Report Claims Next iPhones Continue Controversial Thinness Crusade, Change Little Aesthetically

One thing we've come to expect from Apple is that every two years there's a major redesign to its iPhone device, with incremental upgrades filling the gap in between those releases. It's been a recipe for success in the mobile phone space, but apparently Apple has decided to dance out of rhythm by keeping the overall design of its next iPhone release the same as it is now.

Citing people supposedly familiar with Apple's plans, The Wall Street Journal says the next generation iPhone models will stick with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays as currently found on the iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6s Plus, respectively. It seems Apple has found a couple of form factors that have proven popular and isn't anxious change things up just yet.

iPhone 6s Plus

Even though the general shape and display sizes will stick around for the iPhone 7, the aforementioned sources say the biggest difference will be the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Getting rid of the audio port as it's currently implemented will allow Apple to focus on building an even thinner handset than the iPhone already is, along with make it more water resistant. As has been previously rumored, Apple will use the Lighting connector for attaching headphones.

Is there a point where smartphones are thin enough? Perhaps not, given the infatuation with handset makers to build phones with increasingly smaller waistlines. Sometimes companies get a little ahead of themselves, as Apple may have done with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus—there were reports of bent and warped iPhones resulting from normal use. The issue came to be known as bendgate. Though it was blown out of proportion, it comes with the territory of chasing thinner designs each and every generation.

Even though Apple is content with the overall design and form factor of its current generation handsets, changes will eventually come. Looking ahead to 2017, it will be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, presenting Apple with an opportunity to shake things up with a bold refresh, if it wants to go in that direction by then. Some of the changes you might see in 2017 include an edge-to-edge OLED screen and the removal of the home button.

Whatever Apple does, it has to tread lightly to avoid panic from fickle investors. There was a big deal made out of the fact that in Apple reported its first ever year-on-year iPhone sales decline during its fiscal second quarter of 2016, with Apple selling 51.2 million iPhones during the quarter compared to 61 million during the same period a year prior. But what many outlets failed to point out was that iPhone sales in Q2 of 2016 were still higher than in both Q3 and Q4 of 2015.