The iPhone 7 conversation is reaching a boil already, even with Apple still trying to catch up on demand for the current generation. The conversation is kicking up well in advance in part due to the fact that Cupertino designs its own mobile microprocessors in house, and development of the A9 chip is already underway. Rumors have surfaced as to whether Apple will steer its chip manufacturing business to current partner TSMC or old frenemy Samsung. That in turn has brought up the question of just when the iPhone 7 release date will arrive.
iPhone 7 and the A9 processor: Apple ideally would prefer to roll out the next generation A9 chip in the iPhone 6S next year, but the more realistic timetable is that the A9 will be ready for use in the iPhone 7, and something along the lines of an A8X in the interim. In either instance, Apple must decide whether to give the A9 chip business to current A8 manufacturer TSMC or shift elsewhere. Forbes reports that Apple may give the A9 business to Samsung in the name of bringing manufacturing onto American soil, even though the two companies have a strained relationship which has dissolved into court battles over intellectual property violations.
iPhone 7 release date: Apple’s traditional release schedule points to the iPhone 7 being launched in the fall of 2016. The question becomes whether Apple is interested in skipping over the iPhone 6S, a notion furthered by the fact that consumer response to the newly redesigned iPhone 6 has been significantly higher than any interest ever shown to the same-ish iPhone 5 and 5S. That would mean Apple releasing an all-new iPhone 7 in the fall of 2015, with the 6S arriving either simultaneously as the budget model, or earlier in the year. But the safe bet continues to be to expect the iPhone 7 to arrive in late 2016, with the A9 chip in tow.