The iPhone 7 isn’t even out yet, but we’re already hearing a number of rumors about the iPhone 7S, which isn’t due out until 2017. It seems as though we’re in for some major changes with the iPhone 7S, including a switch over to AMOLED screens, a larger 5.8-inch iPhone, a return to glass backs, and more.
Here’s everything we know so far about the new iPhones coming in 2017.
When Apple made the switch over to metal with the iPhone 5, dozens of Android phones left plastic behind in favor of metal. These days, it’s almost difficult to find a phone that isn’t made out of metal. Now, a report from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities hints that Apple could return to a glass back on the iPhone 7S. Kuo believes that Apple will turn to the glass back so as to differentiate the iPhone from the crowd of all-metal Android phones.
In an earlier report, Kuo revealed that he thinks the glass back on the 2017 iPhone will also be curved for added comfort. Although going back to glass may seem like an odd retro move for Apple, it would also open up possibilities like wireless charging, which is neigh impossible to achieve with an all-metal device.
Are you one of the few who think that the iPhone 6S Plus is too small for your probably huge hands? Well, we’ve got good news for you. According to several reports, Apple may add a 5.8-inch iPhone to its lineup in 2017.
For years, Apple avoided increasing its iPhone screen size beyond the traditional 3.5 inches. Now, the company is comfortable with its 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones, and rumor has it, Apple wants to go even bigger in 2017 with a 5.8-inch iPhone.
The first report came from the Motley Fool, which picked up on a note obtained from DigiTimes. The so-called iPhone 7S Pro would compliment the already-quite-large, 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus. According to the rumor, the 2017 iPhone lineup may include the standard iPhone 7S, with a 4.7-inch display; the iPhone 7S Plus, with a 5.5-inch display; and an iPhone 7S Pro, with the rumored 5.8-inch display. The Motley Fool also notes that the new device may come a year later, in 2018, when the iPhone 8 will be announced.
Related: A big step for small. See the iPhone SE here.
And now, noted KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has seconded the rumor, reports 9to5Mac. Kuo writes that Apple’s full 2017 iPhone lineup will include the following iPhone screen sizes: 4 inches, 4.7 inches, 5.5 inches, and 5.8 inches. He also suggests that Apple may experiment with either glass, ceramic, or plastic backs on the 2017 iPhones. The company may be considering a shift in materials to make support for wireless charging easier. Metal, of course, interferes with wireless charging.
Now that the 4-inch iPhone SE is official, it stands to reason that Apple will continue to produce it, but the 5.8-inch iPhone would be new territory for Apple, as would launching four iPhones in one year. It’s unknown whether these rumors will come true, or if Apple is merely experimenting with the idea of a jumbo iPhone.
A number of reports hint that we’ll see an OLED screen on the iPhone in 2017. In April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that the iPhone 7S will go with an AMOLED screen. That screen might also be curved, Kuo suggests. Of course, when you think about curved AMOLED screens, the first phone that comes to mind is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. If Apple does make a curved iPhone, it will be following in Samsung’s footsteps — not forging new ground.
It’s also suggested that the display on the new big iPhone would be a a 5.8-inch OLED panel, lending credibility to other recent rumors suggesting that Apple has been looking to make the switch from LED screens to OLED panels, which offer brighter colors and consume less power. Kuo’s note suggests that the switch to OLED is imminent, and the 5.8-inch iPhone will sport the new display type.
In fact, the Motley Fool report hints that OLED panels may be used across the iPhone range in 2017 or 2018, not just on the so-called iPhone 7S Pro. According to the DigitTimes note it found, “supply chain sources believe that 50 million of these AMOLED-equipped iPhones will make it out to customers in the first year of availability.”
Related: When will the iPhone use an OLED screen? Here are all the rumors, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus rumors and news leaks
Samsung is reportedly already on board to supply the displays, with LG and Japan Display looking to enter production later on in the process.
It’s important to note that while the 50 million figure is far less than the 200 million units that Apple sold last year, the company could be looking to make a gradual shift, only shipping some of its iPhones with the new display. Over a few years, Apple may completely replace the LED screen.
While it’s entirely possible that there is no iPhone 7S Pro, chances are that there is some kernel of truth to the fact that Apple is switching to OLED screens. The giant iPhone in the rumor may also just be a prototype or a possible prototype. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
For a roundup of all iPhone 7 rumors, head here.
Updated on 04-18-2016 by Malarie Gokey: Added rumors about a glass back for the iPhone 7S and more OLED rumors.
Updated on 03-28-2016 by Malarie Gokey: Added another rumor that there will be a 5.8-inch iPhone in 2017 with an AMOLED screen, wireless charging, and possibly, a glass back.