With at least four months to go before the much-anticipated iPhone 7 is released, Apple fan sites are buzzing with the latest rumor that the new device might lack the innovative Smart Connector feature.
Introduced last fall with the new iPad Pro, the Smart Connector enables the transfer of both power and data between two Apple devices without the need for cords or Bluetooth pairing. For example, a Smart Keyboard connected to the iPad Pro (shown here) doesn't require any internal battery because it can draw power from the iPad at the same time it connects the peripheral's system.
However, the iPhone 7 won't feature a Smart Connector as previous reports have indicated, according to a post published over the weekend in the Japanese-language Mac Otakara blog and translated by multiple media sources. Images leaked earlier this year and published on the Hong Kong-based, Chinese-language Bastille Post clearly showed the three-dot appearance of a Smart Connector on the back of an Apple phone design.
Speculation About New Features
Expected to be released sometime in September, the iPhone 7 has been the subject of much speculation by Apple fans. Some of the rumors to date have hinted at possible disappointment for those hoping for dramatically new feature updates to Apple's latest device.
In addition to the Smart Connector, for example, another feature being closely watched is the iPhone 7's headphone jack. In November, Mac Otakara reported that Apple might replace the standard headphone jack in the iPhone 7 with a thinner, proprietary Lightning connector.
While a Lightning connector would enable the iPhone 7 to be even thinner than the iPhone 6, adding it would require many Apple users to buy adaptors to continue using existing accessories with their phones. And the iPhone 7 might be 6 millimeters to 6.5 millimeters thick, compared to the iPhone 6, which is 6.9 millimeters thick, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors last year.
Pressure for Innovative over Incremental
Apple, which marked its 40th birthday last month, has been under increasing pressure from some observers to accelerate its pace of innovation. Its most recent media event in March, for instance, lacked the dramatic product launches of some previous events, offering instead an updated version of a 4-inch iPhone and some new band styles for the Apple Watch.
Some also saw the 2015 release of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as delivering only incremental -- rather than innovative -- changes to previous devices.
The release of Apple's Q2 2016 financial results in April showed the company with its first decline in revenue since 2003, so the company is under more scrutiny from investors and fans about what new products it might release next. In another design leak reported today, for example, BGR noted that the iPhone 7 could be "very similar" in size to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, leading to disappointment among fans hoping for something radically different.
Image Credit: iPad Pro and keyboard (pictured above) via Apple.