Outlandish 'iPhone 7' chassis shell features quad speakers, new camera layout

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2016
A set of highly questionable photos posted to the web on Saturday supposedly show an "iPhone 7" rear casing sporting a quad-speaker array and vertically arranged rear camera, microphone and True Tone flash module, both hallmark design features seen on Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Pro.




According to a user on Chinese website TouTiau.com, an Italian iPhone accessories maker created the purple prototype based on schematics received from an unnamed source within Apple's supply chain. The firm's designer subsequently showed off the shell in a video advertisement for a recently launched iPhone case product.

As the part's origins and design are highly suspect, the following is offered only for purposes of discussion.

The purported part carries over the porthole style speaker grille introduced with iPhone 6, but instead of a single vent there are four eight-hole ducts, one at each corner. To be considered legitimate, one must believe Apple discovered a way to shrink down its speaker modules to minuscule proportions, and also plans to anchor three of them to the next-gen handset's display. Apple is indeed rumored to do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a second speaker, but it's worth noting the analog receptacle is about five times smaller than iPhone's current loudspeaker box.

A shallow trough can be clearly seen at the bottom-right corner of the purple shell, nearly identical to a corresponding cutout on iPhone 6s. Similar speaker seats are not seen at the remaining three corners, nor does the part come with an attachment framework built into its side rails. Also not shown: a new spot for multi-band antenna normally situated opposite the iSight camera, a slightly important piece of equipment. Interesting.




With iPhone, internal space is always at a premium. To the undoubted horror of Jony Ive, Apple last year was forced to build iPhone 6s slightly thicker than its predecessor to accommodate the company's new 3D Touch display, an assembly that slaps a capacitive sensor array onto the usual backlight, filter, LCD and touchscreen component package. It is highly unlikely that Apple will be able to incorporate similar technology and three extra speakers into "iPhone 7" without making the kind of design modifications that would throw Ive into a deep funk.

The second major design change comes in a rearranged rear camera setup. Instead of lining up horizontally, the prototype shows openings for the camera, microphone and flash stacked vertically. Assuming the part is valid -- a bold assumption -- Apple might be looking to make room for new internal components (not a speaker), as a repositioning of iPhone's flash and mic pose no operational value.

Other minor tweaks follow recent rumors and parts leaks, like truncated antenna bands.

Given the above, perhaps the only thing today's "leak" proves is that iPhone rumor season is in full swing.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,536member
    Fake. Speaker and camera are too close to one another.
    doozydozenanton zuykov
  • Reply 2 of 12
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    nahh I don't think so. aside from the technical difficulties of cramming 4 speakers in there, what would be the point? the only purpose it would serve is providing surround sound when the phone is held in landscape mode, but then your hands would just cover up the speakers anyways, no?
    cnocbuimattinozanton zuykov
  • Reply 3 of 12
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,981member
    why- said:
    nahh I don't think so. aside from the technical difficulties of cramming 4 speakers in there, what would be the point? the only purpose it would serve is providing surround sound when the phone is held in landscape mode, but then your hands would just cover up the speakers anyways, no?
    Four speakers would make more sense if they faced forwards. Given you also need to make phone calls using the device one of those speakers could then be used as an earpiece. Better still if anyone of the four could be used as the earpiece and the phone know which one you are using and switch the others off so you can pick the phone up in either direction. Allow for group facetime if the camera is going to be embedded under the glass. Would also pull the glass away from the corners so phone has a higher chance of surviving a fall in a workable condition.
    doozydozen
  • Reply 4 of 12
    I think that Apple sometimes create Red Herrings to see which companies are not Reading there NDA's. Apple sends them milling Cads and asks for Estimates and looks which Plans wash up. This way they can test suppliers. Its only Aluminum it gets Recycled. It happened with the 4s. Remember all the Rumours that were out there about a curved Phone an the Like. "Just another Supplier Bites the Dust" (to the Tune of Queen), And those that Paid a Premium ahead of time to start creating Cases for a Phone that will not come the way they thought usually go file for Bankruptcy. Remember all the Case Companies that are no longer.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,111member
    clemynx said:
    Fake. Speaker and camera are too close to one another.
    Yes too close. If the camera assembly is placed vertically (i.e. not on the z-axis but on x or y-axis) then this is possible. Vertical orientation may bring an unbelievable optical zoom capability and that might be the missing "novelty" factor.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 6 of 12
    ahobbitahobbit Posts: 19member
    One of the 12" MacBook innovations is that the speakers -are- the WiFi antennas. Maybe they managed the same with the phone's LTE antennas? That would be pretty smart. Having two speaker/antennas, one on each end. That would also explain why the seam lines moved to the edge where the speakers are...
  • Reply 7 of 12
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,050member
    4 speakers on a phone is beyond gimmick. I don't give a rat ass how good it sounds, but speakers in 6mm chassis won't even come close to a $20 speaker in Radio Shack.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    roakeroake Posts: 790member
    fallenjt said:
    4 speakers on a phone is beyond gimmick. I don't give a rat ass how good it sounds, but speakers in 6mm chassis won't even come close to a $20 speaker in Radio Shack.
    Radio Shack?  What's that?
  • Reply 9 of 12
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 661member
    fallenjt said:
    4 speakers on a phone is beyond gimmick. I don't give a rat ass how good it sounds, but speakers in 6mm chassis won't even come close to a $20 speaker in Radio Shack.
    Interesting conclusion considering you have no idea what speaker-tech would be used.  I look forward to the tests that prove your hypothesis.
    edited May 2016 nolamacguy
  • Reply 10 of 12
    nmyatesnmyates Posts: 1member
    Perhaps this is the new 2016 iPod touch. 
    edited May 2016 patchythepirate
  • Reply 11 of 12
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    nmyates said:
    Perhaps this is the new 2016 iPod touch. 
    No. The iPod Touch is likely dead. Apple will just let it die out, and the iPhone SE will likely replace it. Can't really see Apple spending more resources to develop a brand new iPod Touch form factor. 

    Also, Apple has been selling iPods since 2001, and there had never been a single onboard speaker until the Touch came out with one in 2009 -- the 2007 model didn't even have one. So Apple has never considered speakers as an essential part of a dedicated music playback device, not sure why they would start now, especially in such a small device where the sound quality benefits would be dubious at best. If Apple wanted to distinguish the Touch this way, they easily could have over the years since it has considerably more room to play with inside by lacking the cellular radios and antennas, among other features. 

    Its hard and to imagine Apple offering a 4.7" iPod Touch, at all, using its rumored Flagship case design. But I suppose anything is possible. Maybe this isn't the flagship case design, and really the iPod Touch update. But how much less than the iPhone 6, which should drop to $449 in September, can they sell the newly designed 4.7" iPod Touch? Would a 4.7" iPod Touch with 4 speakers be enough to boost a market segment that's presumably dying? One that's so unimportant to Apple, customers have to dig through a convoluted Music page on the website to find them? Add to that the removal of the headphone jack. The iPod Touch would be the last device they would remove the headphone jack from, where cost is a major factor in the choice to buy one. For all the hand waving over the rumored removal of the headphone jack in the next iPhone for those who can't afford Bluetooth headphones, or expensive Lightning technology and adapters, I have to wonder how these people can afford the flagship iPhone. The reality is, Apple has left the 3.5mm Jack on all of its much less expensive devices, all of which will be around for at least 3 more years before customers who are constrained by cost of wireless and digital headphones will have to worry about it, and a lot can happen in that time. But it doesn't make any sense to get rid of the 3.5mm Jack on a device that relies on it for a large part, if not all, of its customer base.
    edited May 2016
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