Apple’s newest iPhone will be water resistant and come without a headphone socket, the firm has confirmed. The tech giant unveiled the iPhone 7 and its 10 major new features in San Francisco on Wednesday.
Both the camera and speakers will be “hugely advanced”, Apple chief executive Tim Cook confirmed at a live conference.
The phone will also have better graphics and a more responsive home button.
And, in what will be a huge plus for millions of users, battery life has been improved.
Storage capacity has been upgraded to start at 32GB, and users who want more can choose between 128GB and 256GB.
Following a leak on Twitter earlier in the day, most of the announcements were not too much of a surprise to fans.
Several tweets about the new features, put out accidentally on Apple’s recently activated account before the official event, were later deleted.
At the launch, Mr Cook told the audience the iPhone had become the “industry gold standard” and the smartphone “by which all others are measured”.
The new camera – particularly a second ‘telephoto’ lens on the larger iPhone 7 Plus – will enable people to create much better, sharper images, he said.
The removal of the headphone jack will perhaps be the biggest change for consumers.
New devices will come with earphones that connect to the iPhone’s Lightning connection, currently used for charging and data transfer.
Adaptors will also be included to give traditional users the opportunity to connect with existing headphones.
However, those who want to go wireless will be able to do so using “breakthrough” wireless ‘AirPods’, which are priced at $159 (£119) and will be available from October.
Tech reviewers were quick to give their thoughts on the new design – with the loss of the headphone socket being the biggest talking point.
Giving its early verdict, Tech Radar said: “Apple’s gone for a polished, iterative phone and has succeeded in a number of areas – it’s a quality handset and not one that many expected given the leaks.
“However, there aren’t a lot of hugely standout features – but all the ones that were there now shine.”
“Bob O’Donnell, of research firm TECHnalysis, said: “While the camera improvements for the iPhone 7 Plus are nice, they are incremental for most and the lack of headphone jacks could offset that for others.”
Mike Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments LLC in Minneapolis, said the disappearance of the headphone jack “will probably annoy a certain amount of people” but they would likely get over it.
“Every other release tends to be a better release. Most people’s two-year contracts are nearing the end, so I think the iPhone 7, just from a replacement basis, will be a successful launch,” he said.
Sky Technology Correspondent Tom Cheshire said while he would miss his headphone jack, he was impressed by the advancement.
“AirPods, introduced as standard, open up a new way of interacting with our phones – aural augmented reality,” he said.
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“Like the film Her, we’re plausibly at the beginning of a scenario where we wake up, put our headphones in and leave them in all day, using them with Siri to interact with the world.”
The new phone will cost from $649 in the US and £599 in the UK, with the Plus 7 starting at $749 (£719 in the UK).
It is available for pre-order from 9 September and on sale from 16 September.
A new version of the Apple Watch, called the Series 2 and with greater focus on health and exercise tracking, was also announced.