It’s the most suc­cess­ful Ap­ple prod­uct ever made. What’s next?

Mac Format - - 2016 -

Up­grades to the iPhone fol­low a tick-tock model: the ticks are the rad­i­cal redesigns, such as the iPhone 4, 5 and 6, and the tocks are the S-mod­els: the 4s, 5s and 6s. 2016 is a tick year, so expectations are high. Ap­ple’s patent port­fo­lio is full of all kinds of good­ies – hap­tic dis­plays, so­lar charg­ing, flex­i­ble screens and so on – but the iPhone 7’s tech will be less sen­sa­tional: a thin­ner case with an edge-to-edge OLED and tougher glass is a safe bet, and we should see the higher den­sity dis­play of the Plus make its way into the 4.7-inch iPhone. Wire­less charg­ing is pos­si­ble – it’s in the Ap­ple Watch, af­ter all – as is USB-C, but we sus­pect Ap­ple will stick with its Light­ning port.

One in­ter­est­ing pre­dic­tion comes from KGI Se­cu­ri­ties an­a­lyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who predicts not just the ob­vi­ous step up to an A10 pro­ces­sor but the release of a small iPhone, too. The four-inch phone won’t re­peat the mis­takes of the iPhone 5C, which was vis­i­bly cheaper than its sib­lings; it’ll be an alu­minium iPhone with an A9 pro­ces­sor. If Ap­ple sticks with its cur­rent nam­ing scheme, as we ex­pect, that means an iPhone 7 mini along­side the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

It’s pos­si­ble that Ap­ple might dif­fer­en­ti­ate the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus not just in terms of their cam­eras and bat­tery life (both of which are su­pe­rior in the Plus), but in per­for­mance too: tak­ing the Plus from 2GB of RAM to 3GB would make it even more at­trac­tive. It would be nice if Ap­ple also ad­mit­ted that 16GB of stor­age is no longer enough for any­body.

Will 2016 fi­nally be the year when the iPhone gets fast wire­less charg­ing and an OLED dis­play?

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