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Apple is trying to decide between 3 different designs for the iPhone 7

Tim CookGetty Images, Justin SullivanApple CEO Tim Cook

Apple’s iPhone 7 is still several months away from its launch, but new details about the forthcoming smartphone are starting to leak out.

According to the very reliable Mark Gurman, of 9to5 Mac, Apple is currently testing three different designs for the next iPhone, but has not yet selected which one will be the final design for the phone’s expected Fall launch. Apple will also ditch the 3.5 mm headphone jack, according to Gurman, which seems to confirm what previous reports have suggested.

Among the three different handset designs Apple is currently testing is a “completely new, thinner look,” according to Gurman, as well as a “backup” design that resembles the existing iPhone 6S. The latter would mark something of a lacklustre update, at least from an aesthetic perspective, given that Apple typically unveils a deeper redesign for the models that follow the S versions of the phone.

And with growing worries on Wall Street that Apple’s iPhone business could face its first ever year-on-year sales decline, Apple needs a sexy new phone to revamp consumer interest.

One big change coming with the iPhone 7 however may be new wireless Beats earphones that Apple wants to launch alongside the phone, according to the report. The Bluetooth earphones will apparently be sold separately and will be completely wireless (i.e. no wires to the phone and no wires between the left and right earpieces).

Wireless earphones are a relatively new technology that has so far been pioneered by smaller companies like Bragi and Skybuds. And there are various engineering and design challenges inherent in creating them, including the fact that a Bluetooth radio signal cannot travel through a person’s body from one earbud to the next.

Read Gurman’s full report here >>

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