Apple has released the next generation of the iPhone at its annual event in San Francisco today – the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
At a launch event tonight, the company revealed an upgraded iPhone that, while aesthetically similar to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, has several big differences, including a pressure-sensitive home button, better camera, a faster processor and improved battery life, as well as having no headphone jack.
It also comes in a new range of colours and a starting size of 32GB.
As with the iPhone 6 and 6s, both new iPhone devices come with different storage options.
This year, Apple has doubled the capacities available when the device launches.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will therefore be available in 32GB, 128GB or 256GB options.
Apple said during its keynote that it has kept the prices of its new smartphones the same as the iPhone 6s when it launched last year for their respective storage options.
However, because the 16GB is no longer available, this means the cheapest option is now more expensive.
The iPhone 7 will also come with stereo speakers for the first time, with speakers now placed at the top and bottom of the device.
What are the new features?
Instead of the traditional headphone connection, iPhone packages will now come with earphones that fit into the phone’s Lightning port, currently used for charging and data transfer.
The bigger “Plus” model has an even-more powerful “dual-lens” camera, explained below.
Killing the headphone jack
One of the most controversial decisions has been to remove the headphone jack, instead shipping the phone with a pair of Lightning EarPods – which connect through the charging port – and wireless Apple AirPods, powered by a W1 chip.
Infared sensors detect when each pod is in your ear and motion sensors control the headphones to use Siri and detect your voice.
The AirPods provide five hours of listening which, with the compact charging case, delivers 24 hours of total battery life.
Apple has faced opposition over changes before, such as when it introduced the lightning connector with the iPhone 5 in 2012. Apple will also supply an adaptor that enables traditional headphones to continue to plug into the iPhone, but it will not allow for charging at the same time.
A matte “black” and a glossy black will join silver, gold and rose gold in the colour options for the iPhone. The new shiny “jet black” finish will be offered exclusively on the 128GB and 256GB models.
The new handset look very similar to the current iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but with the antenna bands moved from the back of the device to the edges.
The camera has been revamped to enhance low-light capabilities and take even sharper photos.
The smaller 4.7-inch device has a f/1.8 lens that lets 50 per cent more light onto the lens, a new 12MP sensor that’s 60 per cent faster and 30 per cent more energy efficient.
A 5.5-inch version of the handset has a dual-lens camera. This allows a huge increase in quality when zooming in on a photo, a problem that has plagued Apple for years.
The iPhone 7 Plus has two 12MP cameras, one of which is a wide angle lens and the other a telephoto lens that can zoom 2X in high quality without using any software. The telephoto lens means the camera can zoom to 10X with optical and soft zoom.
This Friday, on September 9, orders begin and will start shipping on September 16.
How much will it cost?
For the last two years the cheapest model of the latest iPhone has cost £539 but the new iPhone 7 price will start at £599 for the 32GB model.
According to T3, the prices are as follows:
The iPhone 7:
- £599 for 32GB
- £699 for 128GB
- £799 for 256GB
The iPhone 7 Plus:
- £719 for 32GB
- £819 for 128GB
- £919 for 256GB
What can we expect next year?
The big changes Apple is rumoured to be saving for the 2017 iPhone include its chassis being made entirely from glass and have an edge-to-edge display with an OLED screen, a significant step forward from the LCD screens the company currently uses.
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