Not much is known about the upcoming Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphones beyond a few details that have leaked largely courtesy of KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo. However, I still think even in the absence of leaks that it's possible to get a good handle on what areas Apple will focus on in the coming iPhone generation.
In this article, I'd like to go over three areas where I think Apple will aim to make big strides over the recently launched iPhone 6s. Without further ado, here are the three areas where I think Apple will focus its energies on for its next generation iPhones.
The display deserves a lot of love
With the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple actually did a lot of work to improve the display: It added 3D Touch, fundamentally changing the way users are able to interact with their phones, and the company apparently used a new backlight that allows the displays to actually come in a bit brighter than those on the prior generation iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, respectively.
However, it is widely believed the actual panels remain unchanged.
I believe the quality and competitiveness of the display is something that is incredibly important to Apple (and I'd imagine its customers), which leads me to believe that the company will deliver a significant jump in display quality and performance from the iPhone 6s/6s Plus.
After all, with a big jump in display quality, I can imagine customers who look at older generation iPhones and new ones side-by-side may be quite tempted to upgrade if the difference in image quality is large enough.
As far as the display goes, I think we will see a number of improvements. First of all, according to DisplayMate, the iPhone 6/6 Plus displays offer "true" contrast ratios of 1592-to-1 and 1451-to-1, respectively (higher is better). The new iPad Pro, per Display Mate, actually offers a "true" contrast ratio of around 1631-to-1.
Apple's iPhones tend to have higher quality displays than their iPad contemporaries, so I expect with the next generation iPhones, Apple will find a way to substantially boost the contrast ratios of both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus display. There are already smartphones with LCDs boasting 1800-to-1 contrast ratios, so I wouldn't expect any less from a next generation iPhone, especially if Apple plans to use the same display for two generations of iPhone.
I could also see Apple looking to bring both the anti-reflective display coating from its latest iPads as well as the technology it developed for the latest 4K/5K iMacs to deliver a wider color gamut in the coming iPhone.
Finally, I think Apple might be set to deliver boosts in display resolution for both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. My guess is that the 4.7-inch model could see a resolution increase to 1920-by-1080 (~469 pixels per inch) while the iPhone 7 Plus could see a jump to a display resolution of 2560-by-1440 (~534 pixels per inch).
Another major jump in camera quality
Another area that seems quite important to smartphone buyers is the camera, particularly as smartphones have effectively become the camera most people use. With the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, Apple made a fairly large leap by introducing a new, 12-megapixel sensor and enabling support for 4K video recording.
With the iPhone 7/7 Plus, Apple is going to need to make a similarly large leap in camera quality, performance, and features without a headline-grabbing move to a higher-resolution sensor.
According to a report published by Business Insider ahead of the iPhone 6s/6s Plus launch, the iPhone 7/7 Plus should feature six element lenses rather than the current five element lenses found in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, helping to improve image quality.
Indeed, that same report, quoting a camera expert, claims that in order for Apple to be able to increase the aperture of its iPhone camera (doing so allows more light to be let in, improving image quality) additional elements need to be added to the lens.
This all points to a camera that will feature a larger aperture and take better quality photos, particularly in low-light conditions.
Additionally, I expect Apple to make improvements to the image signal processor found inside of its A10 chip relative to the one found in the A9, allowing for further image quality enhancements.
An even sleeker, prettier industrial design
Although it may seem like a trivial point, I firmly believe people genuinely enjoy having well-crafted, "beautiful" things. Apple puts a lot of work into coming up with interesting and unique industrial designs and there's a reason that other companies will (shamelessly) copy key design elements of Apple's products when developing their own.
With the iPhone 7, I suspect Apple will deliver a phone that's sleeker and, frankly, even better looking than the iPhone 6/6s family of phones (which I think look great, but others seem to disagree). The nicer the industrial design of Apple's next-generation phones, the better they will sell, in my view.
Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.