The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple’s most advanced iPhones yet, got many of the features that we were hoping for. In fact, the new iPhones got many of the features that the ever-active Apple rumor mill indicated that they would. From the upgraded cameras to the dual-camera system on the iPhone 7 Plus, the absence of the headphone jack to the new A10 chip, the stereo speakers to the brand-new AirPods, the rumors were right about plenty of features. But there were also quite a few rumors that turned out to be incorrect. Read on to check out the rumored features that the new iPhone 7 ultimately didn’t get.
1. Wireless charging
Plenty of rumors indicated that the iPhone 7 would get wireless charging, a feature that ultimately didn’t make an appearance at Apple’s launch event. Rene Ritchie reported for iMore that up until last year, wireless charging didn’t work on phones with metal casings, but in July 2015, Qualcomm announced wireless charging that works for metal devices like the iPhone. Apple had already introduced wireless charging for the Apple Watch, and because the charging is inductive and the data transfer wireless, Apple was able to seal and hide the watch’s diagnostic port.
While everyone realized that the Lightning Port of the iPhone 7 would need to be exposed, the addition of wireless charging would make sense if Apple wants to remove the headphone jack. With wireless charging capability, you’d be able to recharge the battery without using the only port on the phone. More recent reports indicated that wireless charging likely wouldn’t make it to the iPhone lineup until 2017 or later, though improved quick charging support was another possibility that was briefly expected and later didn’t make it into the iPhone 7.
2. No camera bump
Many of the rumors about the iPhone 7’s camera proved to be correct, like the rumor that Apple would differentiate the iPhone 7 from the iPhone 7 Plus by adding a dual-camera system to the iPhone 7 Plus. Numerous leaks, illustrations, photos, and other pieces of evidence were cited in support of that theory. Tim Hardwick reported for MacRumors that according to DigiTimes, numerous camera lens makers have sent Apple samples of dual-lens cameras. And KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that a dual camera system would be exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus, and added that the iPhone 7 Plus could also be equipped with 3GB of RAM to support the camera system (something we’ll need to wait for teardowns to verify or refute).
Some rumors indicated that the iPhone 7’s camera could sit flush against the back of the phone, which many users would regard as a major improvement over the “camera bump” seen on the current generation of iPhones. But that ended up being untrue. Both the single camera system of the iPhone 7 and the dual camera system of the iPhone 7 Plus protrude from the phone bodies, which means that the camera bump is still alive and well.
3. Sapphire glass or OLED screens
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s were the subject of persistent rumors about a sapphire glass display, so it makes sense that similar rumors circulated about the iPhone 7. Another possibility cited for a more durable screen material was Corning’s new Project Phire, which aims to combine the durability of Gorilla Glass with the scratch resistance of sapphire.
Apple currently uses LED-backlit LCD displays for current iPhones’ Retina displays, and MacRumors reported as early as last year that iPhones could gain OLED displays starting in 2018 or even 2017 — but some people continued to hope that an OLED or sapphire screen would appear on the iPhone 7. But that rumor was eventually proven wrong when Apple introduced the iPhone 7 with a Retina HD display — albeit the “brightest, most colorful” screen yet, with wide color gamut and greater color saturation.
4. A major redesign
For the past several years, Apple’s iPhone releases have followed a pattern: major redesigns in even-numbered years, followed by S models that make internal upgrades while retaining the same external design in odd-numbered years. 2016’s iPhone 7 should bring a major redesign. 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple was experimenting with three different designs for the iPhone 7, “including a completely new, thinner look as well as a backup design that looks substantially like the iPhone 6s.”
The new iPhone 7 does feature a more refined design, toned-down antenna lines, plus new colorways (a matte-finished black and a high-gloss jet black). But it looks like a major redesign is going to have to wait until Apple’s 2017 iPhone.
5. An invisible home button
Rumors dating back to a prediction by Gene Munster last October indicated that the iPhone 7 could go without a physical home button, and CNET reports that features like the 3D Touch screen and always-on Siri have diminished the need for the home button. It was speculated that doing away with the home button would enable Apple to shrink the top and bottom bezels and squeeze a larger screen into the same body. But to pull it off, Apple would have to integrate the Touch ID sensor into the iPhone elsewhere, potentially moving it to the side of the phone or even integrating it into the touchscreen (and the company already has intellectual property that illustrates it’s considering the latter option).
But when the iPhone 7 was finally introduced, the home button was alive and well — just redesigned as a force-sensitive solid-state button that’s more durable and responsive and works with a new Taptic Engine to offer more precise tactile feedback.
6. Smart Connector
In addition to rumors that Apple would ditch the headphone jack in favor of the Lightning Connector — rumors that turned out to be true — it was also speculated that the iPhone 7 could feature the Smart Connector, which Apple introduced with the iPad Pro. It was noted that the addition of the Smart Connector would add new charging capabilities to the iPhone 7, which was an attractive option given the fact that it would enable iPhone 7 users to both charge the device and use Lightning-connected headphones simultaneously.
Some speculated that Apple could introduce an iPhone 7 Pro that sported the Smart Connector, but that ended up being one of the many iPhone 7 rumors that didn’t quite turn out as expected.
7. Six-core processor
The iPhone 7 has long been expected to bring a new A10 chip in order to enable faster performance than what was offered by Apple’s previous iPhones. Buster Hein reported for Cult of Mac last year that Apple was aiming for six cores with the A10 processor — a big leap from a dual-core chip — which turned out to be untrue, since Apple opted for four cores instead of six.
It was reported that the A10 chip would be only slightly faster than last year’s A9 chip, and almost identical to the A9X that powers the iPad Pro. While the A10 doesn’t have six core, it does run up to two times faster than that of the iPhone 6. Graphics performance is also more powerful, and runs up to three times faster than the iPhone 6 at as little as half the power.
8. Apple SIM
One of the more far-fetched rumors about the iPhone 7 was that it could ship with the Apple SIM, which would enable users to sign up for data plans from various carriers right from their device and switch plans right from the Settings app.
Apple Insider reported that the new embedded Apple SIM could move to the iPhone range as soon as with the iPhone 7, but unfortunately, that rumor was disproved by Apple’s iPhone 7 launch. At least we can hold out hope for the 2017 iPhone.