Anyone hoping for a more powerful battery for the new iPhone 6S or 7 looks set to be disappointed. Apple’s new smartphone, expected to be called either the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7, will have more than 5 per cent less battery power than its predecessor, according to reports from component makers in China.
And photographs revealed yesterday appear to confirm that it will be slightly larger and heavier than the model it replaces, in a reversal of the usual consumer electronics trend towards products that are ever slimmer and lighter.
MacRumors has published images of an iPhone 6S or 7 that has been assembled from leaked components. It looks indistinguishable from the current model, but measures 7.08mm thick, compared with the 6.9mm iPhone 6. The larger screened iPhone 6S Plus comes in at 7.3mm, compared with 7.1mm for its predecessor. Both new iPhones are also slightly taller and broader than the models they replace, but by less than a millimetre in each direction.
The slight increase in size results from “several factors including a change in the aluminum being used for the shell, thickening of weak spots in the case to help address concerns over bending, and new support for Force Touch functionality in the display”, according to MacRumors.
The changes are small enough that few will notice them unless the old and new handsets are placed side by side, and cases and other accessories designed for one iPhone are likely to fit the other. Of more concern to potential customers is likely to be this week’s claim that the new model will have a less powerful battery.
Tech news site cnBeta says the battery capacity of the standard-sized iPhone 6S or 7 will be reduced from 1810 milliampere hours to 1715 mAh, and the large-screened model will drop from 2910 to 2750 mAh. That amounts to a power drop of 5.3 per cent for the iPhone 6S or 7, and of 5.5 per cent for the larger iPhone 6S Plus or 7 Plus.
“These aren’t huge decreases,” says Forbes, “but it is of particular concern for the iPhone 6S as battery life is already one of the worst features of the iPhone 6.”