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article imageReport: The iPhone 7 will have three new features

By James Walker     Aug 9, 2016 in Technology
With the launch of the iPhone 7 only weeks away, Apple is close to finalising the hardware of the new phone. According to a credible new report, it will feature the long-rumoured dual-lens camera, no headphone jack and a capacitive home button.
In an article published this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said people "familiar with" the iPhone 7 confirmed the various rumours circulating online. Apple will stick with the same basic aluminium chassis as it has used on the iPhone 6 and 6s, focusing instead on improving the hardware and photographic capabilities of the phone for this year's release.
Gurman's unnamed insider sources informed him that the iPhone 7's standout features will be a new dual-lens camera system, a revised home key that's no longer a physical button and a single Lightning port to be used for power, data and now audio connections.
It is thought that Apple will launch three versions of this year's iPhone, the basic model followed by larger Plus and Pro variants. The dual-lens camera may make an appearance only on the Pro model, due to the internal space constraints of the smaller handsets.
The dual camera sensors are said to be able to produce brighter, clearer photos than single sensor systems. Each sensor operates independently and is tuned for different light conditions. When the user takes a photo, both sensors capture an image. The two pictures are then digitally combined to create a single high-resolution photo with enhanced quality.
iPhone 7 Plus leaked images [via]
iPhone 7 Plus leaked images [via]
The second major feature, the revised home button, will be present on every version of the iPhone 7. For the first time ever, Apple will launch an iPhone without a physical home button, installing a capacitive touch-sensitive one in its place on the bottom bezel.
To replicate the distinctive "click" of the traditional button, Apple will employ haptic feedback. The pressure-sensitive home key, possibly using Apple's 3D Touch technology to handle several different functions, will vibrate each time it is pressed, mimicking the feel of the iPhone 6s' physical button.
The final significant change for the iPhone 7 will be the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. The move is likely to be highly controversial as Apple pushes its own Lightning port as the standard for audio connections.
Apple will need to convince initially sceptical consumers that it's time to do away with their universally compatible 3.5mm accessories. It won't be an easy push and is likely to be resisted for some time. Only a handful of Android phone manufacturers have already removed the 3.5mm jack and replaced it with the more widely accepted USB-C port, viewed by many as a more future-proof standard than Apple's Lightning connector.
With quarterly iPhone sales now in decline, Apple needs the iPhone 7 to be a holiday hit. Bloomberg's report confirms what other sources have been reporting for a while, however. The phone won't have any truly innovative features, nor will it offer anything substantial that can't be found elsewhere.
The dual-lens camera could prove to be a selling point but previous reports have suggested its technology is currently immature. Rivals like Samsung's Galaxy S7 have surpassed the iPhone's image quality in recent years and Apple is now playing catch-up. In some ways, the iPhone 7 looks to be a reprise of the 6s, further improving hardware but still not introducing a new design.
That will come in 2017 with the introduction of a glass and metal body. Apple will make minor exterior tweaks with the iPhone 7, notably removing the plastic antenna bands from the rear of the phone, but will save the complete chassis overhaul for next year. The company will be reliant on the "iPhone 10th Anniversary Edition" to resurrect its flagging hardware sales, finally providing consumers with what they've been requesting.
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