Alleged 'iPhone 7 Plus' mockup includes Smart Connector, dual-lens camera

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2016
A series of photos found circulating on Chinese blogging site Sina Weibo on Tuesday shows what appears to be a full scale "iPhone 7 Plus" mockup, potentially offering an early look at what could be Apple's forthcoming phablet.




As seen above, a series of three photos shows the front, side and back of a dummy iPhone model bearing hallmark design features anticipated for inclusion in Apple's next-generation 5.5-inch handset, like a dual-lens iSight camera and tweaked antenna lines. As a number of individual Weibo accounts reposted the photoset with their own digital watermark, the images' authenticity or origin cannot be confirmed.

A close inspection reveals the pictured unit as almost certainly not a production model. Most noticeable, the rear shell's Apple logo and Smart Connector port are partially milled, not complete cutouts. Starting with iPhone 6, Apple has opted to cut out the logo portion of each aluminum iPhone chassis in a bid to boost wireless radio performance. All rear shell cutouts are filled with radio-transparent inserts or metal buttons as part of the production process. The shallow Apple logo recess seen in today's images suggests a solid structure.

Other design points don't match up with previous leaks, hinting that the mockup might in fact be based on internet speculation. For example, the spacing between the dual-lens iSight camera, rear-facing microphone and round True Tone flash is extremely wide, pushing the latter component toward the handset's vertical center. Previously leaked CAD renderings, schematics and rear shells place the three components in close proximity to each other, in line with Apple's current designs.

Reports are mixed as to whether Apple plans to incorporate Smart Connector technology into "iPhone 7 Plus," as seen in today's images. Some supposed 7 Plus leaks leave room for the telltale three-hole configuration near the bottom of the handset, while others do not. Questions have also been raised as to whether Smart Connector, an interconnect format first introduced with iPad Pro, would be useful in the context of a smartphone.

Moving on to the front of the mockup, a cover glass can be seen with what looks to be a new proximity sensor and FaceTime camera layout. Unlike the current iPhone 6s Plus, the two sensors flank the dummy model's earpiece, while the proximity sensor porthole appears to be pill-shaped, not circular. While mere speculation at this point, Apple might be looking to integrate a four-channel ambient light sensor that would enable performance similar to that of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's True Tone display. Then again, it might not.

Not much else can be gleaned from today's photoset. Of note, the home button does not appear to be of the Force Touch variety some industry watchers claim will make its debut with "iPhone 7." Also not seen: the dummy model's bottom edge where Apple hides -- or doesn't -- iPhone's 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple is expected to announce its next-generation iPhone at a special event this fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    thedbathedba Posts: 475member
    I absolutely love these rumors. They're being tossed around from one site to the next and commenters are standing on soap boxes predicting doom and gloom. 
    Over at the Verge the discussion goes something like this. 
    - Tim Cook has no vision.
    - Dude, you know nothing about it. 
    - Once iconic company has lost its way.
    - Phone is more than just exterior.
    - Motorola phone does exact same thing as iPhone for a third of the price.

    And on and on. 

    TurboPGTlkruppxmhillxDeelronjony0repressthisredgeminipa
  • Reply 2 of 33
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,986member
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple released a 3rd flagship model. They didn't add the pencil and smart connector to the existing Air line, they created a new Pro line and upped the prices. I could see them creating a "Pro" line for iPhone if they think they can add another $100 (or more) to the price and get people to bite. Maybe the Plus goes away and you have iPhone at 4.7" and 5.5" and iPhone Pro at 5.5" with the best camera, smart connector and 256GB storage. If Phil Schiller can get people to spend even more money on an iPhone and raise those ASP I'm sure his bonus will be bigger than ever. :smile: 
    yojimbo007
  • Reply 3 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,587member
    People can mock-up hardware and we're meant to report on CAD drawings seriously?
  • Reply 4 of 33
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,959member
    Another day, another rumor !!
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Placement of the Smart Connector seems an interesting choice, if true, it means that devices that support iPads with Smart Connectors won't work with iPhones with Smart Connectors - that alone seems an interesting decision (again, if true). While it may seem obvious that an iPhone must always be upright in use, this decision will definitely have ramifications for usage (and re-use among Smart Connector devices).
    anome
  • Reply 6 of 33
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 469member
    Still can not beleive and chew up that Apple would use such massive dual camera bump looking like cyclop or minions wearing diving classes. But both can be good inspiration for case designers :-).
    edited July 2016 xmhillx6Sgoldfish
  • Reply 7 of 33
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    Placement of the Smart Connector seems an interesting choice, if true, it means that devices that support iPads with Smart Connectors won't work with iPhones with Smart Connectors - that alone seems an interesting decision (again, if true). While it may seem obvious that an iPhone must always be upright in use, this decision will definitely have ramifications for usage (and re-use among Smart Connector devices).
    That's not interesting. A quick glance at any existing Smart Connector accessory for iPad (hint hint), and you can see why using them with an iPhone would be hilarious and unnecessary.

    NOT the UX they are concerned about supporting, I can assure you.
    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 33
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member

    thedba said:
    I absolutely love these rumors. They're being tossed around from one site to the next and commenters are standing on soap boxes predicting doom and gloom. 
    Over at the Verge the discussion goes something like this. 
    - Tim Cook has no vision.
    - Dude, you know nothing about it. 
    - Once iconic company has lost its way.
    - Phone is more than just exterior.
    - Motorola phone does exact same thing as iPhone for a third of the price.

    And on and on. 

    It's representative of the current generational norm. No one has their own opinion. The only opinion they have is the one they have been told to have, by being told the next iPhone will be "Meh", thanks to every single irresponsible click whore Tech Blog, this one included.
    lkrupprepressthisredgeminipa
  • Reply 9 of 33
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    Obviously that is just a shell/prototype unit...it doesn't even have a Mute switch.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    TurboPGT said:
    Placement of the Smart Connector seems an interesting choice, if true, it means that devices that support iPads with Smart Connectors won't work with iPhones with Smart Connectors - that alone seems an interesting decision (again, if true). While it may seem obvious that an iPhone must always be upright in use, this decision will definitely have ramifications for usage (and re-use among Smart Connector devices).
    That's not interesting. A quick glance at any existing Smart Connector accessory for iPad (hint hint), and you can see why using them with an iPhone would be hilarious and unnecessary.

    NOT the UX they are concerned about supporting, I can assure you.
    Can't say I agree with you at all. Are you saying that an iPhone Smart Connector wouldn't want to connect to power or other peripherals as you do with your iPad, or only to peripherals that were designed *only* for the iPad (which seems just as stoopid).

    To me the Smart Connector seems a great idea (actually better than great), a "universal" connector to enable our iDevices to connect to peripherals and power, ideally one would expect our iDevices to work in all devices that have this connection, but obviously, placing the three dots on the back of the phone prevents universal compatibility between iDevices with Smart Connectors, that's a very limiting decision (and my original point), given that a Smart Connector device that works for your iPad won't automatically and in the exact same way work for your iPhone. This means that people would have to buy Smart Connector devices that fit the iPads and for the exact same functionality they'd have to buy another one for an iPhone, that seems not very "smart" in my opinion and will have an obvious impact on the Smart Connector and how the market embraces it (or doesn't).

    The other thing I find strange about the placement of this connector on the iPhone in the pictures is related to cases - the 3 dots aren't very accessible where they are located if you have a case on your phone and I can imagine lots of physical connection problems with devices supporting Smart Connectors if that's where the released iPhones put the "port".

    Perhaps they have plans to make this a non-issue (by offering some other "connector" you buy to enable cross device usage of Smart Connector devices) or perhaps these photos are truly fake or simply very early prototypes that explored placement in that area on the iPhone and the final placement of the Smart Connector on an iPhone will allow you to use the same devices you bought for your iPad.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,081member
    TurboPGT said:

    thedba said:
    I absolutely love these rumors. They're being tossed around from one site to the next and commenters are standing on soap boxes predicting doom and gloom. 
    Over at the Verge the discussion goes something like this. 
    - Tim Cook has no vision.
    - Dude, you know nothing about it. 
    - Once iconic company has lost its way.
    - Phone is more than just exterior.
    - Motorola phone does exact same thing as iPhone for a third of the price.

    And on and on. 

    It's representative of the current generational norm. No one has their own opinion. The only opinion they have is the one they have been told to have, by being told the next iPhone will be "Meh", thanks to every single irresponsible click whore Tech Blog, this one included.
    Boy do you get it! The negativity is so consistent that it’s perfectly predictable right down to the subject matter of the article. We know with complete certainty who will be commenting and what they will say before they ever get around to posting. They are in total lockstep with the approved memes (see above for the short list). It’s like they get up in the morning to check what they are supposed to write in their comments. Not an original thought between the lot of them, just squawking parrots repeating what they’ve been given. 
    TurboPGT
  • Reply 12 of 33
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,986member
    TurboPGT said:
    Obviously that is just a shell/prototype unit...it doesn't even have a Mute switch.
    Well they got rid of the mute switch on iPads. I wouldn't be surprised if they do so with iPhones too.
    repressthis
  • Reply 13 of 33
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,986member
    TurboPGT said:
    Obviously that is just a shell/prototype unit...it doesn't even have a Mute switch.
    Well they got rid of the mute switch on iPads. I wouldn't be surprised if they do so with iPhones too.
    repressthis
  • Reply 14 of 33
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,431member
    TurboPGT said:
    That's not interesting. A quick glance at any existing Smart Connector accessory for iPad (hint hint), and you can see why using them with an iPhone would be hilarious and unnecessary.

    NOT the UX they are concerned about supporting, I can assure you.
    Can't say I agree with you at all. Are you saying that an iPhone Smart Connector wouldn't want to connect to power or other peripherals as you do with your iPad, or only to peripherals that were designed *only* for the iPad (which seems just as stoopid).

    To me the Smart Connector seems a great idea (actually better than great), a "universal" connector to enable our iDevices to connect to peripherals and power, ideally one would expect our iDevices to work in all devices that have this connection, but obviously, placing the three dots on the back of the phone prevents universal compatibility between iDevices with Smart Connectors, that's a very limiting decision (and my original point), given that a Smart Connector device that works for your iPad won't automatically and in the exact same way work for your iPhone. This means that people would have to buy Smart Connector devices that fit the iPads and for the exact same functionality they'd have to buy another one for an iPhone, that seems not very "smart" in my opinion and will have an obvious impact on the Smart Connector and how the market embraces it (or doesn't).

    The other thing I find strange about the placement of this connector on the iPhone in the pictures is related to cases - the 3 dots aren't very accessible where they are located if you have a case on your phone and I can imagine lots of physical connection problems with devices supporting Smart Connectors if that's where the released iPhones put the "port".

    Perhaps they have plans to make this a non-issue (by offering some other "connector" you buy to enable cross device usage of Smart Connector devices) or perhaps these photos are truly fake or simply very early prototypes that explored placement in that area on the iPhone and the final placement of the Smart Connector on an iPhone will allow you to use the same devices you bought for your iPad.
    Perhaps you'd care to elaborate on just what smart connector products you envision using on both the iPhone and iPad, before you proclaim the rumored location "stoopid".
    repressthispatchythepirate
  • Reply 15 of 33
    mac_128 said:
    Can't say I agree with you at all. Are you saying that an iPhone Smart Connector wouldn't want to connect to power or other peripherals as you do with your iPad, or only to peripherals that were designed *only* for the iPad (which seems just as stoopid).

    To me the Smart Connector seems a great idea (actually better than great), a "universal" connector to enable our iDevices to connect to peripherals and power, ideally one would expect our iDevices to work in all devices that have this connection, but obviously, placing the three dots on the back of the phone prevents universal compatibility between iDevices with Smart Connectors, that's a very limiting decision (and my original point), given that a Smart Connector device that works for your iPad won't automatically and in the exact same way work for your iPhone. This means that people would have to buy Smart Connector devices that fit the iPads and for the exact same functionality they'd have to buy another one for an iPhone, that seems not very "smart" in my opinion and will have an obvious impact on the Smart Connector and how the market embraces it (or doesn't).

    The other thing I find strange about the placement of this connector on the iPhone in the pictures is related to cases - the 3 dots aren't very accessible where they are located if you have a case on your phone and I can imagine lots of physical connection problems with devices supporting Smart Connectors if that's where the released iPhones put the "port".

    Perhaps they have plans to make this a non-issue (by offering some other "connector" you buy to enable cross device usage of Smart Connector devices) or perhaps these photos are truly fake or simply very early prototypes that explored placement in that area on the iPhone and the final placement of the Smart Connector on an iPhone will allow you to use the same devices you bought for your iPad.
    Perhaps you'd care to elaborate on just what smart connector products you envision using on both the iPhone and iPad, before you proclaim the rumored location "stoopid".
    What a charmer, with a tone like that I'm definitely endeared to engage in a discussion with you. /s
    repressthis6Sgoldfish
  • Reply 16 of 33
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    TurboPGT said:
    Obviously that is just a shell/prototype unit...it doesn't even have a Mute switch.
    Well they got rid of the mute switch on iPads. I wouldn't be surprised if they do so with iPhones too.
    The iPad is not a phone. It never really needed a Mute Switch to begin with. iPad is also an entirely different use case. It is not carried around in the pocket or purse all day, in and out of stores, meetings, work, etc. where a user may frequently toggle their phone from Ring to Silent. "Ring" being the key term. Phones ring. iPads don't. And no I'm not counting VOIP or FaceTime.

    So, no, its not even remotely the same thing, and yes it would be surprising and very very perplexing.
    edited July 2016 jbishop1039nolamacguyrepressthis
  • Reply 17 of 33
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member

    TurboPGT said:
    That's not interesting. A quick glance at any existing Smart Connector accessory for iPad (hint hint), and you can see why using them with an iPhone would be hilarious and unnecessary.

    NOT the UX they are concerned about supporting, I can assure you.
    Can't say I agree with you at all. Are you saying that an iPhone Smart Connector wouldn't want to connect to power or other peripherals as you do with your iPad, or only to peripherals that were designed *only* for the iPad (which seems just as stoopid).


    1) You're not going to be using an iPhone with an iPad's Smart Keyboard. For that matter, you're not going to be using any Smart Keyboard with iPhone.

    2) If the placement of the connector is to be believed, it does not take much imagination to see exactly what its purpose is. What touches the back of an iPhone in this location? Cases. If this is real, then Apple is likely designing a Smart Case, probably a Battery Case, that connects to the iPhone and transmits via the Smart Connector. This is huge improvement over the existing Apple Battery Case, or any 3rd party battery case, that has no choice but to design itself around connecting to the Lightning port, which is just YUCK, and completely changes the balance and feel of the phone.

    Imagine an Apple-designed Battery Case, that is barely any thicker or noticeably different from a typical Apple iPhone Case, and doesn't obstruct or interfere with the Lightning port in anyway...but magically doubles the battery life of iPhone. If that Smart Connector is legitimate, you can bank on this being where its going.
    jbishop1039nolamacguyrepressthisfastasleeppatchythepirate
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Having a Smart Connector right next to the Lightning port makes no sense at all.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    TurboPGT said:

    Can't say I agree with you at all. Are you saying that an iPhone Smart Connector wouldn't want to connect to power or other peripherals as you do with your iPad, or only to peripherals that were designed *only* for the iPad (which seems just as stoopid).


    1) You're not going to be using an iPhone with an iPad's Smart Keyboard. For that matter, you're not going to be using any Smart Keyboard with iPhone.

    2) If the placement of the connector is to be believed, it does not take much imagination to see exactly what its purpose is. What touches the back of an iPhone in this location? Cases. If this is real, then Apple is likely designing a Smart Case, probably a Battery Case, that connects to the iPhone and transmits via the Smart Connector. This is huge improvement over the existing Apple Battery Case, or any 3rd party battery case, that has no choice but to design itself around connecting to the Lightning port, which is just YUCK, and completely changes the balance and feel of the phone.

    Imagine an Apple-designed Battery Case, that is barely any thicker or noticeably different from a typical Apple iPhone Case, and doesn't obstruct or interfere with the Lightning port in anyway...but magically doubles the battery life of iPhone. If that Smart Connector is legitimate, you can bank on this being where its going.
    1) Are those the only keyboards envisaged ever? What about a keyboard that sits on your desk waiting for a Smart Connector iDevice to be dropped in? What about charging? Are keyboards the only devices we can imagine in the future the Smart Connector would support?

    2) In this view, it sounds like the Smart Connector will be reduced to battery only for the phone and won't be taking advantage of the potential a port like this could open up with these devices, or perhaps there will be some other "adapter" to allow the phone to be used in other products expecting the connector to be along the side? Seems inelegant to put a port on the back simply so they can create better battery cases.

    Where I'm going with my befuddlement at the placement of this connector is that it's not a big stretch of the imagination to think about a world where the device you've got in your pocket is so powerful it can act as more than a portable/mobile "pocket" device limited in usefulness and utility, what I mean is that in the future a pocket device could be dropped into any supported "dock" that connected it to power (for charging), keyboard (because a proper physical keyboard is always a nice option), external monitor (because who wouldn't want a 2nd screen or a larger rendering of the same one) plus myriad other peripherals. The notion of "dropping this device into a standard dock" seems more difficult with a different placement of the Smart Connector, this is what makes me wonder 1) whether the photos are correct, and 2) if they are, what are Apple's plans for this connector long term. I trust they've got more plans than they've revealed with the Smart Connector, an obvious assumption would have been universal support of all devices, but with varied placement in iDevices, how compatible are these "universal" connected devices going to be? Seems interesting, that was my original comment and remains.

    The Smart Connector is (or could be) one of the most interesting developments in these devices in the past few years, one that has a lot of obvious inherent value but not yet known to us as Apple isn't fully ready to reveal its plans.

    BTW, my original "stoopid" comment wasn't directed at you, but rather at an Apple that creates a universal port (implying universal compatibility) and then limits not only how you access it based on the device you have, but also potentially that certain functionality might be unavailable based on the particular iDevice with Smart Connector. That's not very "smart," perhaps even a bit "stoopid". Not you, sorry if that wasn't clear.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    Not to be dismissive, but doesn't the actual placement of the actual Smart Connector on this iPhone (again, assuming this is even real) pretty much answer the question for you?

    The placement of the Smart Connector on iPad Pro is specific and deliberate, purposefully and exclusively catering to one specific use case..the Apple-created Smart Keyboard (and any other keyboard accessory). No other application for it has come to market, except for a few gimmicky charging solutions.

    The same can be expected of the Smart Connector on iPhone. It will have one specific, Apple-created purpose and Apple-created accessory (+ a litany of 3rd party mirrors).


    edited July 2016
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