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Apple moving to 3-year 'major' iPhone cycle, adding complex vibrations to 2017 model - report

Apple will likely be waiting until next year to debut its next major iPhone refresh, treating this year's "iPhone 7" as yet another interim upgrade, a Japanese report said on Tuesday.

Edge-to-edge iPhone display concept by Martin Hajek.

Edge-to-edge iPhone display concept by Martin Hajek.


The 2017 iPhone is expected to make the switch to OLED, among other important design changes, Nikkei said. While that would support recent rumors, the business publication also made an original claim that the device will have a new vibration motor, capable of producing more complex patterns than earlier iPhones.

That could indicate that Apple will use an evolved version of its "Taptic Engine," found in devices like the Apple Watch and the iPhone 6s. The technology lets devices produce different, subtle responses to user actions and notifications.

The "iPhone 7" is likely to stay mostly the same, Nikkei said, the most noticeable difference being the removal of the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. Camera, water resistance, and battery technology should be improved, the paper continued, also mentioning that "a high-end version of the model will give users better-quality photo capabilities via correction functions."

Rumors have suggested that the standard iPhone 7 might gain optical image stabilization, while a "7 Plus" will have a dual-lens camera.

The report lastly claimed that based on Apple production schedules given to suppliers, the company is not expecting 2016 iPhone sales to top 2015. The company posted its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone units during the March quarter, and typically sales aren't expected to rebound until new models arrive this fall.