The rumours have to do with the features of the new phone, and its release date. It is getting harder and harder to differentiate new models from the devices they replace, so every generation or two there needs to be some major change.
The blogosphere is particularly active at the moment with speculation that the iPhone 7 will have a curved – or at least flexible – screen. The conjecture is fuelled by the news that Apple has patented a device that can be twisted and bent (remember ‘Bendgate’?).
Just last week the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for a devices with “flexible touch-sensitive layers, and flexible display cover layers.
“The flexible housing may be a multi-stable flexible housing having one or more stable positions. The flexible housing may include a configurable support structure that, when engaged, provides a rigid support structure for the flexible housing.”
It goes on to talk about flexible internal components, including “flexible batteries, flexible printed circuits or other flexible components.”
A twisty device opens up other possibilities – not only will it be more resistant to external forces, but the very act of bending it could be used to initiate some command or other. Smart designers could come up with a dozen ways to take advantage of the functionality.
Of course, just because Apple has filed such a patent does not mean it will build the device – patents are often sought to cloud the waters or as a pre-emptive strike against competitors. And this patent was originally filed a couple of years ago.
Other iPhone 7 features? Yawn. Faster processor, longer battery life, sharper screen – the usual stuff. Release date? September, as usual. Yawn.
Vendors rely on new models to generate revenues. Apple is better at this than most. No matter that the devices they replace are for the most part perfectly functional – you gotta have the latest thing.