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iPhone 7 won't have a major design change, reports WSJ

The Wall Street Journal corroborates what analysts and rumors have said for months: Apple's next iPhone will ditch the headphone jack, but other major design changes will wait till 2017.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read
Josh Miller/CNET
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Watch this: iPhone 7 may not feature drastic changes

Do you like the current Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus? Good, because a new report suggests the iPhone 7 won't be much different.

The Wall Street Journal basically corroborated Tuesday what analysts and rumors have said for months: The big hardware changes, the ones that would really make a new iPhone look and feel different, won't be ready this year. Rumored features like a curved OLED screen and a fingerprint reader built right into the display, also corroborated by the publication, apparently aren't ready for prime time. Here's an excerpt:

At a meeting with an Apple executive last month, one of the company's China-based engineers asked why this year's model lacked a major design change in keeping with Apple's usual two-year cycle. The answer, one person at the meeting recalled, was that the new technology in the pipeline will take time to implement.

According to the Journal, what we will get this year is a pair of phones with only one major hardware change: no more headphone jack. Sources told the publication that the Lightning port, currently used for data and charging, will also allow users to connect headphones somehow. Removing the headphone jack will let Apple make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance, according to the Journal's sources.

Does the lack of a major hardware revision mean Apple has an iPhone 7 problem? We should know this fall. Do keep in mind that another recent rumor suggested the next iPhone will actually keep the headphone jack, though -- and add room for a second SIM card.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.