Apple iPhone 7 to offer ‘only subtle changes’ beyond dumping 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning connector

“Apple Inc. plans to break with its recent pattern of overhauling the design of its flagship iPhone every two years and make only subtle changes in the models it will release this fall, according to people familiar with the matter,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Eva Dou report for The Wall Street Journal. “Among other things, those people said, Apple’s newest phones will maintain the current 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays.”

“The biggest planned change in this year’s phones is the removal of the headphone plug, which will make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance, said people with that matter,” Wakabayashi and Dou report. “The Lightning connector will serve double-duty as a port for charging the phone and for connecting headphones, they said. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he expects the new iPhone, without the headphone plug, to be one millimeter thinner than the current iPhone.”

“Apple plans bigger design changes for 2017, the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone,” Wakabayashi and Dou report. “Those changes could include an edge-to-edge organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen and eliminating the home button by building the fingerprint sensor into the display, according to people familiar with the matter.”

“In the past, Apple has introduced new iPhones on a ‘ticktock’ cycle. Apple delivers major design changes every other year—the ‘tick’ years — followed by software improvements and hardware refinements in the ‘tock’ years,” Wakabayashi and Dou report. “It isn’t clear whether this year’s shift is a temporary or permanent departure from this pattern.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Maybe they should name them the iPhone 6ss and the 6ss Plus? Step right up and get yer “Six Excess” and the “Six Excess Plus! We’ve got plenty of stock!”

We believe the iPhone 7 series will be more compelling than described in this WSJ report.

That said: Death to the S!

Apple should strive to execute annual iPhone updates, in three display sizes if the SE is successful (which we think it will be), and drop the off-year “S” model concept. Apple is certainly big enough and rich enough to do a new iPhone family each and every year. Apple should have killed the tock year “S” model idea years ago.

What’s happened with iPhone is painfully obvious: Apple was at least a year (more likely two years) late with properly-sized iPhones. When iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus finally, blessedly materialized, buyers quite literally stampeded to get them. Then, when faced with such a “tough compare” this year, Apple was still sticking with their ill-conceived “S” model concept – making the tough compare much, much tougher.

The “iPhone 7” family – three models with the same case design and all with 3D Touch — comprised of the 4-inch iPhone 7 SE, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus — should have debuted last September. That would have taken care of the current tough compare with iPhone 6/Plus. Then, this year, the iPhone 8 family, again with a new case design, but now waterproof, with dual cameras, etc. would debut this September. In 2017, perhaps Liquidmetal and AMOLED will be ready go for the iPhone 9. Etcetera. No more “S” years, Apple. Duh.

Had Apple done as we’ve just described, they’d have sold millions more iPhone units this year and millions upon millions more each year going forward.

Apple’s raison d’être is to delight customers. “S” model “tock” year iPhones do not delight customers in the same way as new “tick” year models. Obviously. They’re still the best smartphones on the planet, but they’re just okay. A bit of a meh. We all know that “S” models exist so Apple can wring out nice margins from existing designs and tooling, not expressly to delight customers. When Apple strays from its main goal is when things get wobbly. Just delight customers, Apple, and the world will beat a path to your door.

If we didn’t work for MacDailyNews, we’d have skipped the iPhone 6s Plus and held onto our iPhone 6 Plus units with no qualms – and we’re the most rabid Day One iPhone buyers you’ll ever find.

Why have an annual iPhone upgrade program, if you’re not going to wow us annually with new iPhones? — MacDailyNews, April 12, 2016

Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already.

iPhone “S” years usher in hugely significant features, such as oleophobic displays, significant GPU improvements, world phone capability, Siri personal assistant, video stabilization, panorama photos, 64-bit processors, TD-LTE support, Touch ID, and 3D Touch, among other improvements and additions. Each year’s iPhone deserves its own number. By not doing so, Apple is shooting itself in the foot; handicapping iPhones with an “S” every other year. Why Tim Cook or Phil Schiller haven’t put an end to this stupid – yes, stupid – “S” naming is inexplicable. Why don’t you just name it “iPhone No Big Deal This Year,” Tim and Phil?

Here’s what you say onstage and in the press release when there’s no “iPhone 7s” and you jump directly from iPhone 7 to iPhone 8: “The improvements are such that the new iPhone deserves its own number.” Period. Done. Mission accomplished. It’s your naming convention, Apple, and you can correct your stupid mistake at any time.MacDailyNews, September 16, 2015

Apple likely moving iPhone to a one year redesign cycle – June 16, 2016
Survey: Consumers are more excited about Apple’s ‘iPhone 7’ than they were for iPhone 6s – May 4, 2016


  1. If true, this will leave a lot of iPhone 6 owners (who chose not to upgrade last year), in a quandary about upgrading to the 7 or saving their money to wait for the 8 (“Wait for the 8” an impending meme?). Given the softness of AAPL lately, and the worries about the ongoing lack of news about compelling hardware upgrades (Mac, AppleTV, and the Apple Watch), at least until September, the stock could see some headwinds for a while. And its already off over 30% in the last year. Interesting times.

  2. Consider it DOA.

    This is the last straw for Tim Cook. His overwhelming incompetence is immeasurable!

    List of folks who have had it with him:

    Once loyal Apple consumers

    Former Mac Pro users


    Cook is not capable of running Apple (except right into the ground)

    The very minute they replace him the stock will gain 25-points.

    1. Oh, a new anonymous coward nick! At least it’s direct and unambiguous. But as usual, you offer nothing as an alternative to Tim Cook. I’m hopping mad at Cook this week, but I have brains enough to know it takes someone BETTER than Cook to replace him.

      As you are constantly asked: WHO would replace Cook? Or is this really about you and your personal problems?

  3. Yep, absolutely no reason to upgrade from the 6S+, especially if the headphone jack is gone.

    Tim Cook has once again proved that he is no visionary. Seems he’s more interested in politics than running the World’s largest company.

  4. Waterproof is nice! But I’m leery about killing off the analog headphones jack. That’s going to fly like a lead balloon in the skies of Jupiter. Apple had better supply some damned nice Lightening connector headphones WITH the iPhone 7. I can hardly wait to see the size and weight of the LUMP in the cable for housing the digital to analog hardware. I can’t imagine it being pretty.

    (Yes, I’m all cynical after Cook’s announced poliTardical blunder this week).

    1. Maybe it will come with a semi-automatic gun using the 3.5 socket with an app called iGun. Americans love heir guns and see that as a way to resolving issues not just abroad but sadly on their own soil. I heard Trump is thinking of licensing guns to the blind ….damn he is smart.

      1. With their other heightened senses they would be a more accurate shot than experienced, sighted hunters like Dick Cheney, reducing the overall accidental shooting rate.

  5. Its a combination of a number of issues,
    How many different ways can you design a rectangle that’s designed to make phone calls and display information?

    Unless lightning headphones can be made as cheaply as the one’s they ship now, your either going to get nothing, old headphones and a $19.99 optional lightning adapter, or they’ll include an adapter that might cost more than a set of lightning headphones. Apple values its margins too much. All their accessories cost too much…. remotes, watch bands, cases, the list could go on..

    Don’t care if its waterproof, its so easy to prevent immersing a phone in water with some simple common sense, sure accidents happen, but even if it were waterproof, I wouldn’t want to test it as if the immersion didn’t damage it, something else in the process probably would

    The best thing they can do at this point is make it faster, and make sure IOS10 is as solid as a rock. Extend the battery life.. I am not even sure what the fascination with OLED screens will accomplish, there isn’t anything wrong with the current screen IMHO.

  6. It amazes me how much importance the press (and some people) put on the outside case. It doesn’t even need to be better, just new.
    It’s what’s inside that counts.

  7. We can expect more than a connector change.

    If Apple announced the iPhone 7 and all they really gave us was a new way to plug in earphones, they would be ridiculed by everybody.

    If Apple is changing the way we plug and charge iPhones, it means they’re going to give at least one thing more.

  8. It’ll be the same old iPhone 6s…

    with better headphones
    with better waterproofing
    with a faster processor
    with a better camera
    with better forceTouch
    with better battery power
    with a thinner body
    with a better screen
    with better gorillaGlass
    with a better self-facing camera
    with a lighter body
    with better speakers
    with better haptic feedback
    with better cell reception
    with faster wi-fi
    with Bluetooth 5
    with more RAM
    etc etc etc…

    No way anyone will actually want to upgrade.

    1. IPhone users will upgrade because they are locked into the ecosystem. That’s why Apple’s retention is so high, not because of constant beckoning by a Pied Piper promising childlike users new wonders to keep them enthralled. And Android switchers aren’t fooled by gee-whiz features; they’ve had those in droves, but they’ll buy an iPhone for better specs and a solid experience, and more will stick around than defect. Even with first-time smartphone buyers diminishing, those two groups contribute to growth.

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