Generally reliable mobile device leak specialist, Steve Hemmerstoffer of NowhereElse.fr, recently published an image that supposedly reveals what the upcoming Apple (AAPL -0.17%) iPhone 7 will look like. In the image below, which Hemmerstoffer posted to Twitter a little while ago, we see a 3D rendering on the left and a mockup based on the rendering on the right:
From this image, we can get a good sense of some of the changes/improvements that Apple plans to bring to its next generation iPhone. Let's dig deeper.
Significantly reduced antenna lines, smaller camera bump
As MacRumors reported earlier, the iPhone 7 is expected to see the removal of the antenna lines that run across the back of the device. Instead, the phone is expected to just have antenna lines running along the top and bottom, as shown in the rendering as well as the mockup.
In an article published on NowhereElse.fr, Hemmerstoffer notes that there seems to be a slight "bulge" for the camera, which contradicts previous reports that the rear camera will sit flush with the back of the device.
Speaking of the camera ...
Hemmerstoffer points out that the opening for the camera in the rear shell of the device is larger than the one found on either the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6s. I strongly suspect that this is due to the fact that Apple will be including a camera module that includes a larger sensor with a commensurately larger lens (suggesting a wider maximum aperture for better low-light photos). It also stands to reason that we will see Apple stick with a 12-megapixel sensor, but that this sensor will feature significantly larger pixels.
How about thickness?
A previous report from KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that Apple aims to make the iPhone 7 its thinnest ever at between 6 and 6.5 millimeters in thickness. The source of the leak apparently told Hemmerstoffer that the iPhone 6s would be "slightly thinner" than the current generation iPhone 6s.
Given that the iPhone 6s measures in at 7.1 millimeters thick, "slightly thinner" would seem to imply a thickness more at the high end of Kuo's range than at the low end. However, it's worth keeping in mind that Mac Otakara, a fairly reliable source of Apple-related leaks, recently claimed that Apple would be shaving at least a full millimeter off with the iPhone 7 relative to the iPhone 6s.
More is surely to come
The leaked image apparently came from metal casing maker Catcher technologies, which mass produces metal casings for many of Apple's iDevices. If Apple is really sending the final schematics to Catcher for mass production, then this strongly suggests that the iPhone 7 design is set in stone and ready for mass production.
I wouldn't be surprised if the other vendors in the iPhone 7 supply chain are also beginning mass production of the components that will power this next generation iPhone. With the design finalized and components beginning to be produced by the millions, it surely won't be long now before investors learn the key specifications of the next generation iPhone.
For the sake of Apple and its shareholders, it had better be one heck of a phone.