The Wall Street Journal is today backing up rumors that Apple's iPhone 7 will bear a close resemblance to its two most recent predecessors, the iPhone 6 and 6S. The device, due this fall, will see "subtle changes" and you've already heard about the biggest one: the headphone jack is going away. The screen sizes offered will remain unchanged at 4.7 and 5.5 inches. This will mark a departure from Apple's "tick tock" cycle of completely overhauling the iPhone's design every two years.
Instead, the iPhone due next year will be the one to undergo substantial design changes. Possibilities include a curved, edge-to-edge OLED screen and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the display itself — negating the need for a physical home button. Apple design chief Jony Ive has "for years" pushed for the iPhone to "appear like a single sheet of glass," according to the Journal's sources. 2017 will mark the iPhone's 10th anniversary, so from that perspective it makes sense that Apple is planning something big. The design for next year's phone hasn't yet been finalized, however.
This render of the iPhone 7's alleged design is from MacRumors.
But what about 2016's iPhone? Apple's decision to ditch the headphone jack will result in improved water resistance, according to the report. So Samsung may lose one of its advantages over current iPhone hardware. And once again, the design will be thinner than in previous years — even if no one's really asking for a slimmer iPhone at this point. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 in September, and it's likely the company will have plenty of ways to talk up the new smartphone (like a dual-camera system) even if the design itself is relatively unchanged for a third consecutive year.