New photos of the upcoming iPhone 7 indicate Apple has redesigned the smartphone's antenna bands and enlarged the size of the camera lens.
This week's iPhone 7 rumor mill kicks off with a purported new photo of the rear casing of Apple's upcoming device that clearly shows the company's decision to move the antenna bands to the edges of the case.
Design purists had previously complained that the thin grey bands across the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models proved unsightly, a relatively minor quibble, but one that appears Apple has taken to heart.
The high-quality photo, from French tech blog NowhereElse, reveals little else about the device, slated for release sometime this fall, with the exception of the hole for the camera lens, which looks to be fairly larger than the one found on the current iPhone.
The photo of the casing is that of the 4.7-inch model. Previous rumors had indicated a possible dual camera configuration for the larger iPhone, the Plus.
Apple is expected to improve the quality of the camera for the next iPhone in many potential ways. In 2015, the company purchased an Israeli company called LinX that makes multi-lens camera systems and depth-gauging technology.
What is unclear is whether the new camera design will allow Apple to recess the bezel for the feature back into the iPhone's metal housing. It currently protrudes slightly out of the device, and the latest photo of the casing appears to confirm that design compromise will be kept.
While Apple fans are likely to enthusiastically embrace an upgrade in the camera -- the iPhone already has one of the best on the market -- some of the other features the company is considering have sparked grumblings, most notably the rumor that the new handset will replace the standard 3.5mm headphone jack with a Lightning port connector.
Losing the headphone jack will also help Apple make the iPhone 7 thinner and more resistant to water damage, according to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal.
Apple plans to remove the jack and rely on the Lightning port for audio-out, charging, and data-transfer.
The new iPhones on deck for release this fall will maintain the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens that have been part of the iPhone's design since 2014. Apple is reportedly reserving big changes for the 2017 iPhone, to mark the 10th anniversary of the original device.
[Read how Apple will start the iPhone 7 with 32GB of storage.]
That device might feature an OLED screen that runs edge-to-edge. It will include the fingerprint sensor, allowing Apple to get rid of the home button.
An April report in the Korea Herald noted Apple and Samsung may be partnering to bring OLED displays manufactured by Samsung onto the iPhone.
Applied Materials is one of several businesses contributing to the inclusion of an OLED display in the 2017 iPhone model, Bloomberg reported.
The company, which is the largest to create machinery for screen manufacturing, claimed this division generated $700 million in orders in the second quarter. Normally, it brings in that much in one year.
Apple sold 51.2 million iPhones in the second fiscal quarter of this year, a 16% decline from 61.2 million units sold during the second quarter of 2015. That figure marks the first drop in iPhone sales since the product line was launched in 2007.