Apple rolled out the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, in China and India.
Apple rolled out the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, in China and India.Reuters

Speculations on Apple's upcoming flagship smartphone, the iPhone 7 has started though it is a year to go before being launched. Its release date is expected to fall in the third quarter of 2016 with the Cupertino giant likely to unveil the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus later this year.

It was earlier reported that the iPhone 7 might see the light of day in the third quarter of this year by the time the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus completes a year cycle. However, Apple Insider reported citing a source that Apple is releasing the iPhone 6s and perhaps the iPhone 6S Plus with Apple SIM (universal SIM card) pre-installed this year, throwing up the possibility that the next-generation smartphone might come only next year.

Apple is also planning to release a device with Intel's 7360 LTE wireless modem chip in 2016, according to a report by Venture Beat, and this device is believed to be the iPhone 7.

Meanwhile, Apple fans will be looking for at least 10 major features in the iPhone 7 when it is released:

1) Design: Apple Inc. hasn't tried a curved screen, so many iPhone fans might expected the next flagship smartphone to go for a major change. There is possibility of following the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge design, as Apple has already applied for curved screen technology.

3) Memory: The Cupertino giant will be expected to increase memory, both internal and RAM, in its next-generation device. Fans will be expecting at least 2GB RAM, as it is needed for multi-tasking.

4) Battery: Apple's iPhone users have been complaining about short battery life of the devices but the company has not brought much change. The current flagship device – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – came with improved battery but it's not enough. Users will be satisfied only if the new device comes with 3,000 mAh battery.

5) Sapphire Crystal Glass: There was so much around iPhone 6 because of rumors that it would be protected by unbreakable sapphire crystal glass, which is second only to diamond in hardness. However, fans were disappointed when it was not seen in the device. Users will now expect the feature to be introduced in the upcoming device though it might come with a huge price tag considering the cost of the material.

6) Wireless Charging: Some may argue that wireless charging feature is not very necessary but people, who are used to this facility, will miss it as they can charge their device without taking the trouble of connecting with a cable. Google Nexus and Samsung devices have this feature, so Apple fans will expect it in the new device.

7) Waterproof: Mobile users do take care of their devices but one can't rule out that they won't drop their devices onto the floor or bathroom. There are a few devices in the market that are waterproof – at least to some extent. So, the next iPhone with this feature will be welcomed.

8) Camera: iPhone devices are lagging behind when it comes to camera pixel. The iPhone 6 came with 8 MP main camera and 1.2 MP front snapper compare to Samsung Galaxy S6's 16 MP rear camera and 5 MP front snapper. So, Apple fans will be looking forward to see more pixel in the upcoming devices.

9) Screen Resolution: The iPhone 6 comes with 326 ppi pixel density, while its arch rival Samsung Galaxy S6 has 577 ppi pixel density. Mobile phone users will see a huge difference in picture clearity of these devices. Apple Inc. need to improve screen resolution of its upcoming devices.

10) Force Touch Display: Apple is introducing Force Touch display technology in its upcoming smartwatch, so its fans will expect the same in the iPohone 7 too. The technology will help game lovers in particular.