iPhone 7 release date: 256GB storage, A10 processor, 7 Mini rumors

With the iPhone 6S out of the way, Apple can now safely turn its attention internally to the iPhone 7 even as fans begin asking questions about its release date, the A10 processor which will power it, the potential for 256 GB of storage, and ongoing rumors of an iPhone 7 Mini to go along with the 7 and 7 Plus models. We break it all down below and more:

iPhone 7 processor: Apple’s current A9 processor is a bigger leap forward over the A8 than the progress of the past few generations, pointing to an acceleration in the speed of the low-power chipset. That points to the iPhone 7 and its A10 processor representing potentially the biggest leap forward in processing power in recent iPhone history. This opens the door for more advanced applications to be developed than had previously been possible on a smartphone.

iPhone 7 storage: With the iPhone 6S having stuck to the same 16-64-128 gigabyte storage parameters of its predecessor, the iPhone 7 may finally be in line to jump to the 256 GB benchmark on the high end model. However this may come down primarily to cost and availability of 256 GB chips, which can be predictable and beyond Apple’s control.

iPhone 7 mini: Here’s the tricky part. Widespread rumors have been spreading across the internet that Apple will add a third model to its iPhone lineup which effectively reinstates the four inch form factor, the popular iPhone 5-5S size which was discontinued without warning as Apple transitioned to the larger iPhone 6. Sales have gone up overall, but a sizable contingent of longtime iPhone users are still complaining loudly that they refuse to upgrade until a “normal” sized new iPhone is offered. The rumor makes plenty of sense. However Apple decided not to pursue the Mini model with the iPhone 6S, bringing into question as to whether the iPhone 7 Mini rumors have any real basis either.

iPhone 7 release date: …and here’s the bad news – or maybe not so bad. With the iPhone 6S arriving this month, Apple’s traditional pattern says the iPhone 7 release date won’t surface until a full year from now. However it’s a matter of time before Apple finally breaks from its pattern of only redesigning the iPhone every two years, with the trade-in era meaning that an increasing number of consumers are looking for a newly styled iPhone each year. That gives at least some hope that Apple may hold the iPhone 7 release date in the spring 2016 just to get the ball rolling with the trade-in era.