According to fresh information, Apple will release not two but three new iPhone 7 models in September: the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro. And now they have all lined up for a family portrait.
Photos attained by Nowhereelse.fr, arguably the hottest (and most accurate) leak site on the web right now, show all three devices side-by-side and this brings a combination of good and bad news.
What everyone should be pleased to see is the iPhone 7 Pro (far left in the shots) really is top dog. It has the much vaunted dual lens rear camera as well as a Smart Connector (identifiable by the three dots on its lower back) which allows connected peripherals to simultaneously share power and data. Currently it is only available on the iPad Pro range.
Whether these features would or wouldn’t make an appearance on the new iPhone 7 models has been a source of contradictory information for months. Given the existence of an iPhone 7 Pro, this may well clear up the confusion.
Of course the obvious downside to this development is it looks as if neither the iPhone 7 nor iPhone 7 Plus will be getting these new features. This will be of particular frustration to iPhone 7 Plus fans who expected to get the dual camera setup, at the very least.
Instead it appears Apple fans will have to shell out for a new, even more premium top tier model (likely to be $100 more at each capacity size based on the existing iPhone pricing structure).
Furthermore the iPhone 7 Pro looks to be even larger than the already massive iPhone 7 Plus. This is a problem because it leaves the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone even further off the pace given the Plus models already have a camera, display and battery life. But since 4.7-inch iPhones still outsell the Plus, it shows many people still don’t want to buy a phablet.
At this point the obvious question to ask is: How much trust you should put in this leak? Given NWE’s track record (it has nailed every major Apple and Samsung launch for the last two generations) it would suggest a lot, but there’s another key factor to consider.
The original source claiming there would be an ‘iPhone 7 Pro’ surfaced way back in March and it was KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, famously known as “the best Apple analyst on the planet”. Kuo hasn’t spoken about the Pro since, but this makes for a compelling double act of high calibre sources.
Whether splitting the iPhone range into four models (iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7 Pro and iPhone SE) proves to be inspired or damaging remains to be seen and there are clear arguments for and against the move: Something for everyone vs Fragmenting the range and alienating fans of smaller iPhone sizes.
That said launching an iPhone 7 Pro would be the most daring move Apple has made in recent years and it would certainly liven up the iPhone 7 launch just as it looked set to be terminally boring…
Update: internationally renowned leaker Evan Blass, more commonly known as @evleaks, has tweeted countering both Kuo and Hemmerstoffer saying there will be just the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. My take? Apple has clearly experimented with a third iPhone model but right now there is uncertainty over whether it will or won’t bring it to market and this is where the confusion lies.