Same same but different? Apple expected to unveil iPhone 7

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Same same – but different?

Wednesday is a big day in the tech world. Apple is holding its annual launch event where the new iPhone 7 is expected to be revealed.

The new device comes at a crucial time, just as arch rival Samsung recalled its flagship Note 7 over battery issues.

The tech rumour mill has been running at fever pitch about possible features and gadgetry.

It seems many commentators expect Apple to ditch the headphone jack, leaving the new iPhone with only one port.

That would force consumers to use Bluetooth headphones – or buy those compatible with Apple’s Lightning port that is also used for charging.

However, old gear won’t be completely obsolete, as Apple is expected to include an adapter jack.

The feverish speculation about the headphone jack points to a problem that Apple has been grappling with for some time.

Major innovations?

Recent updates of the iPhone have struggled to make a really big splash as they have lacked major innovations.

The same will – if you trust the speculation – be the case for the new model due to be revealed on Wednesday in San Francisco.

It will mostly be more of the same – just a little bit better.

The usual targets for improvements are the camera quality and this time round the upgrade might mean to a two-lens clicker for some of the bigger models.

A dual-lens camera can take pictures with two different exposures, then combine the two images for improved picture quality.

Other changes would be improved memory, turning the home button into a touch sensor and better speakers.

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The new phone is likely to stick with it sizes of the iPhone 6

The new phone is also said to be water resistant, handling submersion for up to 30 minutes – a feature already offered by several of Apple’s Android competitors from the likes of Samsung or Sony.

In terms of size, Apple is thought to be sticking with its two sizes, meaning there would be an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus.

Neither is the design thought to be changing much, giving it the same overall look as the current models.

Rumour has it there will be more colours available, for instance reintroducing black as an option.

While the new models will be revealed to the world at the launch, consumers will have to wait a few weeks before they are shipped. Pre-orders are expected to open on Friday.

The timing still is crucial. Samsung beat Apple by releasing its Galaxy Note 7 last month. The device was well received by users and critics alike and started selling well.

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Ariel Gonzalez

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A Galaxy Note 7 reportedly caught fire shortly after its charger was unplugged

But then reports about batteries heating up and sparking some fires prompted Samsung to launch an embarrassing recall last week – just days before the new iPhone makes its debut.

While Samsung’s battery problems might tilt some prospective buyers toward the iPhone 7, Apple depends on the ongoing success of its smartphones as they have become its biggest source of revenue.

And after recent bad publicity ranging from issues around security flaws to tax problems, the world’s most valuable listed company hopes the iPhone will be a hit.

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