Apple launches used to be full of surprises but the September special event was predicable. Nevertheless, it does mean that there are two new iPhones so start pondering your upgrade options with all the details you could need on the iPhone 7 Plus release date, price and specs. Both phones are available to buy now.
iPhone 7 Plus release date: When is the iPhone 7 Plus coming out?
iPhone 7 Plus release date: 16 September 2016
You can buy both the iPhone 7 models now.
Apple also confirmed that iOS 10 will be available for existing iPhone users from 13 September.
iPhone 7 Plus price: How much will the iPhone 7 Plus cost?
Just like any other iPhone, the iPhone 7 price depends on which storage model you want and there are a few to choose from. Prices start at the same as the iPhone 6S Plus at launch which is $769. That’s in dollars but in Sterling it’s more expensive at £719. That's a whopping price increase of £100.
You can buy the iPhone 7 Plus from major mobile networks Three, EE, Vodafone and O2.
There are still three storage capacities available but this time around they are 32-, 128 and 256GB which is double across the board. Check out the table below for full iPhone 7 Plus pricing. One thing to note is that the Jet Black model only comes in the larger two storage options - cheeky.
iPhone 7 Plus pre-orders: Where to buy the iPhone 7 Plus
Below are the cheapest iPhone 7 Plus contract deals. Choose the capacity and colour of the iPhone 7 Plus you want to buy, and adjust the amount of minutes, texts and data to suit your preferences. If you already know which carrier you want to buy from or intend to buy SIM-free, read on.
iPhone 7 Plus specs and features
Although we’re really looking forward to next year’s anniversary iPhone 8, Apple has done it’s best to bring new features to the iPhone 7 to fill the gap and tempt existing users to upgrade rather than hold on. And it’s the iPhone 7 Plus which is the more alluring of the two new phones.
To begin with the key new features, the iPhone 7 Plus is water-resistant, has stereo speakers and longer battery life. The main reason to buy the larger model is the dual-camera technology on the back.
The iPhone 7 phones have what Apple calls a ‘new design’. Although it looks pretty similar to us beyond the new colours. There are five colours to choose from: Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, Black and Jet Black (glossy). It’s no thinner at 7.3mm but is slightly lighter at 188g.
New process allows for high-gloss ‘Jet Black’ finish. The camera housing is machined from the piece of metal as the main body and the antenna is internal so the outside appears uninterrupted. The aluminium and glass are seamless.
The iPhone 7 design is “The most singular, the most evolved of this singular design”, says Jonny Ive.
The dual-cameras consist of one wide-angle 28mm lens (the same as on the iPhone 7) and one telephoto (56mm lens). When you switch to the latter you get an optical zoom of x2 which can then be increased to up to x10, although it’s digital after x2.
The new camera is 2x12Mp with an f/1.8 aperture, OIS (optical image stabilisation, also on the regular iPhone 7), six-element lens. Apple says it’s 60 percent faster 30 percent more efficient. The True Tone flash now has four LEDs with 50 percent more light and has a larger reach.
At the front is a 7Mp FaceTime HD camera which includes wide colour capture and auto image stabilisation. Handling features such as white balance, focus, noise reduction and the like is Apple’s custom ISP.
It has also been discovered by Reddit user /u/ImKuya that the iPhone 7 Plus houses a wide-angle camera with a 1/3in sensor and another camera with a slightly smaller 1/3.6in sensor. ImKuya worked it out by doing some maths on data pulled from EXIF data (reveals details about a photo) taken from a Sports Illustrated picture.
New home button
Rumours about the home button were correct and it’s no long a push and click style. It’s been redesigned to be more responsive, reliable and customisable. It’s now a sold state force sensitive button with a new Taptic engine for feedback.
Going back to the water-resistancy and the iPhone 7 Plus is IP67 rated which means you can fully dunk it. Why Apple hadn’t called it waterproof, then, is a mystery. The rating means it’s fully dust proof and can be submerged into up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Do note, however, that liquid damage is not covered in the warranty.
Ifixit has done its usual teardown of the new iPhone, and we now have visual confirmation that the Taptic Engine is much larger than in the 6S Plus (and 6S). The photo below from Ifixit shows the new actuator, which now provides haptic feedback for the solid-state home button.
For the first time, the iPhone 7 Plus has stereo speakers - namely in landscape orientation and they have increased dynamic range.
Headphone jack and AirPods
Apple has finally confirmed that the iPhone’s headphone jack is gone. The phone now just has the Lightning port as a connector which is used for both power and headphones. The new EarPods are included and have Lighting but for those who want to carry on using existing or traditional earphones then Apple will also supply an adapter in the box.
Despite lots of negative reactions to the rumours on the subject, Apple said it’s is doing so because of ‘courage’.
Apple has also announced wireless AirPods. IR sensors know when they’re in your ears and accelerometer sensors know when you're talking. External mics eanble noise reduction and they also have touch sensitive controls. The firm touts 5 hours of battery life with a further 24 hours from the wireless case.
The Apple AirPods price is £159/$159.
Apple A10 Fusion processor and battery life
It wasn’t hard to predict, apart from the Fusion part of the name, but the iPhone 7 Plus has Apple’s new A10 processor which is calls the most powerful smartphone processor in the world.
The 64-bit chip has a quad-core CPU with two for high power and two for efficiency. Something we’ve seen for a long time in rival Android smartphones. Apple says there’s also a performance controller for managing which cores are used for what.
The A10 Fusion is 40 percent faster than the A9 and twice as fast compared to the A8. It’s 120x the original iPhone.
On the GPU front the new six-core chip is 50 percent faster than A9 with two thirds the power and three times faster than the A8 with half the power. That’s 240x the original iPhone.
On the battery life, despite making a big deal of it, the iPhone 7 Plus will give the average user just one extra hour of battery life compare to the 6S Plus.
Some thing on the iPhone 7 Plus have stayed the same when you compare it to its predecessor, the iPhone 6S Plus. For example, the screen remains at 5.5in and a Full HD resolution (1080 x 1920). It is 25 percent brighter, though, and also features wide colour gamut and, of course, 3D Touch.
NFC and Apple Pay
The iPhone 7 Plus still has NFC (near field communication) but it is still limited to Apple Pay usage only. Apple confirmed at the launch that Apple Pay will launch in Japan in October.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus summary
• Two models: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
• Five colours: Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black and Jet Black (glossy)
• Three storage sizes: 32/128/256GB
• Dual-lens: 12Mp sensors, wide-angle and telephoto on Plus model
• TrueTone: A total of four LEDs for the flash – two warm, two cool
• Water-resistant: IP67 rating
• Touch home button: Non-push with haptic feedback, partly to permit water resistance
• No headphone jack: Will ship with Lightning EarPods and 3.5mm adapter
• New processor: Apple A10 Fusion
• Better screen: Same sizes but same colour gamut as iPad Pro 9.7
• Stereo sound: The ear-piece will be a proper speaker providing stereo in landscape
iPhone 7 Plus: User Poll
After the break you'll find our rumour round-up coverage from before the official launch event. Here you can see what leaked information was correct and which was false.
Below are the rumours we shared ahead of Apple's official unveiling of the iPhone 7 Plus.
Despite no mention of a blue colour from Kuo above, MobileFun has received 'confirmed reports' of a lighter blue option for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Check out the leaked photo below.
The below photo, via Apple Insider, appears to confirm a Lightning to headphone adapter and there's more confirmation that Apple will offer a 256GB model.
The naming system for this year's iPhone has been 'confirmed', not by Apple of course but by 'reliable sources' via Mac Otakara. It will be the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus despite minor upgrades to avoid the confusion of consecutive 'S' models. It seems the 'Pro' model was actually just one of two Plus options with the single lens option a fall back if the dual camera technology didn't work out.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple has decided to ditch one of its three new iPhone 7 models. Rumour has it that the single-lens 5.5in iPhone 7 (below left) has been canned and only the dual-camera model will go on sale alongside the 4.7in iPhone 7. It means that what we previously thought would be called the iPhone 7 Pro is now likely to be the iPhone 7 Plus - a straight replacement for the iPhone 6S Plus. However, it could also mean there will be no iPhone 7 Plus and instead we'll see only the standard iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Pro. The report also says the home button will be new and, instead of being a traditional push button, will be more like the trackpad on a new Macbook with haptic feedback.
The below photos (from MyDrivers) appear to show the rumoured black iPhone 7 Plus from different angles. We can see the dual-cameras, Smart Connector and the lack of a headphone jack. It's not clear whether the home button is push like previously or a new touch only version.
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy got hold of a mockup of the 7 Plus from headphone company Besound. If the mockup is correct, the phone really will have protruding dual cameras, no headphone jack and a three-pin dock connector for accessories. You can watch the video comparison here, and an image showing the old and new phones side by side is below. Whether or not the dark blue colour is correct remains to be seen: other rumours say the iPhone 7 Plus will be available in darker 'Space Black' not dark blue as previously rumoured. A new photo shows the alleged dual-camera module and a whopping 256GB storage capacity. Take a look. Will the base model finally be 32GB?
However, while the dual-camera seem like a certainty, a Weibo user citing sources at Foxconn (Apple's manufacturing partner) says that workers have been told the dual-camera technology is too immature to include. In other words it's not ready for the iPhone 7 Plus but there's still plenty of time left between now and the launch so don't take this as concrete just yet. Naturally, we'll have a full iPhone 7 Plus review for you once we get our hands on the phone following its launch.
The latest info coming through on the iPhone 7 Plus suggests it will feature both waterproofing and wireless charging. Retailer MobileFun tells us that the sensors are now in the right hand side of the front facing speaker and that the iPhone 7 has 'more of a curved edge than the iPhone 6/6S'.
iPhone 7 Plus rumours: Design & build
Back in July a leak via Nowhereelse, showed the iPhone 7 Plus compared to the regular iPhone 7 (both dummy versions). Here's another shot of the iPhone 7 Plus from the front.
Update 11 July: After so many leaks around the same things (mainly cameras and headphone jack), we have something new on the cards when it comes to the iPhone 7 range. A slide posted on My Drivers from an internal Foxconn (Apple's largest manufacturer) presentation appears to reveal that the iPhone 7 Plus –and presumably iPhone 7 – will at long last be waterproof with an IP68 rating and will also have wireless charging.
If true, the iPhone 7 Plus would match rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S7 which offers both these features. The IP68 rating means a device is fully dust proof and can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. The wireless charging would be a be deal if Apple does ditch the headphone jack as there would be no way of listing to music and charging the phone without using wireless headphones (or the built in speaker).
Apple filed a patent for 'Smart aluminium' in December which uses "an imitation metal oxide layer" to allow the conduction charging to pass through the chassis.
Update 27 June: Contradicting a report released previously claiming that the iPhone 7 Plus will be available in deep blue instead of the traditional space grey, Mac Otakara now claims that Apple is working on a space grey finish. However, the colouring will be similar to that of the Apple Watch, providing a much darker colour than is present at the moment. Sources claim that it'll be "formal black" which is apparently close to black, with a slight grey tinge.
This is 'confirmed' by a 9to5Mac source claiming that Apple is working on a "Space Black" finish for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus similar to the Apple Watch, although the source is fairly new with no track record, so we can't be sure of its accuracy at this time. The source also claims that the Apple Watch 2 will feature on-board GPS, that Apple will be releasing a new MacBook Pro with an OLED Strip and Touch ID sensor built into the power button, however it's a wireless earbud claim that intregues us.
The 9to5Mac source claims that Apple is on track to release fully wireless EarPods alongside the iPhone 7, which apparently will not feature a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Rumours of wireless EarPods circulated earlier this year, but were shot down fairly quickly with claims that we won't be seeing them until the 2017/2018 iPhone so it's interesting that this is mentioned by the source. Again, as noted above, this source has no track record so it's best to take these rumours with a pinch of salt - for now, at least.
On 12 May 2016, U-Switch (along with OnLeaks) showcased a video of what is claimed to be CAD renders of the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (which some are now calling the iPhone 7 'Pro'). While the video was basic, it has confirmed a number of features of the iPhone 7 Plus - the dual-camera setup, removal of the headphone jack and the introduction of a Smart Connector on the rear of the smartphone. The video can be found below:
While we can't confirm or deny that these are renders of Apple's upcoming smartphones, OnLeaks has a great track record when it comes to smartphone leaks and if any leaks were true, we'd bet on it being from OnLeaks.
Two days earlier, On 10 May 2016, the ever-so-trustworthy nowhereelse.fr (with the OnLeaks stamp on it) leaked an image showcasing an iPhone, presumably the iPhone 7 with the identical dimensions as the iPhone 6s, thus measuring 67.12mm wide and 138.3mm tall.
If we base the same dimensions as the iPhone 6s Plus, we could assume the 7 Plus will be 77.9mm wide and 158.2mm tall. We weren't informed of its thickness, but the 6s was 7.1mm thick, whilst the 6s Plus was 7.3mm thick.
The image above, does also suggest that the dual-camera design might be exclusively used with the iPhone 7 Plus. A schematic pictured below gives you a better idea of how the iPhone 7 Plus might look like:
On 9 May 2016, Macrumours saw an iPhone 7 that was pictured without a headphone jack and a different back plate design. In the picture, there are three small dots for the smart connector, suggesting the rumours around the smart connector to be true. However, as we can't verify the source, take the image below with a pinch of salt.
On 3 May 2016, an image leak by French site Nowhereelse.fr shows a number of components, including the much-talked about headphone jack. Below are internal component images from Weibo and iFixit (iPhone 6s) - from the images, we can see there's a slight difference in the components, but yet the headphone jack remains present.
The trusted KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, dubbed as one of the most reliable and well-known Apple insiders suggests that Apple will return to an iPhone 4/4s glass design in 2017. The reason this applies to iPhone 7 and 7 Plus rumours is that Apple will stick to its current metal design.
Image render courtesy of Martin Hajek from nowhereelse.fr.
Apple's iPhone cycle tends to follow a 'tick' and 'tock' sort of model, with the tick being the main iPhone update such as the iPhone 6, which generally looks quite different from the previous model, and then the secondary iPhone update such as the iPhone 6s, which looks almost identical to the iPhone 6 but has some big spec changes.
That's why we think the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will look quite different from the current iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus design. We think it'll still come in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold colour options, but we might see some other changes when it comes to the overall look and feel of the phone.
Apple could well decide to bump the screen size up from 5.5in on the iPhone 6s Plus to 5.7in on the iPhone 7 Plus, with the smaller model bumping up from 4.7in to 5in, but rather than increasing the overall size of the phone itself, we expect Apple will aim to increase the screen-to-body ratio. This could be achieved by an edge-to-edge screen, perhaps, something that's been rumoured to be in the works at Apple for a while now and Apple has actually patented. Apple called the technology "Sidewall displays" and describes how parts of the display would be on the side of the phone a lot like the Galaxy Note Edge, S6 Edge and S6 Edge Plus.
The iPhone 7 Plus may also be thinner thanks to a new headphone jack that's rumoured to be coming with the next iPhone. According to Apple Insider, Apple has patented a new, slimmer headphone jack technology called D Jack, which has a diameter of just 2mm to allow the iPhone to be thinner overall. This could also allow the iPhone 7 Plus to feature a dual speaker design.
We might also see a complete removal of the headphone jack, where the audio output would be from the Lightning port or over Bluetooth. Apple might provide a set of wired headphones in the box which have a Lightning connector and sell a Lightning-to-3.5mm minijack as an option if you want to use conventional headphones. Apparently, Apple has registered the name AirPods, which could be a new wireless set of headphones for the new iPhone.
Adding to this possibility are some new Lightning accessories from Axpro which include headphones and a Lightning to headphone jack converter.
The iPhone 7 Plus could be completely flush on both the front and back, removing the infamous camera bump present on the current iPhone flagship. The bump stops the iPhone from laying perfectly flat and also breaks up the 'clean' design aesthetic, something Apple holds dear.
The iPhone 7 Plus could be waterproof, too, as Apple has recently patented waterproofing technology that doesn't compromise design. Instead, it coats all of the important components inside the phone to make it waterproof without requiring outer armour.
There's more on the design front from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, well known for revealing details of new iPhones who told Mac Rumours: "We expect the 2017 new iPhone model to adopt a structural design similar to that of iPhone 4/ 4s, meaning it will be equipped with glass on both the front and back sides, and a metal frame surrounded the edges. The difference is that the new model will likely come with a curved screen and curved glass casing, with other important features including a 5.8-inch AMOLED display, wireless charging, and more biometric recognitions (facial or iris). Given the curved design, the new model may look smaller than an existing 5.5-inch iPhone."
Although he's talking about the 2017 new iPhone this could still be the iPhone 7 since most of its time as the flagship phone will be spent in 2017 following a late-2016 launch.
Adding to the possibility of no headphone jack in a new product from Griffin called the iTrip Clip which means you can use any wired headphones wirelessly over Bluetooth with any smartphone "especially ones without a headphone jack", the firm adds incidentally. It will launch towards the end of September, handily around the same time as the iPhone 7.
iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro
As we've looked at in the article, rumours suggest that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will have a bigger difference than previously. The below cases which are available to pre-order show that the regular iPhone 7 won't get the dual camera setup nor the Smart Connector. The cases also show that the new iPhone won't have a headphone jack.
More recently, this photo appears to show all three rumoured iPhone 7 models. It seems to suggest that the iPhone 7 Pro will be the only device to get the dual-cameras and the Smart Connector but the Plus will be the same size.
iPhone 7 Plus specs and new features
Update 3 May 2016: A user on Weibo leaked an image (see below) of the new battery capacity that will be found within the new iPhone 7 Plus. According to the image, the iPhone 7 will feature a 1735mAh battery, whilst its bigger brother the 7 Plus will have a 2810mAh capacity, both of which are slightly larger than the 1715 and 2750mAh batteries found on the 6s and 6s Plus respectively.
The iPhone 6s Plus saw the introduction of an impressive new 12Mp iSight camera, up from 8Mp in the previous model. We think that the 12Mp camera will remain in the iPhone 7 Plus, as it's already an impressive snapper for a smartphone.
However, it has been rumoured that the iPhone 7 Plus will feature dual-cameras, based on tech acquired in 2015 from LinX Imaging. This could follow in the footsteps of Huawei, which has put twin cameras on the P9. If true, you can expect improved noise reduction, indoor photos, low-light photos and 3D depth mapping. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told MacRumors he thinks both single- and dual-camera versions of the phone are in development, and that a 2-3x optical zoom function is likely to feature in the iPhone 7 Plus. Pictured below is an image render from Feld & Volk, a premium iPhone modification company.
Adding the rumours of the dual-camera setup is this photo, via Weibo, which appears to show the module which will be used in the iPhone 7 Plus or possibly the Pro (or even both if Apple goes for all three). The lenses look different so each camera could serve a different purpose.
The image also shows that Apple may be about to offer a 256GB iPhone for the first time, backing up other rumours we've already mentioned. If it's correct, the iPhone 7 Plus will come in at least 16-, 64- and 256GB storage capacities. A Weibo user claims that the entire iPhone 7 range will come in 32-, 128- and 256GB storage options, thefore scrapping both the 16- and 64GB options.
An area Apple might improve is screen resolution. At present, the iPhone 6s Plus offers 401ppi, but rivals such as Samsung and LG have with Quad- and Ultra-HD screens with pixel densities well above 500ppi, However, we suspect Apple will stick with 400ppi, which is plenty for sharp-looking images. There's only minor benefits to higher densities, and plenty of disadvantages such as the cost of manufacturing, higher battery drain and slower 3D performance (if running apps and games at the native resolution).
We've already got the 3D Touch functionality in the iPhone 6s, which has opened up a whole new way of interacting with the iPhone, but it's possible that the display could become a Touch ID display too, which could sense your fingerprint and securely unlock the phone wherever you touch on a screen and therefore remove the need for the Home button. However, recent reports suggest that the Home button will make an appearance on the iPhone 7, but may be touch-sensitive like many Android smartphones, and not a physical button as it has been up until now.
It's very likely that the processor will be improved, too, with a new A10 processor and M10 motion co-processor likely to make an appearance, and we could see a bump up from 2GB RAM to 3GB, although that seems less plausible as the iPhone 6 and earlier all had 1GB.
The IHS analyst mentioned earlier has backed up this saying that it will be the Plus model which will get more RAM. We assume this will be down, at least in part, to the dual camera setup.
There are some rumours stemming from Bloomberg that suggest the next iPhone will feature wireless charging, yet the truth is this is much more likely to come in 2017 with the iPhone 7s Plus. According to the site, "Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones."
As for software, iOS 10 is expected, and this'll be shown off at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2016 and could give us some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus clues.
- iOS 10
- A10 processor
- 16/64/128/256GB storage
- 5.5in IPS Force 3D Touch display, Full HD (1920x1080), 401ppi
- Wi-Fi 11ac dual-band, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS, NFC (for Apple Pay), wireless charging
- LinX dual camera: 12Mp rear camera
- 5Mp FaceTime HD camera, with 'flash'
- Fingerprint scanner – Touch ID 2nd gen
- Smart Connector
- LTE Advanced
- Battery size: 2810mAh capacity
- Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold colour