Apple has become the largest company in the United States by market cap largely because of the success of the iPhone. Before the iPhone was introduced in 2007, their primary source of revenue came from iPods, macs and digital music sales. However, the phone has become the centerpiece of the company and they have settled in on an annual upgrade to a new model which usually occurs in September.
The following represent the consensus of Wall Street analysts and Apple watchers around the web on what to expect from the next generation of the iPhone in 2015.
If history is any indication, you should probably be buying the stock now leading up to the release.
Will Apple continue to with the iPhone numbering system, or will they finally go the route of the iPad and simply call it the iPhone Air?
There was speculation in 2014 that this would happen with the iPhone 6, however, they stuck with the numbering upgrade.
Given the fact that the next version of the phone is expected to be even thinner than the 6 and 6plus, it would not be surprising to see them change the name to Air with the next edition.
In fact, if you look at the thickness history, it would suggest that it is almost certain to be thinner.
- iPhone 3G -0.48 inches
- iPhone 4/4s - 0.37 inches
- iPhone 5/5s - 0.30 inches
- iPhone 6/6plus 0.27/0.28 inches
There is definitely a trend and there is every indication that the phones will continue to get thinner provided it will not compromise the integrity of the phone or cause any bending or warping issues.
Even Bigger Display than the 6 plus?
The iPhone 6 was released in two versions: a 4.7-inch display and a 5.5-inch display.
Just how big can you go on size for a phone before it becomes impractical for every day use? The larger sized phablet phones are difficult for men to carry around without a briefcase of back pack of some type, so going bigger is probably not in the cards right now. The iPhone 6 plus is already cannibalizing sales from the iPad so there is a point at which it doesn't make much sense to make a larger screen. Personally, I find it odd to hold a large phablet type phone up to my ear to talk on the phone.
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More Advanced Camera
Rumors suggest the camera will be bumped up from the current 10MP to feature a two-lens system for DSLR quality. Sony has just released plans for a 21MP CMOS sensor. 
It is designed for 4K video and high-resolution photos. Since they supply Apple, it is not difficult to imagine something like that going into the new phone.
When it comes to any type of digital camera, it is not the megapixels that are the more important feature, it is the type of sensor. A more advanced sensor should help when taking photos in low light because the shutter will be able to remain open longer and focus on fast moving objects.
Wireless Charging System
The extra space created by the larger body of the Iphone 7 should make room for a larger, longer-lasting battery or some type of wireless charging system to finally rid us of having to plug it into an outlet or USB port every day for charging.
However, the buzz is that it could feature solar batteries built into the screen which would enable Apple to keep battery weight down, allowing for a lighter, thinner device.
This type of technology has already been developed and was featured at CES 2015. It may not land in the iPhone 7, but some sort of solar or wireless charging seems inevitable. In fact, Apple has filed a patent for wireless charging technology in the last couple of years.
It is possible that the next version of the iPhone will finally switch to sapphire to make the screen. This was expected for the iPhone 6 but production issues got in the way.
Sapphire is much stronger than Corning’s Gorilla Glass because it is one of the hardest and most scratch-resistant surfaces on the planet. It is already being used by Apple with its TouchID sensor cover on the iPhone.
The only issue here might be cost. Indications are that Apple will keep the prices in the same range as the 6, so that might preclude a sapphire screen because it is much more expensive than glass. If sapphire does not make it to the next version, it is likely to show up soon because Apple is building a sapphire glass plant in Arizona along with a giant data center.
There is also talk of a self-healing screen that is covered with a special coating, and a "naked eye 3D screen" which would not require 3D glasses.
Apple is planning an upgraded iOS operating system that will probably be released in June or July, before the next version of the iPhone. Apple is planning key software innovations according to CEO Tim Cook, which will include enhanced versions of iBeacon, Touch ID better parental controls, group FaceTime ability, split-screen app ability and Passbook functions.
New, Faster Chip
The iPhone 6 has an A8 chip with 64-bit architecture and M8 motion coprocessor.
If you follow history, the iPhone 7 will have a faster A9 processor made by Samsung. It is odd that Samsung continues to be a major supplier of parts for the iPhone even while the companies battle it out in court of patent infringements.
iPhone 7 Casing
There have been rumors based on recent patent filing by Apple that indicate they are working with something called Liquidmetal as a way to create a better casing that is more stylish and elegant.
However this may be something they want to address down the road as the technology evolves. There is also the trade-off between cost and technology.
Additionally, they continue to experiment with a type of curved screen.
My iPhone 5s will be two years old later this year, so I may be in the market for the new iPhone 7 when it comes out later this year.
If history is any indication, the iPhone 7 release date will be sometime in September 2015.