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Bloomberg: iPhone 7 gets new home button, drops headphone port

Engadget Engadget 8/08/2016 Nick Summers

Another report has suggested that Apple is taking a different tack with this year's iPhone. Bloomberg reporter and renowned Apple scooper Mark Gurman has published a story claiming that the new smartphone will have a design "similar to the 6 and 6S." We've heard this before -- it suggests that Apple is holding its big aesthetic change until next year, when the iPhone celebrates its 10th birthday. Gurman is also reporting that the new iPhone will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack -- again, something that's been reported for some time -- switching instead to "connectivity via Bluetooth and the charging port." (Get ready for lots of Lightning headphones.)

The iPhone is known for its sublime photo-taking capabilities, although recently Android manufacturers -- particularly Samsung with the Galaxy S7 -- have started to close the gap. Apple is reportedly working on a dual-camera setup for this year's model which will produce "brighter photos with more detail" by merging the images shot with each sensor. The new configuration will also help to sharpen photos captured in dark and gloomy conditions, as well as retaining image quality as the user zooms in.

Finally, Bloomberg is reporting that the new iPhone will have an updated home button similar to the MacBook's Force Touch trackpad. Instead of a physical click, the new button will trigger a series of vibrations under the surface. The reasons for this are a little unclear -- it could provide new functionality, or simply serve to save some space under the hood.

It's worth emphasizing that most of these rumors aren't new. But Gurman has a stellar track record, which adds weight to previous reports. They point to a device that sounds more like an "S" model, rather than a numbered release -- an unusual move for Apple, but one that would build expectations for a major redesign in 2017.


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