Apple is preparing to unveil successors to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus as early as next month with more advanced photography capabilities and upgraded hardware in a design similar to that of last year’s models, according to sources.
The standout features will be a dual-camera system on the larger iPhone, a re-engineered home button that responds to pressure with haptic feedback and the removal of the devices’ headphone jack.
While iPhone demand has waned in recent quarters, partly due to the lull between product launches, the device continues to be the major source of Apple’s revenue.
The new models will be critical to the holiday quarter in the US, and Apple is counting on the phones to prop up sales ahead of an expected iPhone overhaul in 2017, the device’s 10th anniversary.
Moving away from the typical two-year iPhone redesign cycle, this year’s models will look similar to the 6 and 6S, the people said, who added that there will still be noticeable tweaks.
The new iPhones will retain the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes as their predecessors, the first of which was introduced in September 2014.
Apple will remove the two innermost antenna lines that run across the back of the current iPhones.
The dual cameras on the larger new iPhone will produce brighter photos with more detail, according to a person who has used a prototype version of the upcoming device.
Both sensors, which each capture colour differently, simultaneously take a picture, and the device produces a single, merged photograph.
Apple is planning an updated home button for the new models.
Current home buttons are switches that physically press into the phone, but the new models will have a pressure-sensitive button that provides feedback to the user via a vibrating haptic sensation rather than a true physical click, according to sources.
The new iPhones will remove the headphone jack in favour of connectivity via Bluetooth and the charging port. That will make room for a second speaker.
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