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Hit the road jack - iPhone 7 expected to lack a headphone socket

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Hit the road jack - iPhone 7 expected to lack a headphone socket

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Apple is about to announce what it hopes will be the next big thing in smartphones.

At its annual product launch today in San Francisco the tech giant is expected to reveal the iPhone 7.

Reportedly it will not have a headphone jack, forcing the use of wireless headphones.

Other predicted features are a touch-sensitive home button that vibrates, improved cameras and a faster processing microchip.

A good reception from the smartphone buying public is vital for Apple, which has recently seen iPhone sales drop for the first time ever. The device accounts for more than half of its revenue.

Investors on Wall Street are also watching this event closely; they are impatient for growth which is shown by the fact that although it remains the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, Apple’s share price is down by a quarter from the all-time high of 18 months ago.

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners, said: “The iPhone 7 runs the risk of disappointing investors.”

Wait for the 8?

The modest updates due to be unveiled suggest that there will a much bigger overhaul coming in 2017, which marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

“It looks like part of the reason they are keeping the design the same this year is there are bigger changes they are working on for next year,” said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.

Analysts say the iPhone 8 may feature a wider display that reaches from one edge of the device to the other and a home button integrated into the screen.

What else?

Also expected at the event are a second generation Apple watch and updated versions of some Mac computers.

The watch, released last year, has not sold well. Shipments of the device reportedly fell by more than half in the second quarter of 2016 with demand for all wearable gadgets muted.

Technology blogs say the new version of Apple’s offering will have bigger battery, a faster processor and a GPS chip, so that users can track runs and other workouts without their phones.

iPhone 7 expected features

  • No headphone jack, replaced by Bluetooth wireless
  • Flush, pressure-sensitive vibrating home button (similar to latest MacBook trackpads)
  • Improved water resistance
  • Dual-lens camera for iPhone 7 Plus
  • Improved single lens rear camera for 4.7-inch model
  • Design similar to iPhone 6s but with redesigned antenna bands
  • Upgraded processor
  • Darker ‘Space Black’ colour option
  • The same two screen sizes – 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch

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