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Analyst suggests next year’s iPhone line-up will be more diverse

It still feels a little early for rumors about the next iPhone, but early reports suggest next year’s smartphone line-up will feature a more powerful iPhone 7 Plus with additional RAM – and possibly a smaller, budget model to round off the set.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a great track record for rumors, correctly predicting the details of the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro prior to Apple’s last big launch event. He has links with suppliers and claims to have information about the next lineup of iPhones, likely to launch in September 2016.

Kuo says that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will both feature a powerful new processing chip, likely to be called the A10. However, the larger ‘Plus’ model will also get a memory bump to 3GB RAM to boost performance, with the smaller model keeping the same 2GB RAM as the current iPhones.

This would further differentiate the larger model from the standard sized iPhone. Aside from the screen size, the current-generation iPhone 6s Plus only differs from the iPhone 6s in relatively minor ways – it features image stabilization and landscape mode. The internal specifications have always been the same in the regular and plus-sized models, but perhaps we’ll be seeing a divergence from that trend next Fall.

Unlike this year’s iPhone update, next Fall’s iPhone 7 is expected to be completely redesigned aesthetically, though Kuo doesn’t yet have any information about the looks of the upcoming smartphones. He does expect the iPhone 7 to be the thinnest ever, claiming that Apple is “aiming to make the 2016 upgrade as thin as 6mm.”

Lastly, Kuo also suggests that Apple could be on track to release a new 4-inch iPhone next year. Many customers miss the option of a smaller-sized handset – there hasn’t been one since 2013’s iPhone 5s, but perhaps 2016 could be the year we see a return to that form factor. Apple toyed with a “budget” option before with the 5c – will we see them try it again to offer more choice?