What the iPhone 7 needs to stay ahead of Android

While Apple likes to focus on making the new iPhone lighter, thinner, and faster, here are the five features the next iPhone needs. But will it get them?

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 in a couple of months, and the rumor mill is already churning out new guesses and "exclusives" from "sources" on a daily basis.

Rather than endlessly debate whether Apple will or won't remove the headphone jack, let's look at where Apple is lagging behind flagship Android handset maker Samsung, and what features it needs to add in order to keep up.

See also: iPhone 7 rumor roundup: Release date, technical specs, pricing, and more

Wireless charging

Yup, it's 2016 and I'm still having to plug a cable into my iPhone to charge it when there are plenty of smartphones out there that make use of wireless charging solutions. Sure, a wireless charging pad is more expensive than a cable (even the megabucks Apple Lightning cable), but the improved convenience is well worth it.

I'm amazed Apple hasn't gone down this route if only for the opportunities it opens up for the money-hungry company to sell more accessories.

Will we see this? Very unlikely since wireless charging with devices that have a metal chassis it not really viable yet.

A new and unique gimmick

As much as I think that the Edge feature of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a gimmick, it's a gimmick that users tell me is useful, and sets the handset apart from the crowd, both in terms of looks and usability.

The iPhone, on the other hand, while unique in being an iOS device, is pretty generic. It looks like pretty much any Android handset, and it operates pretty much like every other handset. It's been copied and cloned so much that it now feels awfully generic.

It really could do with something to set it apart from the rest.

Will we see this? All current rumors and supply chain chatter suggests that the iPhone 7 is not going to bring anything revolutionary to the table.

Waterproofing

It seems to come as a bit of a surprise to Apple that people want to take their iPhones into the outdoors, where it sometimes rains.

Please Apple, can we have an iPhone that is waterproof? Samsung has it, and while it might not be perfect, it's better than nothing.

Will we see this? We're seeing signs that Apple will beef up the waterproofing of the iPhone 7, but it seems unlikely that we'll see an IP68 rated device such as Samsung's Galaxy S7.

Shatterproof screen

There's no doubt that Gorilla Glass is tough, but as the name suggests, it's still glass. And glass has a habit of shattering.

A sapphire display would be awesome, but a tough display such as that fitted to the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 would do fine.

Will we see this? Outlook doesn't look good.

Drop the 16-gigabyte storage option

Apple used the 16GB of storage as a way to upsell a more expensive iPhone, and it is a trick that has worked in the past. 16 gigabytes of storage just isn't enough these days, and it no longer makes sense for Apple to continue to offer it since it creates so much user dissatisfaction.

Will we see this? Almost certainly.

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