Why Apple Made Drastic Changes To The iPhone 7

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The iPhone 7 has leaked yet again, this time with a YouTube channel focused on looking in-depth at a mock-up of the iPhone 7 Plus. There are some fairly major changes in the works that we can see, but some of them might be baffling if you don’t know Apple. So, what’s going on?

Why Does The iPhone Have No Headphone Jack?

This is, by far, the most controversial change, and it’s been confirmed from multiple sources: Apple is getting rid of the tried and true headphone jack, the minijack for audiophiles, in favor of having just one port. Generally, to the extent Apple has commented on it at all, the decision has been spun as a way to improve the waterproofing of the iPhone and to help Apple shave a millimeter or two off the thickness of the phone.

Another advantage, which the company won’t talk about, is that it gives Apple more control over third-party accessories. Getting rid of the headphone jack means that Apple both makes third-party Lightning to 30-pin connector dongles obsolete and gives the company more control over which headphones can be sold. Since it owns the patent to the Lightning connector, it can now pick and choose among headphone manufacturers and collect a royalty off every pair of wired headphones sold. Don’t forget: Apple owns headphone and music streaming company Beats.

Why The Two Speakers?

Another interesting audio choice is that the iPhone 7 Plus, and likely the iPhone 7 as well, will have two speakers instead of just one. Leaving aside the fact that this, paired with a lack of headphones, means the days of some jerk trying to make you listen to his awesome playlist on the bus are back with a vengeance, it’s a curious choice because it gives the iPhone some more audio oomph. There’s only so much tiny speakers can do, of course, but it will likely improve sound quality for speakerphone calls and make music sound a bit better.

Why Does It Have A Dual-Lens Camera?

Another confirmed rumor is that the iPhone 7 Plus will have a dual lens camera. Generally, it’s been held that the lenses will serve separate functions: One lens will be your standard camera, and the other will be a zoom lens or another special feature. They’ll likely work independent of each other, although stereo photography or 3-D photography isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility.

It’s an interesting feature not least because it’s a bit gimmicky, and Apple doesn’t have much of a taste for such things. That tends to be the province of phones from Asia, where there’s more of a market for novelty. We’ve only confirmed that the lenses are there, so it largely becomes a question of how Apple is going to use this lens, something we won’t know until we get a look at a fully operational iPhone 7. But that Apple thinks photography is important enough to add a second lens speaks to where it sees the future of smartphones.

Will The Antenna Still Work?

One of the bigger aesthetic complaints have been the two lines on the back of the current iPhone, which have been necessary for the antenna it needs to accept calls and connect to the internet. Apple appears to have listened to the complaints and instead of a line through the back of the phone, has wrapped the antenna around the side of the phone.

It’ll look better, and aesthetics are so important to Apple fans they’re angry about a tiny bump on their phone, but how it affects the phone is an open question. The iPhone has always struggled with call quality and changing the antenna might aggravate the problem.

Why Is It Blue?

Probably most surprising is the fact that after years of blacks, whites, and grays, the iPhone is getting more colorful. Of course, Apple has been steadily adding colors to its range of cellular devices over the last few years, with gold and pink iPhones arriving. And the company is prone to making products colorful as they mature in the marketplace. The main question is whether blue will be the only new option, or if we’ve got even more colors arriving.

We’ll find out just what’s going on with the iPhone 7 fairly soon. It’s believed it’ll debut sometime in September.