5 Apple Rumors: From iPhone 7 Plus RAM to iTunes Plans

Each week, numerous rumors and reports about what’s going on in Cupertino shed some light on what Apple’s planning for its upcoming iPhones, iPads, Macs, imminent releases of iOS or OS X, or other future hardware and software products. Read on to catch up on this week’s most exciting Apple rumors and learn the latest about the products that Apple has in the works.

1. Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus may have a dual camera and 3GB of RAM

Touch ID sensor on an iPhone 6 Plus - Apple Rumors

Touch ID | George Frey/Getty Images

As Seth Weintraub reports for 9to5Mac, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has changed his tune regarding the iPhone 7 Plus, and now thinks that the entire iPhone 7 Plus lineup will feature dual cameras. Kuo writes that he expects Apple to “fully adopt dual-camera on the new 5.5-inch iPhone in 2H16,” meaning that all iPhone 7 Plus models with a 5.5-inch display will include dual-camera technology and 3GB of RAM to support the new tech. The report amends Kuo’s previous stance, which was the dual-camera tech would be reserved for specific versions of the iPhone 7 Plus.

In other iPhone 7 news, Neil Hughes reports for Apple Insider that images that purport to show the design of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus indicate that the 5.5-inch model will be the only one to feature a dual-lens camera and the Smart Connector, which could be used to charge the device. The alleged factory designs show a larger, oval-shaped camera bump on the back of the iPhone 7 Plus, which suggests that it could house two lenses. It’s believed that the design of Apple’s dual-camera system is based on imaging technology that Apple obtained through its 2015 acquisition of LinX.

2. Apple probably won’t stop selling music downloads

Apple music - Apple Rumors

Apple Music | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mikey Campbell reports for Apple Insider that Apple made a rare public statement to debunk rumors that it plans to stop selling iTunes music downloads within the next four years. The statement was a response to a questionable report that an end to iTunes downloads was no longer a matter of if, but when. The report offered two different possible timelines for such a major shift in Apple’s music strategy, but Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr that both timelines were false. Campbell notes that in the near term, Apple is more likely to leverage Apple Music to boost sales, rather than to use it to switch formats altogether.

Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac that Apple’s denial of the report was somewhat vague, and nobody should be surprised if the broader report proves true and Apple is planning an eventual exit from the declining music download business. He writes that it would have been more surprising if Apple hadn’t discussed a “post-iTunes world.” While Apple isn’t going to replace iTunes with Apple Music at a time when many consumers are still unsure that they’d rather stream their music than download it. But Lovejoy notes that while music downloads will probably exist forever, “there will come a point when they are a niche market, and Apple doesn’t really do niche.”

3. Apple’s 2017 iPhone may bring a major redesign

Apple Store - Apple Rumors

Apple Store | John Gress/Getty Images

Apple Insider reports that while this year’s iPhone 7 is expected to feature a design and form factor that’s largely similar to the current iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, rumor has it that the iPhone that Apple releases in 2017 could bring a major redesign. Citing the latest “scuttlebutt” he heard from sources inside Apple, John Gruber said on the latest episode of his podcast that several sources have independently reported that next year’s iPhone will feature an edge-to-edge display that takes up the entire front of the device.

“The Touch ID sensor will be somehow embedded in the display, the front facing camera will somehow be embedded in the display, the speaker, everything,” Gruber explained. He added that “2017 is going to be the jaw-dropping, wow, that’s an astounding industrial design iPhone.” Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities also reported that next year, Apple is likely to introduce a high-end iPhone that features a curved glass case and a 5.8-inch AMOLED display. Gruber also reported that he doesn’t believe that Apple will call this year’s iPhone model the iPhone 7, though he admitted that that claim was based on speculation rather than on information offered by an inside source.

4. The iPad Pro might get a smarter Smart Cover

ipad pro - Apple Rumors

iPad Pro | Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac that Apple has been granted a patent for an even better version of the iPad Pro’s Smart Cover, one that features a built-in display and even a sketchpad. The updated Smart Cover would be powered via the Smart Connector, and different iterations show a variety of different use cases for the cover.

The simplest shows a cover capable of displaying one extra column of app icons, with the rest of the icon devoted to solar panels. A similar concept shows a small part of the cover being used as a combined display and touch panel, while another iteration combines reminders with a writing pad. The most sophisticated embodiment illustrates a cover that Lovejoy reports would function as a Wacom-style drawing pad with the help of the Apple Pencil.

5. HomeKit might get better at handling multiple smart home residents

HomeKit - Apple Rumors

HomeKit | Source: Apple

Mikey Campbell reports for Apple Insider that a recent patent application outlines Apple’s plans for an automated smart home system that can track individual users and detect patterns in their habits. The system would track each user’s iPhone and Apple Watch within the smart home in order to detect patterns and trigger smart home devices accordingly. For instance, if you routinely arrive home at 6 p.m. and turn on the hallway lights, then power up your stereo system, Apple’s system could learn your routine and automatically turn on the lights and stereo for you based on the time and your location.

In some embodiments of the invention, the Apple TV would work as a hub to make this all happen. Data collected by your iPhone and Apple Watch would help the system determine where you are and how you’re moving (i.e., if you’re walking, driving, or sleeping). Once your location and activity patterns are collected, the system would be able to aggregate such data from different users to determine patterns and figure out how they relate to the status of various smart home devices. Then, the system would automate the actions of these smart home devices according to users’ behavior. But because automating a smart home is difficult enough when there’s one resident, to say nothing of situations when there are two or more, the system would also monitor data in real time and make decisions based on the activities of multiple people who share a residence.

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