According to the global research firm TrendForce, Apple has settled on most of the specs for the next iPhone, which, like the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, will come in two sizes: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. The major hardware highlights include expanded storage for all models and dual-camera specifically for the 5.5-inch model.
The iPhone 7 — picked here in fanciful mock-ups — will be generally consistent with its predecessor appearance-wise, according to the research group On the whole, the market keeps a conservative outlook on the annual iPhone sales for this year. TrendForce’s latest analysis puts this year’s iPhone production volume at 216.5 million units, down 8.2% from 2015.
Apple will hold on to LPDDR4 and the 5.5-inch model of iPhone 7 will be first in the series to carry 3GB of memory, the research group predicts. As the latest generation of mobile DRAM, LPDDR4 will continue to serve the iPhone 7 as it did for iPhone 6s. In terms of memory density, the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 will be the first in series to have 3GB of memory in the form of four stacked 6Gb mono-die modules. The additional memory is used to process the images taken from the dual-camera. On the other hand, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 will stick with 2GB.
The premium version of the iPhone 7 will have storage specs of 256GB – the largest in the entire iPhone series, according to TrendForce. The 64GB version, which has been the most popular option in previous generations, may be discontinued and replaced by the 128GB version, though this decision has yet to be finalized, adds the research group. On the other hand, Apple is certain to raise the maximum storage option to 256GB so that iPhone 7 will have the highest NAND Flash density of the entire series.
TrendForce says there are no noticeable display specs upgrade for iPhone 7 as LTPS reaches maturity. This also signifies that LTPS LCD has reached its peak in development and is unlikely to make another big technological leap in the future. The market and the media is more focused on whether the iPhone release for 2017 will adopt AMOLED. TrendForce believes AMOLED is currently the only viable technology for mass producing display panels on flexible substrates.
Adopting this solution will definitely help reinvigorate the iPhone series in the medium and long term. Nevertheless, TrendForce says Apple by and large doesn’thave the same level of control over AMOLED as it does over LCD. Dealing with challenges in the AMOLED panel supply chain will be critical for Apple in its quest to take the iPhone series to a new height.