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Monday, May 04, 2015
Waiting for iPhone 7 will pay off - iPhone specs history in graphs
Waiting for iPhone 7 will pay off - iPhone specs history in graphs

Apple has never been the company that is keen on publishing specifications about their new products, until some years ago. In the pre-Samsung times, they have always highlighted unique features and use cases which were eagerly demoed by Steve and Phil. More recently, Apple is using its keynotes as a showcase for specifications, mostly caused by stiff competition. An exception from this is the Apple WATCH because it is a new player in the market, but wait for the next 2 models and it will be a specs demo all over.

I have graphed out most of the specs of all the iPhone models over the years. It shows that the iPhone 7 is the iPhone to wait for because many specs didn’t change over the last 4 models.

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Release management
Since 2013 Apple is releasing 2 iPhone models at the same time and in general they release every 364 days with the exception of the iPhone 4S which jumped a year and a quarter.

Weight
Apple’s drive to make smaller iPhones all the time didn’t result in always lighter iPhones. The iPhone 4S was a bit heavier, dropping the weight significantly with the 5 Series to go heavier again with the 6 models. This is something understandable because of the screen size of course.

Screen
Since its conception we stayed four years we with the 3.5 inch displays—mainly because Steve’s philosophy that no one ever needs a bigger smart phone, 3 years at 4 inches—approved by Steve, he died short after the release of the first iPhone 5 remember, and the last year at 4.7 and respectively 5.5 inches.

The pixels per inch were doubled from 163 pixels to 326 pixels with introduction of the famous gorgeous retina screen of the iPhone 4 and are only increased with the iPhone 6 Plus to 401 pixels.

The initial pixel width/height of 320/480 has been doubled by the 4 series to 640/960, and been increased with 176 more pixels in height for the 5 series (640/1136). The 6 series is the most interesting in my opinion, especially the increase of the 6 Plus over the 6, you receive 1.073.100 more pixels which gives the 6 Plus the first real HD spec screen with 1080/1920.


Memory
128 MB was enough to get most executed on the iPhone one, quadrupled to 512 MB in the 4 models and doubled to 1 GB for all future models until the iPhone 6 Plus. Here we can expect an update for the iPhone 7 for sure.

CPU speed
Samsung has powered the Apple re branded System On a Chip (SoC) for the first 2 models. Apple’s been switching to ARM for the 3GS/4 series, and creating their own A6-A8 chips for the most recent models. Current iPhones are speed hungry, the total clock-speed available for the latest iPhones is 2.8 GHz, which came all the way down from 412 MHz. The iPhone 5 with the much smaller screen than the 6 series has relatively a lot of speed being 2.6 GHz. Note that the iPhone 5S was world’s first full 64-bits phone, being overpowered for the small screen it actually has.

Camera
Although Apple has improved many sub-parts of their camera systems, the mega pixels are since 2011 the same, the iPhone 4S was the first model with 8 MP coming all the way down from 2 MP. Note that the iPhone 6 Plus has the best camera but still remains having only 8 MP. Here definitively the iPhone 7 will break the trend of 5 years equality.


Flash
A much debated item on every new iPhone release and receiving peek comments with the 6 series introduction, starting only at 16 GB. A bit cheap for Apple which often claims they want to build *the best* smart phone on the market. Expect the iPhone 7 to start at 32 GB.


GPU
Imagination Technologies has without exception powered the graphics under your finger tips. They started out with the PowerVR MBX-Lite and have moved over to the SGX535, SGX543MP[23], G6430 and the Series 6 GX6450. Almost every model has received an update except for the 3GS to 4. Note that the 6 Plus is using the same GPU as the 6 which means that the 6 is overpowered with having more than one million pixels shy.

Conclusion
Quite some items are due to change, which makes me believe that the iPhone 7 is the best update since long time for users who still have a pre-iPhone 6 model. Something to think about when you are due for an update soon. In almost 4 months it will be released at exactly September 18, at least when they keep on the 364 days release train since 2013.


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