BY FELIX ALLEN
THE new iPhone 7 will not have a headphones jack, reports appeared to confirm today – but a host of high-tech features has been added to the slim handset.
It has a new pressure-sensitive home button – which works like a laptop trackpad – and a dual-lens “superzoom” camera for brighter and sharper pictures in low light, according to those who have tried the gadget in secret.
Rumours over recent months have suggested the latest version of the iPhone will for the first time ditch the 3.5mm jack that allows users to plug in their own headphones.
And the internet’s worst fears were confirmed by a report on respected financial news service Bloomberg quoting anonymous sources who have tested the device ahead of a product launch expected next month.
On the outside the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are little changed from the present 6S and 6S Plus and have the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens as their predecessors, reports suggest.
But at the base the headphone jack has been replaced by a second speaker.
Another claimed advantage is that Lightning-based headphones would experience less “crosstalk”, or signal interference.
But it is seen as a risky move by Apple as tech fans fear they will not be able to use their existing favourite headphones and could shun the upgrade.
Among the other major changes are a re-designed home button that responds by vibrating instead of a physical click, Bloomberg reports.
The button is pressure-sensitive, allowing a greater range of input like the trackpads in the latest Macbook laptops.
A source said: “Current home buttons are switches that physically press into the phone, but the new models will have a pressure-sensitive button that employs so-called haptic feedback to simulate a click using the same approach as Force Touch.”
Force Touch was a new addition to the iPhone 6 line, allowing new movements on the touch screen.
Secret testers also revealed the larger version of the new iPhone will have a dual-lens camera to produce brighter photos with more detail.
Each lens take a picture at the same time but the sensor capture colours differently, before the device merges the two into one image.
Reports of Apple’s patent earlier this year sent the internet into a frenzy about the camera’s purported “superzoom capabilities”.
It is claimed the dual system sharpens detail in low-light and allows users to zoom without losing clarity.
Apple declined to comment on the Bloomberg report.
The latest gadgets will reportedly go on sale next month as Apple tries to shore up falling sales worldwide.
Other rumours have claimed the new iPhones could be waterproof or be fitted with “indestructible” glass that does not smash when dropped.
Another rumour getting tech fans agitated even claims the latest versions will not be called the iPhone 7 – with that name saved until a major redesign on the tenth anniversary next year.
Chinese supply sources claim packaging and labelling indicate they will be branded the iPhone 6SE as a continuation of the current line, reports 9to5Mac.