As expected, the rumor machines are running overtime in the last few days leading up to Wednesday's announcements of a new iPhone and Apple Watch. The latest is via AppleInsider, which received a copy of a new research paper provided by Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. In that paper, Kuo outlines the latest that's known about the upcoming iPhone.
The device is expected to come in 32, 128 and 256 gigabyte versions, eliminating both the undersized 16GB and popular 64GB storage tiers. But the big news comes in the area of the display, which is expected to be the same type of True Tone display used on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Coupled with a new ambient light sensor, it's expected that the newest iPhone models will have much better image quality, especially in low-light conditions.
Also as expected, the iPhone 7 Plus will have a twin-lens camera with two 12-megapixel sensors. One of the sensors is equipped with a wide-angle lens, while the other is a telephoto lens. Those two lenses can be used as an optical zoom lens or for light field photography. If that last term is unfamiliar to you, it's a type of photography that really doesn't require focusing as it captures more information about both the intensity, hue and direction of light coming into the camera. By capturing all of this information, photographers can actually focus the image after taking a photo.
Light field photography was first brought to the market with the Lytro Light Field Camera, which was widely criticized for the low number of pixels it provided for each image. But the ability to focus each image captured in an infinite number of different ways was and is a fascinating concept, and if Apple can bring light field photography to the masses, it could finally be a success.
To make flash photography better on the new iPhone, Kuo says that the number of LEDs in the flash will be upgraded from two to four, with two in cooler colors and two in warmer tones.
Kuo also spilled the beans of the color options for the iPhone 7, noting that both dark black and "piano black" (glossy) versions will be available. Piano black is expected to be in short supply, with Apple targeting large-storage models for that finish. Fans of the existing Space Gray iPhone will be sad to know that it's expected to go away... Arab-language website AppleArab.com produced its own renders of what the two black models of an iPhone 7s would look like:
The new iPhones are expected to boast IPX7 water resistance as well, meaning that your iPhone will now be able to go into the shower with you, get doused with champagne (take that, Samsung), or even be submerged in water up to 1M deep for up to 30 minutes.
The last week saw a ton of rumors about "AirPods" -- Bluetooth earbuds -- being included with the new iPhone. Kuo expects that Apple will ship Lightning EarPods and a Lightning to headphone adapter in the box. That doesn't mean that the "AirPods" will be overlooked; they might be a separate announcement at the 9/7 event.
Finally, it appears that the A10 processor in the new iPhones could run at speeds up to 2.45 GHz -- by comparison, the A9 used in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus maxes out at 1.85 GHz. Just a few more days until we find out which of Kuo's "details" are fact...