A lot of expectation hangs on Apple's seventh iteration of the iPhone, both for shareholders and customers alike. Sales of iPhones peaked in 2015 and have been on the wane in 2016, the first time Apple's sales have fallen since 2003.

However, with more iPhone 7 leaks surfacing there's a growing consensus among the tech community that it will be an underwhelming upgrade from the 6. Most are even looking past its impending launch this year to the nascent iPhone 8, after revelations there will be serious overhaul in 2017. It's even mooted that Apple will forgo a 7S upgrade in its next cycle and skip straight to 8. The model line-up may however feature a flagship 7-Pro alongside the 7 and 7 Plus.

The Wall Street Journal has reiterated that "the biggest planned change in this year's phones is the removal of the headphone plug, which will make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance, said people familiar with the matter. The Lightning Connector will serve double-duty as a port for charging the phone and for connecting headphones."

At this stage it still isn't confirmed whether users will have to use Bluetooth headphones to listen to music or whether they will use the lightning connection technology for their earpods. Either way it will be a wireless setup very similar to that of Samsung's recently launched Gear IconX headphones which come with a power case for on-the-go recharging.

Advertisement
The casing for the mooted iPhone 7 Pro which features a wider camera lens. Photo / OnLeaks
The casing for the mooted iPhone 7 Pro which features a wider camera lens. Photo / OnLeaks

If those notions don't get you excited, you're not alone. The difference between the iPhone 5 and 6 was negligible apart from the screen size and you would be justified in expecting something of revelation this time around.

So far, the most excitement will probably be generated by the new home button which will be a touch-sensitive surface flush with the screen, instead of a physical indent. Apple's Force Touch technology will provide haptic feedback when pressed, much like the Force Touch trackpad on Apple's most recent MacBooks.

Of course there will be internal performance upgrades but respected Japanese blog Mac Otakara says the iPhone 7's design will appear a bit too familiar on the outside.

It notes the only external switches will be: "its proximity sensor on the front changed to the dual specification in addition to the ambient light sensor on the side moving from the left side to the right with a slightly longer receiver". Oh, along with a new "space black" colour option.

The casing features a camera opening much larger than that of the iPhone 6, which Rock Fix claims is to support a new camera with a bigger CMOS sensor than the ones found in current models. This would still leave the iPhone 7's single camera behind a twin-lensed iPhone 7 Plus in terms of capabilities.

So, without a big departure from the iPhone 6 or 6s, the question for those owners may be how long before the iPhone 8 comes out for a meaningful upgrade, which is rumoured to have an all-glass chassis and edgeless screen.