iPhone 7 Release Date, Price, Features: What You Need to Know
The iPhone 7 release date may be the day that Apple fans had the most reason to look forward to this year. The Apple rumor mill is constantly speculating about what Apple has in store for future iPhones, and plenty of Apple fans are considering whether they should upgrade to the new iPhone 7, or even wait for the release of the 2017 iPhone. But the iPhone that we’ve been most excited to hear about since the year began is the iPhone 7, and Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the iPhone 7, along with the new version of iOS, iOS 10.
The new iPhone is one of the most hotly-anticipated smartphones of 2016, and even at the beginning of the year, we were already hearing rumors that the new iPhone could get features like a dual-camera system, wireless charging, or a touchscreen with an integrated Touch ID sensor, and could even jettison the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of the all-in-one Lightning connector. On the iPhone 7 release date, Apple proved some of those rumors true and revealed that some of the rumored features didn’t make it to this year’s iPhone.
But since the iPhone 7 has already been the topic of numerous rumors and has been visualized by many designers, it can be a little hard to remember what was just speculation, and which rumors ended up being true. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the device that Apple introduced on the iPhone 7 release date. Here’s what you need to know about the iPhone 7 release date, price, and features.
iPhone 7 release date
Rumor had it that the iPhone 7 release date would be either September 6 or 7 or September 13 or 14, since Apple’s big iPhone events have been scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the past few years.. Apple opted to unveil the iPhone 7 on September 7 at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, foregoing any surprise changes to the iPhone’s release schedule.
(Apple has made a significant change to its iPhone launch schedule only once: when it switched from the June and July releases it chose for its first four iPhones to the fall launches it’s chosen for the rest, with the iPhone 4s launching in October and all subsequent models launching in September.)
Customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus beginning September 9. Rumor had it that the iPhone 7 release date for carriers and retailers could be as late as September 23, but Apple announced that the new iPhone will be available in stores starting September 16. That means that the wait between the official iPhone release date on September 7 and the phone’s first availability in stores is pretty short this year, which is great for impatient Apple fans who are tired of iPhones selling out during their preorder periods.
iPhone 7 features
Camera: One of the most exciting rumors about the iPhone 7 was that it could be equipped with a more advanced camera, and that the iPhone 7 Plus could even feature a dual-camera system. Unlike some of the other rumors that were disproved on the iPhone 7 release date, the rumors about the iPhone 7 proved true. The iPhone 7 features a 12MP camera, the same resolution of the camera on the iPhone 6s, but with a larger f/1.8 aperture and a six-element lens to capture brighter, more detailed photos and videos. The camera also supports wide color capture, and is powered by a new Image Signal Processor (ISP) that completes more than 100 billion operations on a photo in as little as 25 milliseconds.
The iPhone 7 Plus is equipped with the same 12MP wide-angle camera as the iPhone 7, plus a 12MP 56mm-equivalent telephoto camera. Together, those two cameras offer optical zoom up to 2x and digital zoom up to 10x. A free software update later this year will give the dual-camera system a depth-of-field effect that uses machine learning technology to map a scene, separate the background from the foreground, and simulate the shallow depth of field seen in photos taken on DSLRs and other high-end cameras.
Both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are also equipped with a new 7MP FaceTime HD camera, which supports wide color capture, has advanced pixel technology, and incorporates auto image stabilization. Additionally, the new quad-LED True Tone flash is 50% bright than that of the iPhone 6s, and now includes a sensor that can detect the flickering of artificial lighting and compensate for it in videos and photos. Unfortunately, both phones also still feature a camera bump, albeit one that’s a little more refined than that of the iPhone 6s.
Water resistance: It’s long been speculated that Apple would make a future iPhone more water-resistant. Apple unofficially began increasing the iPhone’s water resistance with the iPhone 6s, and the prediction of greater water resistance finally came true on the iPhone 7 release date. The iPhone 7 features a reengineered enclosure that makes the device water-resistant and protects against spills, splashes, and dust. Apple explains that the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus were tested under “controlled laboratory conditions” with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529, though it also warns that resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear.
Stereo speakers: Rumors that the new iPhone would feature stereo speakers were proven true on the iPhone 7 release date. The new stereo speakers on the device offer immersive sound that’s two times later than that offered by the iPhone 6s. The speakers also offer increased dynamic range and a higher quality speakerphone. The new iPhone 7 comes with EarPods with a Lightning connector — more on that Lightning connector soon — plus a 3.5mm headphone jack adapter, just in case you want to continue to use existing headphones and accessories. In addition to the Lightning-equipped EarPods, Apple will also offer wireless AirPods, which will connect over Bluetooth, feature a new Apple W1 chip, and enable you to interact with Siri with just a double tap.
Retina HD screen: Apple is reportedly in the process of implementing OLED screens for its 2017 iPhone lineup. But in the meantime, the iPhone 7 features the “brightest, most colorful” Retina HD display that the company has ever included in an iPhone. The screen supports a wide color gamut for cinema-standard colors, feature greater color saturation, and has what Apple claims is the best color management in the smartphone industry.
iPhone 7 design
Exterior: Apple wasn’t expected to introduce a major redesign on the iPhone 7 release date, and accordingly, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus look pretty similar to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The design is mostly unchanged aside from some toned-down antenna lines, though there are some new colors to consider. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come in silver, gold, and rose gold finishes, plus two new black finishes. Those are jet black, a high-gloss finish, and black, which has an anodized matte finish. But if you’re waiting for a major redesign, then you’re better off waiting for whatever phone comes after the iPhone 7.
Home button: Rumor had it that the iPhone 7 could go without a home button, which would enable Apple to drink the bezels and integrate the Touch ID sensor elsewhere into the iPhone body (perhaps into the touchscreen itself). On the iPhone 7 release date, those rumors were refuted. Though it doesn’t look different from the Home button on the iPhone 6s, the Home button on the iPhone 7 is actually an all-new, solid-state button. It’s been redesigned to be more durable and responsive than the previous iteration, and works with a redesigned Taptic Engine to give more precise and customizable tactile feedback. And third-party developers can now program the Taptic Engine, which means that your favorite apps can add haptic feedback, too.
Antenna bands: It’s been long disputed whether Apple would be able to jettison the horizontal antenna lines from the back of the iPhone 7, even if the rest of the phone’s design looked very similar to that of the iPhone 6s. On the iPhone 7 release date, the rumor that the iPhone 7 would only have visible antenna lines at the top and bottom edges of its back casing proved true. The antenna bands are much less visible on the iPhone 7 than on the iPhone 6s, which is a welcome change for iPhone fans who decried the sight of them on the back of the iPhone 6s.
Lightning connector: One of the more controversial rumors that circulated prior to the iPhone 7 release date was the claim that Apple would drop the legacy 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a Lightning connector. Plenty of iPhone users were incensed at the idea at first, not least because we all have a favorite pair of headphones that we don’t really want to abandon in a drawer. But Apple introduced the iPhone 7 with a Lightning connector, plus a pair of Lightning-connected EarPods and a headphone jack adapter in the box to appease users who are reluctant to accept the change. And you always have the option of upgrading to Apple’s new wireless AirPods.
iPhone 7 specifications
Size: Ahead of the iPhone 7 release date, it was speculated that doing away with the traditional headphone jack could enable Apple to develop a thinner iPhone. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus retain the same screen sizes seen on the iPhone 6s series — a 4.7-inch screen and a 5.5-inch screen — and also retain the same dimensions — 5.44 inches x 2.64 inches for the iPhone 7 and 6.23 inches x 3.07 inches for the iPhone 7 Plus. Crucially, they also retain the same thickness as the iPhone 6s series: 0.28 inches for the iPhone 7 and 0.29 inches for the iPhone 7 Plus. But the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus weigh slightly less than their iPhone 6s series counterparts. While the iPhone 6s weighs 5.04 ounces and the iPhone 6s Plus weighs 6.77 ounces, the iPhone 7 weighs 4.87 ounces and the iPhone 7 Plus weighs 6.63 ounces.
Processor: We knew ahead of the iPhone 7 release date that Apple would introduce a new A10 chip for the iPhone 7, which would presumably enable it to offer faster performance than the iPhone 6s. The A10 Fusion chip that made an appearance on the iPhone 7’s launch date features a new architecture with four cores. Two are high-performance cores that run up to two times faster than the iPhone 6, and two are high-efficiency cores that run at just a fifth of the power of the high-performance cores. The graphics performance of the new chip is also more powerful, and runs up to three times faster than the iPhone 6 at as little as half the power. We’re not sure how much RAM the new chip incorporates, and will need to wait for teardowns to find out. But rumor has it that the iPhone 7 would get 2GB of RAM and the iPhone 7 Plus could get 3GB of RAM to power its dual-camera system.
Screen resolution: Rumor had it that the iPhone 7 could get an upgrade in screen resolution. While the iPhone 7 did get a new, brighter Retina HD display, it has the same resolution as the screen on the iPhone 6s series. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch display with a 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a 5.5-inch display with a 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi.
Storage: While Apple had a pretty strong financial incentive to keep making 16GB iPhones and retain the 16GB/64GB/128GB lineup, iPhone fans speculated ahead of the iPhone 7 release date that 2016 could be the year that Apple offers 32GB for the base iPhone model. They were proven right when Apple introduced the iPhone 7 with 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB of storage. The new jet black color way, specifically, is only available in 128GB and 256GB configurations.
Battery life: Each year, Apple fans always hope that Apple will choose to increase the battery life of its new iPhone. That wish finally came true with the iPhone 7, which gets “the longest battery life ever in an iPhone.” The iPhone 7 will get 14 hours of 3G talk time, 12 hours of 3G browsing, 12 hours of LTE browsing, and 14 hours of Wi-Fi browsing time, compared to the iPhone 6s’s 14 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of LTE browsing, and 11 hours of Wi-Fi browsing time. The iPhone 7 Plus will get 21 hours of 3G talk time, 13 hours of 3G browsing, 13 hours of LTE browsing, and 15 hours of Wi-Fi browsing time, compared to the iPhone 6s Plus’s 24 hours of 3G talk time, 12 hours of 3G browsing, 12 hours of LTE browsing, and hours of Wi-Fi browsing time.
iPhone 7 software
iOS 10: While Apple introduced plenty of new hardware features on the iPhone 7 release date, it’s also adding new software features with iOS 10. We had our own wishlist of features and apps we want in iOS 10, and for the most part, Apple’s announcements at WWDC didn’t disappoint. There are plenty of reasons to download iOS 10, including a major update to Messages, a redesigned Maps app, plus better navigation and notifications. Siri is gaining a variety of new capabilities in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, including the ability to tap into third-party apps, and new ways to do more without collecting more user data.
Security: Apple’s battle with the FBI has brought iPhone security into the spotlight, and some rumors indicated that Apple would place a new focus on security with the iPhone 7. (Tim Bradshaw reported for the Financial Times that Apple was working on improving the encryption of users’ iCloud data, and the New York Times reported that the company is upgrading the security of future iPhones.) We already know that iOS 10 introduces a feature called Differential Privacy, a new data collection method that introduces noise into data so that trends can be analyzed without the individual sources of the data being identifiable. But on the iPhone 7 release date, Apple hardly made any mention of security, with any mention of the topic relegated to the opening sketch, where Tim Cook is asked by late night host James Corden whether the iPhone 7 would be the most secure iPhone yet. At least Cook replied in the affirmative.
iPhone 7 price
Though some people speculated that Apple could switch things up with its pricing for the iPhone 7, things are remaining the same this year in that department. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in silver, gold, rose gold, and black in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB models starting at $649, and in jet black in 128GB and 256GB configurations.
For the iPhone 7, a 32GB model will cost $649, a 128GB model will cost $749, and a 256GB model will cost $849. For the iPhone 7 Plus, a 32GB model will cost $769, a 128GB model will cost $869, and a 256GB model will cost $969. Customers will be able to use Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program to get an unlocked iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. They’ll get the protection of AppleCare+, can choose their carrier, and will also be able to upgrade to a new iPhone each year. Monthly payments for the iPhone Upgrade Program start at $32.