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What will Tim Cook’s ‘can’t live without’ new feature for iPhone 7 be?


In a TV interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer this week, Cook said the iPhone 7 will have a killer feature that would prove to be an upgrade customers won’t be able to resist. “We are going to give you things that you can’t live without that you just don’t know you need today,” Cook teased.

Could it really be something we already know about? Could any of the rumored features for the device possibly fall under the groundbreaking or irresistible category of features Cook hinted at? Perhaps the new rumoured dual-camera system could be enough to account for Cook’s comment? Of course, it’s also possible it’s all just post-Q2 PR hype after a quarter of declines. Will Apple have something new and exciting that we don’t yet know about for the iPhone 7?

That’s the question we ask readers in today’s poll. What rumoured new feature for iPhone 7 will make it upgrade worthy for you? Or will Tim Cook and Co need something beyond what’s expected to get upgrade numbers it didn’t get in 2015 with the 6s update and this year with the iPhone SE?

During the interview Cook noted that iPhone has actually grown on a two-year basis about 70% despite declines in the Q2 quarter and year over year. That’s essentially saying that 2015 was an S year for the iPhone— an incremental and relatively minor upgrade that Apple typically does on iPhone every other year— and that accounted for much of the slowdown for iPhone. That’s another hint that Cook is very optimistic current iPhone users will want to upgrade to iPhone 7 …

Rumored features

In our recent roundup of everything we currently know about the iPhone 7, we explored some of the expected new features for the device based on recent rumors and reports. A thinner physical design, a new dual camera system, a 256GB capacity option, a larger battery, Li-Fi tech, and stereo speakers are a few of the features that are rumored for the device. And there were less reliable reports of Apple possibly experimenting with USB-C, multi-touch 3D Touch, waterproofing, wireless charging, and EMI shielding improvements.

And then there was that sketchy leak showing a Smart Connector on the device like Apple has for its Smart accessories on new iPads:

iPhone 7 tip

Dual Camera System

If one of those features is a front-runner for the standout, upgrade-worthy feature for iPhone 7, it could be the new dual-camera system. We recently saw some examples of how the tech can combine images from two separate cameras to deliver far sharper zoomed-in images compared to the camera in the iPhone 6s/Plus.

Our own Jeff Benjamin weighed in noting that a dual-camera system could be a game changer for iPhone photography – and that Apple has an opportunity in that other companies, like LG, have implemented but not yet nailed the tech. “From my usage of the LG G5, that is a pretty awesome feature, although not perfectly executed on LG’s part. I could see Apple hyping that as the next big thing for sure. It definitely changes the way you look at smartphone photography and composition. It’s like having one of those camera dongles always available, without any needless attachments.”


And if it does remove the device’s headphone jack like it’s experimenting with, it will likely spin it as an example of Apple being first to new tech with its Lighting headphones and possibly new truly wireless earbuds.. 

Mark reported back in January that Apple was developing revamped, cord-free Beats with a charging case ahead of iPhone 7. That sounds like something that will be available separately, but it brings up the question of what Apple bundles with a headphone jack-free iPhone? New shiny Lightning earphones, perhaps? Or could Apple also have some new truly wireless cheaper earbuds for the iPhone 7?


Apple’s current Beats ‘wireless’ Bluetooth headphones

The current crop of truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds (those without a cable attaching the two earbuds) are almost non-existent currently. There’s a few small companies making them, but they are half-baked prototypes not worth investing in (although like Apple, Samsung and others are developing them. If Apple has a really slick pair of wireless earbuds at launch before any other big company has released a decent pair, and bundles it with the iPhone 7, that could be a big attraction for a lot of customers, especially those that haven’t yet invested in wireless headphones.

So what will it be? Do any of the rumored features fit the bill for an irresistible upgrade-worthy feature that Cook hinted at? Or will Apple need more to get your cash this fall?

Have your say in the poll below:

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.