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article imageApple's iPhone 7 to have almost nothing new at all

By James Walker     Jun 21, 2016 in Technology
Multiple reports released today have revealed that Apple plans to do away with its two-year iPhone upgrade cycle. Consumers shouldn't expect any major changes for 2016's "iPhone 7" beyond the controversial removal of the headphone jack.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Apple is "unlikely" to make big changes this year, instead focusing on "subtle" revisions to last it through the next 12 months. The company is understood to be planning a much broader refresh for 2017 that incorporates an OLED display and a glass design.
The report corroborates recent rumours from Apple's supply chain that have also suggested the company no longer pursues a two-year upgrade model. Traditionally, the company has released a major iPhone upgrade with a new number every two years, following it up with a more powerful "S" model in the following 12 months.
The most notable change introduced with this year's iPhone 7 will reportedly be the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple is said to be making the move so it can make the phone even thinner than it already is. Consumers are likely to question the decision though, particularly as increasing numbers of people are favouring phones with larger batteries over those that shave off extra millimetres of chassis girth.
The iPhone 7's single Lightning connector will be used for charging, data connections and headphones. Apple is expected to launch a new 3.5mm to Lightning adapter that will allow current headsets to work with the Lightning connector, an awkward compromise for people who like their current headphones.
Critics of Apple's plan have questioned whether the ubiquitous 3.5mm jack is really ready for replacement. The Lightning connector appears to be an unsuitable replacement even if it is. An open and universal standard such as USB-C would be a better fit for one of the most widespread jacks ever created, rather than a closed solution that only works with Apple's devices.
With so little on offer, Apple may have a much harder time selling the iPhone 7 than it has with previous releases. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said the handset may be a "disappointment" to fans. It is now beginning to become evident why the comment could prove to be true.
According to the Wall Street Journal, part of Apple's decision to launch a lacklustre iPhone this year is to give it a substantially bigger release in 2017. Next year is the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, an event that Apple is likely to mark with something major. By holding back innovations and major new capabilities, Apple can drive up anticipation for the iPhone 8.
Beyond 2017 it is unclear whether Apple will return to its "tick tock" release strategy or abandon it entirely. New iPhone releases could become fewer and further between, driving more momentum before each launch and allowing the company to ultimately sell even more devices than it currently does.
More about Apple, iPhone, iphone 7, Smartphones, ios 10
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