Apple's 2016 iPhone Update to Focus on Headphone Jack Removal, Major Changes Won't Come Until 2017

Rumors have suggested the 2016 iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will not feature major design changes aside from the removal of the headphone jack, information that has been confirmed in a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus will continue to feature 4.7 and 5.5-inch displays, with only "subtle changes" to the exterior of the devices. Past rumors indicate the two devices will be the same general size as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but with relocated antenna bands that no longer span across the back of the bodies.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the removal of the headphone jack will make the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus thinner while also improving its water resistance. Just how thin is a matter of contention in rumors -- schematics show little reduction in thickness but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the iPhone 7 could be 1mm thinner than the current iPhone 6s.

iphone7mockupantennabands

Mockup of what the iPhone 7 will look like

While 2016 will mark a minor update, 2017 will bring major changes to the iPhone in celebration of the device's 10th anniversary. Citing sources "familiar with the matter," The Wall Street Journal suggests features could include an edge-to-edge OLED display with built-in Touch ID fingerprint support to allow Apple to eliminate the home button.

Apple is said to be deviating from its standard tick-tock upgrade cycle in order to introduce major new features in the 2017 iPhone, which take time to develop.

At a meeting with an Apple executive last month, one of the company's China-based engineers asked why this year's model lacked a major design change in keeping with Apple's usual two-year cycle. The answer, one person at the meeting recalled, was that the new technology in the pipeline will take time to implement.

People familiar with the matter said some features that Apple hopes to integrate into iPhones, such as curved screens, weren't ready for this year's models.

It is not known if Apple is permanently moving away from introducing new designs on an every-other-year basis, or if the 2016-2017 shift is a temporary one.

While The Wall Street Journal's report confirms the removal of the headphone jack in the next-generation iPhone, it makes no mention of other feature improvements that are expected, including a larger camera sensor in the iPhone 7 and a dual-camera setup in the iPhone 7 Plus.

Tag: wsj.com

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
57 months ago
So the main new feature of the phone will be the removal of something useful.
Score: 137 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Yes! Because the removal of the audiojack is a feature!
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
I have an idea. If they remove the battery completely, they could make the phone much thiner. Can't innovate my ass.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
awesome, saves me the money. at this point i dont even care about hardware specs, smartphones are "smart" and "fast" enough as it is and iOS 10 doesnt seem to introduce anything major that may slow down my iPhone 6 unless Apple does it on purpose. May sound shallow but at this point i just want an actual redesign, especially in this price category. I am not spending over 800 Euro on the same phone again. Oh well, maybe next year
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

Thank you captain obvious

Hey now, don't be snarky. This article brings a few new things to light, such as Apple's desire to make this version thinner.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
....and they thought the 6S sold poorly.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...