Updated 11:02 PM EST, Mon, Jan 27, 2020

iPhone 7 Specs, Features & Release Date: Apple Opens Secret Research Lab in Taiwan Dedicated to Making Future Flagships Better

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Apple has reportedly opened a secret research lab in Taiwan to manufacture better display technologies for their future products.

Bloomberg reported from sources with knowledge of the facility that the Apple building in Longtan has at least 50 engineers and other workers making new screens for the tech giant's devices, such as iPhones and iPads. Apple has recruited crews from local display manufacturer, AU Optronics Corp., and Qualcomm Inc., which used to own the structure, the insiders revealed.

According to Bloomberg, Apple started operations in the lab this year, with the goal of making products "thinner, lighter, brighter, and more energy-efficient." Engineers are reportedly developing more advanced versions of the liquid-crystal displays currently seen in iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. In addition, the company intends to switch to using organic light-emitting diodes, which are thinner and don't need a backlight to function.

iPhone 7 - Latest Rumors & Speculations

One of the things Apple fans can expect for the iPhone 7 is a waterproof feature, which originated from a patent filed by the company recently, uSwitch reported.

A self-healing elastomer inside a port will reportedly protect the future iPhone's Lightning connector, and will be able to prevent liquid from entering the handset's inner components, uSwitch wrote. The elastomer would only be penetrated when a cable is inserted into the device.

G for Games also reported that the Lightning port may not appear on the iPhone 7. Rumored to replace it is the USB Type-C already used on new MacBooks. This new connector is compatible with headsets, wireless charging technology, multi-Force Touch, dual camera configurations, and fingerprint recognition technology embedded within the device's display.

An iPhone 7 prototype that features wireless charging has also fueled rumors that Apple's next mobile device will not have a 3.5mm headphone socket, G for Games added. 9to5 Mac wrote that if the company is planning to have a thinner iPhone 7 than its predecessors, it makes sense that its headphone socket will be trimmed, probably with a 2.5mm one.

Other rumored specs for the iPhone 7 are a 6 mm thickness and a wraparound screen. British publication The Week claimed that Apple filed a patent in September for "sidewall displays," with an image accompanying the patent showing a device with "a screen that stretches all the way around." In order to accommodate this rumored wraparound screen, Apple will likely ditch the home button and incorporate a fingerprint recognition feature on the screen.

If Apple sticks to its normal release schedule, the iPhone 7 should be expected to be released in September 2016, Expert Reviews speculated.

Note that these are rumors for now and Apple is yet to issue an official announcement regarding the iPhone 7.

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