Apple has revealed the biggest overhaul to the iPhone line-up in three years: a brand new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with A10 Fusion processors and an advanced new camera system.
At the special event in San Francisco today (7 September), CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has now surpassed the 1bn milestone in terms of iPhones sold worldwide.
But it was the new devices themselves that stole the show in terms of new camera capabilities, the disappearance of the audio jack and a powerful new processor.
“This is the best camera we’ve ever made on any iPhone,” exclaimed Phil Schiller, Apple’s worldwide head of marketing.
The iPhone 7 features a new 12MP camera system that has optical stabilisation and wider aperture, as well as a new six-element lens and a True Tone flash. All told, Apple claims the rear camera catches 50pc more light for sharper images.
“The new iPhone 7 camera also has machine-learning capabilities and can perform 100m operations in 25 milliseconds. It is a supercomputer for photos,” Schiller said.
On the front of the device, the camera has been bumped up from a 5MP to a 7MP FaceTime HD camera.
The iPhone 7 Plus will come with a dual-camera setup at the rear that will allow photographers to enjoy enhanced capabilities with a zoom feature Apple claims is similar to DSLR cameras.
“The iPhone 7 won’t replace DSLRs but it will help to create beautiful pictures with beautiful creative tools.”
Instagram’s head of design, Ian Spalter, confirmed that the new wide colour gamut that comes with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices will be incorporated into the social media player’s next big app release.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also come with two stereo speakers on the front of the device.
Hit the road, headphone jack
After years of service, the trusty 3.5mm headphone jack will be retired and, instead, a Lightning connector port will connect headphones with the iPhone.
“Our engineers had the courage to get rid of the headphone jack and use Lightning instead,” said Schiller.
Not only that, but the much anticipated AirPods wireless earbuds were also revealed, but with advanced features such as infrared technology that activates audio once the user is wearing them, as well as touch features to interact with Siri.
The AirPods have a battery life of five hours and can be charged inside a box that can also contain up to four or five hours of energy.
Schiller said that, in terms of battery life, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus boast the most powerful and long-lasting batteries of any iPhone to date, with up to 40 hours of battery life using wireless audio on the iPhone 7 and 60 hours on the iPhone 7 Plus.
The engine of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is the new A10 Fusion processor, a 64-bit quad-core processor that Schiller described as a “rocket ship” because it is twice as fast as the A8 processor. It includes a new six-core GPU that is 50pc faster than the A9 processor and three times faster than the A8.
The biggest surprise was the fact that Apple is now doubling the amount of storage on its flagship iPhone devices to configurations in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB.
The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will come in gold, rose gold, silver and black as well as a new ‘jet black’ material.
The devices will be available to order on 9 September and will be available in the first wave of countries, including Ireland, on 16 September, and all remaining countries worldwide by 7 October.
The new Apple-designed AirPods including the charging case will be available for €179.