Apple opted to carryover the same general design from iPhone 6/s to iPhone 7/Plus, but a few key changes break forward compatibility for the majority of previous generation accessories. Clearly, the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack was going to require fresh case designs for iPhone 7 (and we’ve got you covered in that department). On the other hand, despite the physical dimensions going unchanged, screen protectors for iPhone 6/s will (mostly) not fit iPhone 7. That means you won’t be able to transfer your old screen protector or pick up an older model on closeout to use with your shiny new iPhone.
We first heard rumblings of compatibility issues over the weekend and were able to independently confirm these changes with help from prominent iPhone accessory maker ZAGG. The major point of contention is the updated earpiece on iPhone 7 which is now wider, perhaps to help with stereo audio support and waterproofing.
The width variance is much more significant on 7 Plus so you’ll almost certainly need to buy a new screen protector. iPhone 7’s earpiece is larger than iPhone 6/s (but not by much) so there’s a slight chance some legacy protectors could work. Apple also moved the front iSight camera so be careful with screen protectors that feature a front camera cutout. It moved ever so slightly on iPhone 7 so it shouldn’t be too big of a deal, but again there’s a big difference when it comes to iPhone 7 Plus.
And of course, due to the redesigned camera bump on both new iPhones and dual rear cameras on iPhone 7 Plus, you’ll need to purchase a new back shield if you’re going for full-device protection.
Along with not recycling iPhone 6/s screen protectors, you should also make sure you’re buying iPhone 7 versions from a reputable vendor. It’s possible some companies could try to pass off relabeled iPhone 6/s inventory without actually updating the design to account for the earpiece/camera changes. For now, we’d recommend carefully reading the product description or reaching out to customer service before purchasing a screen protector for your iPhone 7/Plus to ensure compatibility.