iPhone 7 Rumors: Improved Camera, Quadraphonic Speakers

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The iPhone 7 rumor mill continues to churn out photos and information indicating a redesigned rear case and improved camera specs. Other photos point to a quadraphonic speaker system.

While iPhone sales might be on the decline, interest in Apple's upcoming smartphone -- the iPhone 7 -- remains at the stratospheric level, with the latest leaked photos of the device purportedly showing redesigned antenna lines and a beveled camera housing that still protrudes from the device.

The images from Webio, picked up by a slew of Apple-centric blogs, reportedly show an actual iPhone 7 case, not a mockup or test housing, and appear to confirm Apple's plans for a dual rear camera system. The camera has also been moved up and to the left slightly.

The photos also show three memory chips placed next to the camera, including a 256GB chip, which would be a first for the iPhone.

As for the antenna bands, Apple has moved them to the bottom and top of the back of the casing, as opposed to the current iPhone 6s model's placement, where they run across the smartphone about half an inch from the top and bottom.

A pair of photos that surfaced over the weekend also indicate Apple will debut the iPhone 7 with a quadraphonic speaker system. However, the photos, which come from an Italian iPhone accessories manufacturer, also show a vertically arranged rear camera setup and raised numerous questions about the authenticity of the cases.

[Read more about the iPhone 7.]

However dubious the report, rumors of higher quality audio for the iPhone have been circulating for a few months. A patent filed by Apple indicates its next iPhone will feature improved specs.

First reported by Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac, the patent exhaustively details the tech giant's plans for squeezing higher-volume and higher-quality audio from increasingly slimmer handsets.

The patented invention pertains to a portable electronic device that provides compact configurations for audio elements -- essentially turning other components of the iPhone into the speaker assembly.

The iPhone 7 will also likely be the first Apple smartphone to ditch the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, which has caused some grumbles in the tech community.

In addition, archrivals Apple and Samsung may also be forging an unlikely partnership that would see organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays manufactured by the South Korean electronics giant fitted onto the iPhone, according to an April report in the Korea Herald.

The avalanche of rumors has so far failed to impress Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz, who said in a research note to investors that the latest iPhone won't be a must-have device, reserving enthusiasm for 2017's model.

The comments, obtained by Fortune, included the predictions that there would be no major change in form factor, but feature minor tweaks and changes, and that Apple is planning a major redesign jump next year.

Apple, while a market leader alongside rival Samsung, saw its first ever double-digit decline year-over-year, with iPhone sales down 14%, according to the latest report from IT research firm Gartner.

Despite the company's notable slide in sales, the report noted that the company's "upgrade program" in the US has helped improve the pricing for its flagship iPhone 6s and 6s plus models, helping drive sales in its largest smartphone market.

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