France-based technology site NoWhereElse has just published images originally leaked online in China featuring not two but three versions of Apple’s iPhone. The devices are labeled as the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 Pro - suggesting Apple could break from recent tradition and launch three new flagship smartphones instead of two.
Over the last few years, Apple has launched two iPhone models: one featuring a 4.7-inch screen and another with a 5.5-inch display. The iPhone 6s line, for example, features the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s alongside the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. The company has never offered an iPhone "Pro" model before, so this report should be treated carefully.
However, Apple has taken a different tactic with tablets in which the company sells the iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro, a higher-powered version featuring a bigger screen option and a Smart Connector that allows users to hook up accessories, such as an external keyboard, to the device.
Rumors have been swirling over the last month that Apple could be adding a Pro model to its next iPhone lineup. Indeed, those reports suggested Apple wants to take a similar approach to iPhones as it does with iPads by offering a cheaper, smaller model in the iPhone SE, alongside different higher-end models ranging from the standard iPhone to the iPhone Pro.
Early in July, another leak was published online featuring a new iPhone with a dual-camera on the rear and a Smart Connector port. It was believed at that time that it was the backplate for an iPhone 7 Pro, though it's impossible to know whether it's the real deal or not. Now that more images have been published, however, the possibility of an iPhone 7 Pro launching this year seems a bit more credible.
Like the earlier leak, the purported iPhone 7 Pro in the latest report comes with a Smart Connector port and a dual-lens camera. As with prior leaks, the purported iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has a slightly revised design with antenna lines hugging the edges instead of running across the back as well as bigger camera lens holes. Some earlier leaks have displayed devices with dual speaker grills and no headphone jack--a first for the iPhone.
Again, just like any other report that is Apple-related, it's impossible to know whether the latest leak is real, a fake, or a prototype Apple tested in China but eventually threw out. As with any other Apple release, the company likely won’t say for sure until it’s on stage at a major event unveiling the new device.