Apple's launch of the next iteration of its perennially popular iPhone range is just around the corner, with the company issuing an enigmatic invitation for a keynote event on September 7th.
For many, this is the most exciting event on the consumer technology calendar, as it is the moment when months of rumour and speculation leads to a definite physical release.
With the release date so close, more details are starting to emerge regarding some of the potential features that will be incorporated into the new smartphone, which is widely expected to be dubbed the iPhone 7.
The latest speculation comes from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an impressive track record when it comes to accurately predicting details of new Apple products.
In a detailed research report, several new tidbits of information regarding the iPhone 7 were introduced, in addition to a recap of several other claims about the device.
Arguably foremost among these is the fact that water resistance has been improved to match that of the original Apple Watch. This will give the device a much higher level of protection from splashes, showering – and even brief submersion in water to depths of up to one metre. There will also be a new pressure-sensitive and click-less home button to facilitate this water resistance.
There could also be up to five new colour variants, with 'dark black' replacing the usual 'space gray' and joining silver, gold and rose gold. There will also be a fifth colour – a glossy 'piano black'.
“We expect the iPhone 7 to come in piano black, dark black, rose gold, gold and silver. Only the piano black model will have a glossy finish. Given high production barriers, large-storage models may have first priority in adopting piano black casing in the initial stage,” Mr Kuo remarked.
In terms of audio, the inclusion of both Lightning EarPods and a Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter in the box mean that the traditional 3.5mm port will be removed. This will allow for an upgraded speaker system and new amplifier.
Instead of having a second speaker at the bottom in place of the headphone jack, Apple is thought to be upgrading the earpiece receiver at the top of the handset. It will be replaced by a full speaker. With this change, there could be enough separation to offer stereo sound when the device is held in landscape mode.
Mr Kuo acknowledges that there are many changes with the new iPhone, but because it will be very similar to its predecessor the iPhone 6s in terms of overall design, “general users may not feel the differences significantly”.