What to expect from Apple's new iPhone launch

Apple: the brand is expected to launch the Apple Watch 2 alongside the iPhone 7
Apple: the brand is expected to launch the Apple Watch 2 alongside the iPhone 7

In the year of "peak iPhone", the tech industry will be watching Apple's next iPhone launch closely for signs the company has returned to innovative form.

Apple reported for the first time this year that iPhone sales were down. In its first quarter, sales were down 16% year on year to 51 million smartphones. The second quarter, sales were down again 21% to 40 million.

That isn't necessarily a sign of Apple's eventual doom, more that the smartphone market is becoming commoditised. As smartphone analyst Ian Fogg told Campaign earlier this year, there isn't much to differentiate premium handsets from each other bar the camera.

This is why observers shouldn't expect too much whizz bang from the new iPhone launch, but instead focus on where Apple's shifting its priorities. For example, Apple has shifted focus so much to its services, such as iTunes, the App Store and Apple Music, where revenue is growing.

With that in mind, here's what's rumoured for the iPhone 7.

No headphone jack

Rumours have been swirling for months that Apple will make the brave choice of ditching the headphone jack. The company has a history of dropping hardware features it deems unnecessary – later MacBook models don't have a CD drive, for example. 

Consigning the headphone jack to history may feel slightly unreasonable, since most smartphone users still very much use wired headphones.

It's possible that Apple will push users to its Beats range of wireless headphones. Another rumour suggests the company will launch another type of wireless set of headphones to accompany the iPhone 7, called Air Buds.

As one analyst noted, there's also the question of what iPhone will do with the freed up space left by the headphone jack.

Multiple models and a dual lens camera

Huawei set the trend for dual lens smartphone cameras with the launch of the Huawei P9 and a partnership with Leica. 

It's still just a rumour, but reports suggest there will be two models – an iPhone 7 and a larger iPhone 7 Plus (or iPhone Pro). The latter, it's thought, will come with a dual lens camera, boosting image quality and low-light photography.

Given one of Apple's most effective marketing campaigns, "Shot on iPhone", hinges on photography, upgrades to the camera make sense.

Apple Watch 2

The first Apple Watch has been on the market for one-and-a-half years, meaning it's time for a refresh ahead of Christmas. 

Apple's third operating system refresh for the device, watchOS 3 is also due in the autumn.

Reports suggest there won't be major changes to the new watch, with the device upgraded with a better processor and more sensors, such as GPS and a barometer. And...that's about it, which may be disappointing for anyone hoping for a boost to battery life.

Updates to watchOS 3 include new watch faces and improved app loading times. The latter allows users to open multiple apps and keep others running in the background, something early testers have described as a major improvement to usability.


Apple has been slowly venturing onto social media, creating accounts for Apple Music, iTunes and iBooks in previous months.

Now, finally, the main brand has joined Twitter. Or rather, it joined in 2011, but has now fleshed out its account with a profile picture and bio. Given the background image is the same as its iPhone 7 event invitation image, it's likely the brand will use Twitter to post updates about the event.

Apple has liveblogged its previous events on its own site, but now seems to be looking for more outward-facing communication.

iOS 10 and messaging

Earlier this year, Apple announced the next major update to its mobile operating system, iOS 10. That will land on devices in the autumn, and includes better notifications on the lock screen and quick interactions with apps. Apple is also building out its 3D Touch interface.

Recode reports that Apple is turning iMessage into a broader platform, allowing users to add a visual layer to messages, and to access other apps from inside iMessage.

Stay tuned for Campaign's report on the event, which takes place at 6pm BST.

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