Apple is, as we've come to expect, tight-lipped as to how the new iPhone will differ from the existing offering. But where there's an information vacuum, there are no end of rumors and speculation ready to fill it.
So what does the rumor mill currently say Apple has in store for us with the ninth-generation iPhone?
No more 16GB option
According to Foxconn sources, Apple will drop the 16GB storage option with the new iPhone and offer them in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.
Goodbye SIM cards
The GSM Association is close to announcing a new e-SIM standard, and Apple's new iPhone could be one of the first devices to support the standard. Ditching a SIM card would make switching carriers and roaming much easier.
4-inch iPhone could be back
There are some pretty persistent rumors that an iPhone with a 4-inch display will make a reappearance.
Opinion seems to be divided. Some say iPhone 6S, others iPhone 7. Historically, iPhone 6S makes the most sense, but it's hard to know how long Apple can keep going with numbers. Will we see an iPhone 13? This numerical sequencing seems to me like a train that Apple can't ride for much longer.
Force Touch display
Apple has added Force Touch to the Apple Watch and some of the new MacBooks, so why not the iPhone?
Makes sense, right? After all, a pressure-sensitive display on the iPhone would open up a whole raft of new possibilities for app developers and help keep the iPhone a few steps ahead of its Android counterparts (which is, after all, one of the main reasons for these regular upgrades).
The camera is a part of the iPhone that Apple likes to play up, and this time around there's chatter that suggests the 8-megapixel camera in the iPhone 6 will see a bump up to 12-megapixels, which would allow for 4K capture.
With the introduction of the iPhone 5 Apple bumped the system RAM from 512MB up to 1GB, and there it has stayed for four iterations. It would make sense for Apple to bump the system RAM on the next iPhone to 2GB. Not only would this move be cheap - likely adding only a couple of dollars to the overall bill or materials - it would also help future-proof the platform and allow Apple to build on features such as the 64-bit processor.
Qualcomm has some beefy LTE chips out there that are not only faster than the existing LTE hardware in the iPhone, but also more power efficient.
Some strong pointers suggest that the case for the new iPhone will be manufactured from Series 7000 aluminum, the same material that Apple currently uses for the Watch Sport.
Another design-related rumor is that Apple is going to tweak the colors, with a new rose gold option being added to the line-up, and Space Grey being switched up to regular black, for better color coordination with the Apple Watch.
Improved battery life
Pretty much a no-brainer, as Apple is always looking for ways to get more from the battery. Greater power efficiencies in components such as the processor and LTE chip could give the next iPhone more time between recharges.
This is one of my predictions. Consumer awareness of wireless charging technology has doubled over the past year, driven in part by the Apple Watch. The rapidly changing tech landscape has left the iPhone as one of the few flagship smartphones not supporting this technology.
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