Apple logo
Will you be upgrading to the iPhone 7 when it arrives in September?Reuters

September might still feel a long way off, but anticipation for the iPhone 7, which is expected to be announced that month, is already mounting. The rumoured latest Apple smartphone will replace the year-old iPhone 6S, and as has been tradition for two years now, there will be a larger iPhone 7 Plus, too.

The usual drip-drip of leaks, illustrations and fan mock-ups have already started flooding the forums, tech blogs and social media. IBTimes UK has outlined what we expect to see from Apple and the iPhone 7 when it is eventually unveiled.


Removing the headphone jack

The most controversial (and possibly longest-running) rumour revolving around the iPhone 7 is Apple's decision to do away with the headphone jack. This might sound implausible at first, but there is already a wide range of wireless headphones on sale, and some can be plugged in via the Lightning port normally used for charging the iPhone.

Apple will likely bundle a pair of wireless Beats-branded earphones in the box, or at the very least an adapter to plug conventional headphones into the Lightning port.

This move will upset many at first, but so did Apple's removal of the floppy disc, the CD and the DVD drives on its Macs over the years. Consumers, as ever, will learn to adapt and in return Apple can produce a thinner iPhone which will be easy to waterproof (if it finally chooses to do so).

iPhone 7 Plus
Leaks regarding the iPhone 7 Plus case show a new connector and second rear camera9to5Mac

A third camera for the iPhone 7 Plus

A recent set of images, published by 9to5Mac, shows the Plus model with two rear camera lenses. This is becoming a common theme for 2016 flagship smartphone models, as both the Huawei P9 and LG G5 have a second lens, to take monochrome photos and wide-angle images respectively.

For the iPhone 7 Plus it is not yet clear what the second lens is for. It could be for either of these purposes, or perhaps a way to mimic optical zooming, something most smartphones have never managed to do.

Whatever the function, it is likely the second lens will be exclusive to the larger 7 Plus, just as optical image stabilisation (OIS) was to the 6S Plus.

Smart Connector

Debuting on the iPad Pro last year, Apple's Smart Connector gives the tablet a port for attaching accessories like keyboard docks, while leaving the Lightning port free for charging (or, indeed, headphones).

The latest iPhone 7 case leaks show a Smart Connector on the back of the larger Plus version of the handset. Will this give Plus owners a means to attach a mini keyboard? Or does Apple have some other iPhone accessories up its sleeve? Either way, it seems unlikely that the Smart Connector will be available to the regular, smaller iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 concept image
Removing the headphone jack could make the iPhone 7 Apple's slimmest yetYouTube

Screen sizes

Speaking of the smaller iPhone 7, it is understood Apple's two new phones will have the same screen sizes as they do now. That means 4.7in for the iPhone 7 and 5.5in for the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple is expected to use the same resolutions for the iPhone 7 duo as it did for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which means 750 x 1334 and 1080 x 1920 respectively.

Storage and performance

It is entirely likely that Apple will give the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus the same A10 processor, which will replace the A9 version in its current handsets. RAM is expected to remain at 2GB for the iPhone 7, but increase to 3GB in the iPhone 7 Plus, acting as yet another reason to plump for the larger device.

Finally and mercifully, it looks likely Apple will increase the iPhone's entry-level storage from 16GB to a more respectable 32GB, bringing it in line with other flagship phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7. Other options are said to include 128GB and a massive 256GB, the same as the top-end iPad Pro.

Design

For all of the iPhone 7's expected benefits, this could be the major sticking point. It is unlikely that the iPhone 7 will look much different to the iPhone 6 and 6S. Apple usually updates the iPhone's design every two years, but all indications point towards the 7 receiving only a minor cosmetic update, with anything detailed being held back until 2017, the iPhone's tenth birthday.