A new report from The Wall Street Journal is adding weight to several recent rumors suggesting that the next-generation iPhone, expected to be released this fall, will see only subtle changes, essentially breaking Apple’s two-year iPhone redesign cycle. Citing sources familiar with the matter, as well as other recent analysts, the WSJ is confirming with some confidence that Apple’s long-rumored plans to drop the headphone jack are likely to come to fruition with this next-generation model, but that any other large changes will be held back to 2017 — the year that also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the release of the original iPhone.
The article notes, however, that it’s unclear whether the move to a three-year redesign cycle this time around is a sign of things to come, or only a temporary situation. The WSJ’s sources note that at least part of the reason for the delay at this juncture is that Apple has technology lined up for the redesign that it simply isn’t ready to incorporate into this year’s models. Other recent reports have suggested that Apple has big plans for the 2017 release, possibly including an edge-to-edge OLED screen and building the Touch ID sensor into the display, and Apple CEO Tim Cook recently hinted at “great innovation” in the pipeline for future iPhone models, stating that Apple is “going to give you things that you can’t live without that you just don’t know you need today.” Similarly, the report notes that Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive has long expressed interest in a design that would reduce the iPhone aesthetic to a “single sheet of glass.”