KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo is probably the most reliable analyst out there when it comes to predicting Apple’s unannounced gadgets and today he issued a new report to clients, a copy of which was obtained by 9to5Mac, to discuss some last minute details ahead of Apple’s September 7 event.
In it, he shares many previously undisclosed iPhone 7 features, including a lot faster new chip, some new and updated sensors, significantly improved cameras with an upgraded LED flash system and more, plus specifics on waterproofing, new colors options, display technology and so forth.
Here are key highlights from the report:
Cameras—KGI’s report does not discuss the camera on the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 model, which too will be getting an upgrade of its own, likely in the form of an increased opening to let more light in and possibly even Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that used to be exclusive to ‘Plus’ models. As for the brand-new dual camera system on the iPhone 7 Plus, Kuo writes that it’s made up of a wide-angle camera and a telephoto camera, each sporting a twelve-megapixel sensor and a 6P lens. This will allow for some interesting features, like true optical zoom and “light field camera applications”. As a bonus, the iPhone 7’s LED flash increases the number of LEDs from two to four (two cool, two warm) to improve photos taken in low-light situations.
Display—The iPhone 7 will use the same display sizes and screen resolutions as the iPhone 6/6s series while borrowing Apple’s latest technologies from the 9.7-inch iPad Pro allowing the iPhone 7 screens to render a wider range of colors so the photos taken by the new cameras will look even better on them.
A-series chip—The next iPhone will be powered by Apple’s in-house designed ‘A10’ chip with CPU cores clocked at up to 2.4GHz versus the maximum CPU clock rate of 1.85GHz for the A9 chip inside the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE. Supply chain sources previously said the A10 would be fabbed on TSMC’s ten-nanometer FinFET process technology versus the 16-nm process for the A9 chip while the actual chip packaging will use TSMC’s new InFO process, resulting in a smaller overall package.
RAM—While the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 will stay at two gigabytes of RAM, the same as the iPhone 6s, the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus model will have three gigabytes of memory to handle advanced camera processing of the dual-camera system.
Storage—Kuo says Apple will abandon existing 16 GB and 64 GB tiers and provide the iPhone 7 lineup in the following storage capacities: 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.
Colors—Two new iPhone 7 case colors, called “Dark Black” and “Piano Black,” will replace Space Gray which will be removed from the lineup, meaning the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be offered in a total of five colors. Piano Black is described as glossy but may only be offered exclusively on high-capacity iPhone 7 models at launch due to low yields.
Sensors—The removal of the 3.55 headphone jack has created space for what looks look a second speaker grille but is actually a brand new sensor designed to improve the “user experience” by enhancing the Force Touch recognition system. The handsets should also gain a new amplifier to boost sound output from the receiver and “switch from LCD to laser” for the proximity sensor to enable faster response times, longer recognition distance and maybe even hand-waving gesture features.
Headphones—Like most other watchers, Kuo agrees that the iPhone 7 lineup will ditch the 3.55 mm analog audio jack in favor of wireless Bluetooth headphones or wired ones based on Lightning I/O. Kuo agrees that every iPhone 7 box will include Lighting-based EarPods as well as a Lighting to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter.
Waterproofing—The iPhone 7 will be waterproof with an IPX7 rating, just like the Apple Watch, allowing the device to withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. “According to KGI, Apple’s high standards for waterproofing have impacted the supply chain and lowered total production of iPhone 7,” writes the publication.
If Kuo is right, there is more to the iPhone 7 than meets the eye. I’m not sure about you, but I’m very intrigued by that additional Force Touch sensor and a much-improved proximity sensor potentially allowing the iPhone 7 to detect hand-waving gestures.
You may also want to read our roundup of the September 7 event predictions.