Will we see the Apple iPhone 7 launched earlier than expected next year?
Apple's design schedule calls for a newly designed iPhone to be followed the next year with an "S" model that keeps the same design as the prior year's phone. In 2014, Apple raised the screen size from 4-inches on the Apple iPhone 5s to 4.7-inches on the Apple iPhone 6. A 5.5-inch phablet, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, was also introduced. That led to this year's Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus. Apple's schedule now calls for a newly designed Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus for 2016. According to the source, Apple is concerned that as we move into 2016, sales of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will start to wane as consumers wait for the newly designed iPhone 7.
The best person to turn to when you want to figure out what Apple is doing with its mobile products, is KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He is always among the earliest with iPhone information, and his calls have usually been right on. Kuo sees Apple beginning to mass produce the iPhone 7 during the third quarter, which essentially means there will be no change to the release schedule. He says that Apple will stuff 3GB of RAM into the iPhone 7 Plus, with the iPhone 7 sporting the same 2GB of RAM used on the current models.
For the last four years, Apple has released its new iPhone(s) around the third week of September. The Apple iPhone 4s was launched in October of 2011. The Apple iPhone 4 and Apple iPhone 3GS both went on sale in June, as did the OG Apple iPhone. The Apple iPhone 3G was released in July.
Kuo is also looking for Apple to introduce a 4-inch iPhone in the first-half of 2016. While images of a such a device circulated last year, the so-called Apple iPhone 6c was never produced. But last April, there was a report that AU Optronics had received an order for 4-inch iPhone panels that Apple would use on a new phone in 2016. That story now dovetails perfectly with Kuo's rumor.