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iPhone 7 may feature stereo speakers, flush rear camera

The next-generation iPhone may also be slimmer than its predecessor and dispense with the 3.5mm audio jack, according to the latest rumors from a Japanese blog site.

Rumor sites are looking beyond the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, shown here.
James Martin/CNET

iPhone 7 may be Apple's first to rock out with stereo speakers.

A batch of rumors unleashed by Japanese blog Mac Otakara on Monday night point to several new features and changes in the next iPhone, which is expected to launch in September.

Beyond the addition of stereo speakers, Apple will reportedly kill off the 3.5mm audio jack. Previous rumors have claimed the same thing, suggesting that Apple would instead pipe audio through the Lightning port. The Lightning port itself on the iPhone 7 may be thinner but would likely remain compatible with existing cables, according to Mac Otakara.

Last year's iPhone models, the 6S and 6S Plus, apparently didn't add enough new features to prompt customers to upgrade. CEO Tim Cook expects iPhone revenue to drop this quarter for the first time. To regain lost sales and compete with other players such as Samsung, Apple needs to outfit the iPhone 7 with must-have features that can entice customers looking for a new phone.

Other Mac Otakara rumors include that the iPhone 7 will have the same width and height as the iPhone 6S, but will slim down slightly with the LCD screen 1mm thinner than the current display. That would make the phone 6.1mm, or 0.2 inches, thick. Contrary to prior rumors, the new phone will not be waterproof, Mac Otakara said. Instead, it will retain the same metal case used in the iPhone 6S, which is more water resistant than previous models.

The rear camera lens will lie flat against the body, unlike the current lens that sticks out from the body. In January, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that a special version of the iPhone 7 Plus would come with a dual-lens system to combine both wide-angle and telephoto shots. Mac Otakara said the iPhone 7 will not be a dual-lens phone but didn't know whether the iPhone 7 Plus may sport two lenses.

As always, rumors should be taken with a grain of salt. But some of them do hark back to previous reports. Kuo, who generally has a good track record at nailing down upcoming changes to Apple's mobile lineup, said last September that the iPhone 7 would be thinner than the current model.

Apple fans may not need to wait until September for the debut of a new mobile product. Reports say the company will host an event this month to unveil a 4-inch iPhone, an iPad Air 3 and new bands for its Apple Watch.

An Apple spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors.

(Via MacRumors)