The first photo of what is believed to be the iPhone 7 have surfaced on Chinese social media site Weibo.

While rumours have been circulating the internet for months, the image is believed to be the first of the actual handset, reported 9to5Mac.

The photo of what appears to be the iPhone 7, features redesigned plastic antenna bands. Photo / WEIBO
The photo of what appears to be the iPhone 7, features redesigned plastic antenna bands. Photo / WEIBO

The unit's minor redesign appears to be largely in line with previous reports that Apple has done away with the horizontal plastic antenna strips which run across the width of the handset's top and bottom, instead running only along the edges.

The bands are necessary for the handset to be able to make and receive phone calls, but it's largely believed that Apple's design team are not big fans of the way they break up the aluminium body, and have been trying to minimise and cover them up for some time.

Advertisement

Last summer the company was granted a patent detailing a metal composite able to replace the strips, thin enough to allow radio waves to pass through, removing the need to coat the strip sections with plastic.

The reported finished model bears a close resemblance to concept art uploaded to French rumours site NowhereElse.fr some months ago.

How the plastic antenna bands could appear, alongside a more streamlined camera lens. Photo / NowhereElse.fr
How the plastic antenna bands could appear, alongside a more streamlined camera lens. Photo / NowhereElse.fr

While the iPhone 7 appears to have a single rear-facing camera, the larger iPhone 7 Plus is believed to sport two rear-facing lenses, alongside its front-facing camera.


Further pictures found on Weibo by NowhereElse.Fr editor Steve Hemmerstoffer depict a dual lens camera module and three NAND storage chips, sized at 16GB, 64GB and 256GB. It has been previously reported Apple was planning to upgrade the maximum storage of the iPhone 7 to 256GB, up from the current 128GB maximum.

While pictures of what is purported to be the iPhone 7 depict a circular lens flush with the handset's aluminium body, a picture of what could be the iPhone Plus details a pill-shaped enclosure designed for two lenses and a smart connector.

The picture depicts a dual-lens enclosure and smart connector on the phone's back. Photo / Bastille Post
The picture depicts a dual-lens enclosure and smart connector on the phone's back. Photo / Bastille Post

However, leaked schematic pictures for the handsets uploaded to HDBlog suggests they will not feature the smart connector dimples, which could have been used to connect magnetic covers to the phones ala the iPad Pro.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are due for release in September, and represent an important release in Apple's history. The company recently reported that iPhone sales had fallen for the first time in the nine years its been on sale, while revenue fell for the first time in 13 years.