to be disappointed.
Nasty Surprise #2: No Touch Sensitive Home Button
With iPhone 7 innovations expected to be primarily internal (improved performance, bigger battery) and incremental (the dual camera is an iPhone 7 Plus / Pro only feature) there was one exception: the home button.
After nine years, the iPhone 7 appeared ready to move to a MacBook-inspired touch sensitive button which uses haptic feedback to simulate the sensation of physical touch. A fixed button would be more reliable, save physical space and potentially enable Apple to use the touch sensitivity to add gesture support at a later date (there’s no sign of this in iOS 10).
Unfortunately MacRumors reports a leaked chassis via Geekbar which it believes to be from the iPhone 7 shows the same cutouts for a physical home button, just like previous models.
What To Think About The iPhone 7 Nasty Surprises?
Of course the obvious point to make is both leaks could be off the mark. In fact even if they are correct, Apple is known to make and test multiple iterations of each iPhone prior to settling on a design. So these could be prototype plans that have since been scrapped.
That said I would argue it is crucial Apple ‘sells’ the loss of the headphone jack as a gain overall by arguing it allows the iPhone 7 to take new, appealing steps forward. These include higher quality sound through the Lightning port, more space for a bigger battery, waterproofing and yes, stereo speakers and (in absence of a design overhaul) the compensation of an upgraded home button and internals.
If such features get chipped away, the loss of a headphone jack in conjunction with a third year of largely unchanged external design set against the backdrop of falling sales could spell trouble and imply stagnation. Yes, sales figures will still be on a scale of ‘trouble’ most smartphone makers would die for but it’s trouble nonetheless.
In recent years Apple product launches have had little to no surprises. With some of the negativity surrounding the iPhone 7 (especially against the excitement for 2017’s radical iPhone 8) let’s hope Apple does have some surprises this year. Either way, we’ll all find out very soon…