Rumors about the new iPhone 7 have swirled for months, but all will come to a head tomorrow when Apple unveils its latest phones. And while most of the rumors have been the standard stuff—a better camera, a new processor, etc.—Apple also seems hell bent on fixing what isn’t broken.
But if Apple is about to screw up the iPhone, the question remains: just how bad could it get? Here’s what Apple might do:
1. Kill the headphone jack
There are few things that the tech world actually agrees on. One of them? The current headphone jack is just fine, thanks.
It’s everywhere. It works with everything. It does its job and it mostly stays out of the way. So of course Apple is going to blow it all up in favor of making you deal with either expensive Bluetooth headphones or some annoying dongle you’ll lose after two days.
You know that awful feeling when you get on a long flight and pull out your headphones only to realize that your plane has one of those terrible two-prong airline connectors? Imagine that, except five times a day.
2. Make it thinner for no reason
One of the mooted reasons why Apple wants to remove the headphone jack? Because the 7.1mm iPhone 6S just isn’t thin enough. You know, the 7.1mm iPhone 6S you immediately put into a 15mm thick case… At this point I don’t know a single person who wants a thinner iPhone. In fact, most people complain about the camera hump, which likely won’t go away with a thinner phone.
3. Get rid of the mute switch
While everyone’s been focusing on the removal of the headphone jack, not enough has been made of Apple reportedly ditching the mute/vibrate switch. This certainly won’t ruin the iPhone, but plenty of people use it; about half the iPhone users in our office were audibly disgusted when we told them this might be happening.
4. Stick to 16GB storage
16GB of storage is simply not enough, especially when almost half of that is taken up by apps as soon as you get your phone set up. Buying a 16GB smartphone is like buying a car with a two-gallon gas tank. A 64GB flash module would cost Apple less than $3 per phone, and Apple is charging over $100 to let you upgrade to that amount. Enough is enough.
5. Not offer quick charging
If the iPhone is going to get thinner, it’s also not going to get much of a bump in battery life. While existing iPhones do okay in this department, we’re quickly warming up to the idea that flagship phones should last almost two full days on a charge—not just one.
But what has really caught our eye is the newer quick-charging phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, S7, HTC One A9, and the Nexus 6P from Huawei. These phones can usually go from nearly dead to 50 percent charged in 30 minutes. Apple has added fast charging on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and it’s a must-have feature for the next iPhone.
6. Make a home button that doesn’t click
Having a physical, dedicated home button has all sorts of benefits. But rumors abound that Apple wants to take the home button and make it into a static touch-sensitive spot. The one saving grace is it may work like Apple’s Force Touch trackpad in the new MacBook Pro.
While this could again help the phone be thinner, it doesn’t seem to add any other benefits. Again, iPhone users will adjust if Apple does this, but mark this one under “fixing what isn’t broken.”
7. Not bring back black
Admittedly, it would be silly to say the new iPhone will be ruined if it doesn’t come in black; there hasn’t been a black iPhone since the iPhone 5, after all.