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Apple rumours & predictions 2016 & 2017: New Apple products on the way

Nik Rawlinson | June 23, 2016
What to expect from Apple in the next 12 months.

This will require some additional components - in particular a SIM card and associated circuitry - but advances made in the last 12 months suggest that shouldn't be a problem. The S1 processor in the current Apple Watch is built using the same 28 nanometer process as the chip in the iPhone 5s, which was current while Apple was closing Watch's development cycle. Since then, we've seen both theiPhone 6 and iPhone 6s hit the shelves, and they use a considerably finer process, with their A9 processors built using a 14 nanometer process. Assuming Apple develops a new chip - likely called the S2 - for its second-generation Watch, it's reasonable to assume that it will employ the same 14-nanometer process and, rather than slimming the wearable, use the reclaimed space to bolster its built-in features.

Other notable omissions from Apple Watch that could be addressed in the first revision are native GPS, additional health sensors and a higher capacity battery, not necessarily to deliver a longer work time, but to deal with the additional load of the bolstered range of sensors and comms.

The new Watch should also be able to collect more health data, apparently Apple had high hopes for the health capabilities of the original Apple Watch but had to remove some of the sensors before launch because of accuracy issues. These could include blood oxygen levels and blood pressure, for example.

We also expect it will be a little thinner and faster, have better battery life, and that a front-facing camera might make it onto the Watch for FaceTime calls. We'd also appreciate a WiFi chip that can connect directly to a network without requiring the iPhone as an intermediary. In fact, less reliance on the iPhone full stop, although the WatchOS2 release in September meant that some apps could run independently of an iPhone. GPS capabilities and better water resistance would also be appreciated. We expect to see a new Apple Watch at the rumoured event in March with a launch in April 2016.

Apple predictions for 2016: iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

We've already had an 'S' model since the last full update, so expect 2016's iPhone 7to be a more extensive revamp - we're expecting a bit of a redesign for Apple's 4.7in and 5.5in iPhones, as is customary when Apple makes a leap from S to a whole new number.

Pundits are forecasting the death of the home button, which we don't think many would mourn. Adopting soft buttons, as are common on Android devices, makes sense, and it would allow Apple to increase the screen size without bulking up the physical body. Conversely, it may reclaim the lost space to produce a smaller device with the same 16:9 aspect screen as it employed in the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c to tempt an upgrade out of anyone who was put off by the iPhone 6 and 6s's wider, taller bodies.


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