Apple has added a new colour option to its family of flagship smartphones this month, with the new red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus editions hitting the UK alongside the five existing colours, including jet black and rose gold.
Interestingly, Apple is only selling red versions of the iPhone 7 with either 128GB or 256GB of storage onboard, according to Tech Radar. This means getting the cheapest 32GB iPhone model in a new hue is not an option.
It could well be that the Californian firm is trying to convince customers to spend a little more and embrace higher levels of storage on their smartphones to avoid having to constantly reshuffle data as their device gets fuller. This may also hint at a future in which the base model iPhone comes with more space as standard.
The iPhone 7 has a few more months in the sun before its replacement is unveiled, although rumours about what the next iPhone will offer are numerous and often conflicting, leaving a confusing picture about what people can expect. The red iteration is a nice mid-life boost which should help sales and take on some of the colourful spirit embodied by the now archaic iPhone 5C.
This year marks a decade since the first iPhone was introduced, meaning that expectations for Apple’s upcoming anniversary handset are sky high. Now sources quoted by Fast Company suggest that the price for the iPhone 8 might be similarly steep, pushing north of £800.
There are already versions of the iPhone 7 on sale which exceed this price point, although this is only for the higher end models with more storage space onboard. If the base model breaches this figure, then it could be a much more costly device than any of its predecessors.
There are various reasons for the projected price increase, including the rumours that Apple is finally opting to use an AMOLED display on the iPhone range this year. Wireless charging is also expected to appear on every new model that arrives, with up to three fresh devices set to join this family of phones in 2017.
An enhanced camera, more memory and a faster processor are also on the cards, so the iPhone 8 should be a worthy technological successor to the current generation. Some believe that it will even be called the iPhone X, in recognition of the 10 years that have passed since Apple entered the mobile market.
When Apple unveils its new flagship mobile range in the second half of 2017, the devices on offer will be slimmer than any of their predecessors thanks to a change in the speakers that are used.
2016’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus managed to lose a little weight by ditching the headphone jack, a controversial move which is still seen as a misstep by many. But patents filed by Apple reveal that it is working on a cutting edge speaker system, which should not only benefit the iPhone, but also its tablet and laptop ranges.
Tech Radar points out that the iPad Pro already features a type of micro speaker technology which should be similar to that destined for the next iPhone, whether it ends up being called the 7S or the 8.
Last week also saw rumours that not one but two big screen iPhones would be making an appearance in 2017, with sources stating that Apple will finally be introducing a curved display to this range, so that it can compete with the Samsung Galaxy Edge devices. The launch of the new iPhone is a long way off, but anticipation is building already.
Three recent patents filed by Apple have hinted at what iPhone fans can expect to see on future versions of their favourite handset.
In particular, it seems that the Californian firm is eager to improve the camera capabilities of its devices, with one patent covering a new type of snapper which will allow higher resolution to be achieved without increasing the overall bulk of the device.
Another patent covers a camera sensor which can be built into the display of the phone itself, meaning that the front-facing camera will no longer be a separate entity, according to Apple Insider.
This implies that Apple will be able to do away with the bezel surrounding the screen altogether when the iPhone 8 arrives in a couple of years.
Whether or not these features will end up on the iPhone 7S in 2017 remains to be seen. There is even some debate over whether Apple will stick with its iterative upgrade path, or go all out for the 10th anniversary of its smartphone range next year and introduce a truly revolutionary new model, which benefits from capabilities protected by this clutch of new patents.
New rumours suggest that Apple is finally jumping on the OLED band wagon with the iPhone 8, allowing it to keep pace with rival devices from Samsung in the display department, according to industry sources quoted by Bloomberg.
Organic light-emitting diode tech has been a fixture of the mobile market for over half a decade, but Apple has remained resolutely committed to traditional LCD screens for the entire iPhone range to date. This could change in 2018 when the iPhone 8 arrives, with these reports being backed up by the fact that display maker, Sharp, has recently confirmed it will be spending around £440 million to boost its OLED manufacturing capacity.
There are a number of benefits of OLED screens which give them the edge over LCD counterparts, including richer colours, better contrast ratios and improved energy efficiency. The main downside is that screen burn-in can occur after several years of use, meaning that they are less practical in the long run.
Since the life span of most mobiles is 12 to 24 months, this should not be seen as a problem and if the iPhone 8 does come with an OLED display, then it will be just one of a number of improvements that Apple fans have been requesting for years.