Dual-Lens Zooming Camera
The Details: Some claim Apple will offer not one but two cameras on the back of the iPhone 7 for better detail, richer colors, and—party 'grammers, listen up!—improved low-light photography. The system, which apparently leaves a little "bump" on the outside of the phone, will also allow for zooming in on faraway action or close-up details.
Is This Even Real? This rumor comes from multiple sources, including supposed beta testers. And with competing brands besting Apple in the camera category, it would make sense for the original smartphone to take a giant step forward. Believe this one.
No Headphone Jack
The Details: The seemingly ancient 3.5-millimeter headphone jack may be dead. Rumors say new wireless earbuds will make your $200 headphones obsolete, while the phone will be equipped with Continual Digital Lossless Audio (CDLA) technology. The phone would come with a stereo speaker set and a "Smart" connector for use with keyboards and other devices.
Is This Even Real? Never put it past Apple to kill a popular piece of tech (i.e., CD-ROMs, original iPhone charging jacks, etc.) despite inevitable user backlash. The "Smart" connector, however, looks only kind of likely.
Improved Battery Life
The Details: Far and away, the most common complaint about the iPhone is its kitten-sized battery. The rumor mill has it that a beefy 1960mAh power plant will be chugging away inside the 7, giving you 15 percent more time unplugged from the wall, during which you can actually, truly live.
Is This Even Real? Maybe. If anything, Apple has demonstrated a tendency to shrink battery sizes, betting that improved efficiency will offer longer life (it hasn't). Even though most experts are predicting a bigger battery, this is a company that sticks to its guns. We give it a fifty-fifty shot.
More Memory, Faster Speeds
Details: The iPhone 6s has been criticized for not really stepping up memory or processing. Well, forget that: rumors say you'll be able to choose either 32GB, 64GB, or 256GB for your iPhone 7, with 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB for your Plus, all powered by an Apple-designed six-core A10 processor. Translation: Bigger, better, and way, way faster.
Is This Even Real? Most experts accept the storage specs above, and though there's still debate on processing power (no one really knows what an A10 processor is or if it will be used), a big leap in speed is all but assured.
Three Different Sizes
The Details: There's been a lot of wrangling about iPhone sizes in recent years. Gossip has it that there will be three sizes available this go-around—a basic iPhone, the Plus, and a "Pro" model.
Is This Even Real? Eh, doubtful. The buzz around the "Pro" concept has tapered off significantly in recent weeks, with all indicators pointing toward two sizes, each comparable in width and height to those currently available, with some thickness and weight shaved off. It was fun while it lasted!
A More Interactive iOS
The Details: The buzz says that the iPhone's new operating system, iOS 10, will land with the iPhone 7 launch. New features will include added 3-D Touch capabilities, a redesigned lock screen with usable widgets, expanded Apple Pay options, and a completely revamped (and fun) Messages app. This is only the tip of a very large, very colorful iceberg.
Is This Even Real? Apple has given us enough early looks to say that, yes, all this and more is coming. And by more we mean that you'll be able to repay your friends for drinks last night via Siri voice command. (What?)
Pressure-Sensitive Home Button
The Details: Apple wowed everyone with its first foray into a fingerprint-sensitive home button. Now, experts are saying the new button won't even be a mechanical "button" at all, but rather a touch-sensitive pad with haptic feedback. Rumors say that one of the volume buttons would then become the new reset button.
Is This Even Real? The transition from a physical button to a sensitive dot mirrors the transition of the iPod's physical flywheel to a touch-sensitive pad. Plus, the technology that Apple would use already exists in its laptops. Sounds legit!
The Details: Of all the improvements one could ask for, this is right up there with battery life. Yes, multiple technologies to make an iPhone waterproof exist and are in use on other smartphones from competing brands. The question is whether Apple will finally, finally use them. A chorus of voices are saying it has.
Is This Even Real? Probably not. For every expert claiming that waterproofing is coming, there are three saying it's still not a feature of the iPhone 7. It's not clear why this wouldn't happen, but the outlook isn't good.
The Details: All your favorite golds will be back, but photos supposedly from one of Apple's vendors suggest that new colors—matte gray, deep blue, and "Space Black"—will also be available. The "Space Black" looks deeper and darker than anything Apple has offered, and the blue is straight-up regal.
Is This Even Real? As with all pre-release photos, it pays to be skeptical—so many fakes! That said, Apple has been playing with dark colors lately (note the matte-black MacBook), and fans have been clamoring for this for a long time.
It Won't Be Called the "iPhone 7"
The Details: In a way, this would be the biggest surprise of all. Insiders have been calling the upcoming next-gen model the "new iPhone" and pointedly not the "iPhone 7." Internet forums are filled with suggestions.
Is This Even Real? Well, Apple has been on a renaming kick as of late, with new titles handed out to the iPad and MacBook Air. A newly christened iPhone would keep with this trend. That said, there's actually no solid evidence of this. Best to give it a one-in-three chance.