Citing sources in Taiwan, Japanese Apple blog Mac Otakara just came out with the first rumor on Wednesday suggesting Apple will release “S” models of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that will look identical to this year’s iPhone 7.
Aside from a similar design as the iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 “S” models are said to come in a new red color option, as well as an updated processor.
Mac Otakara has a decent track record with Apple rumors, but its claims contradict reports from notable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that Apple is going to release three new iPhones with glass casings.
If Mac Otakara’s report is accurate, and the iPhone 7S looks identical to the iPhone 7, it means the iPhone’s design will have gone largely unchanged for four straight years. It would be a blow for those holding out for a truly new and different iPhone.
If you wanted to get your hands on an all-glass iPhone in 2017, there’s still hope: MacOtakara’s report doesn’t rule out or mention the third rumored “high-end” model, sized between the iPhone 7 and larger iPhone 7 Plus, to be called either the “iPhone 8” or “iPhone 10,” since 2017 will be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s existence. Rumors surrounding the “high-end” model include a total redesign from the iPhone 7 with a wraparound glass design, borderless screen, and a 5.1 or 5.2-inch OLED display that’s superior to the LCD displays on current iPhones.
It’s also said the “high-end” model will cost more than the two models with the regular 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens that Apple is also expected to release.
While Apple may have a prototype of the iPhone 8 (or 10) with an OLED screen, Apple could be facing difficulties in obtaining enough OLED screens for mass-production.
We don’t expect Apple to announce new iPhones until September 2017, so it’s not worth jumping to any conclusions. The next iPhone’s release is still over nine months away, which means Apple is likely in the prototyping and testing phase, and that itself means there could be a bunch of prototypes with different designs and features floating around Apple factories. As Business Insider reported in November, Apple is apparently testing 10 different prototypes of the so-called iPhone 8.
That said, these are just rumors, and everything we think we know about Apple’s next iPhone could change over the next few months, so take this latest information with a grain of salt.