Apple has been consistent with its iPhone release dates, dropping the last four models in early September. Should history repeat itself, the odds are likely that the iPhone 7 2016 release date in the U.S. is set for September. As 9To5Mac reports, industry analyst of KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the device will land in stores during Q3 of 2016.

You may be an Android or Window Phone user thinking about making the leap to iOS, or you could be an Apple loyalist rocking an iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S or iPhone 6. No matter which prospective buyer profile you fit, you may be thinking about either upgrading to an iPhone 6S or waiting for the iPhone 7. With end of year holiday sales and carrier deals in your ear tempting you to upgrade, keep in mind that a good smartphone should last you about two years. Most phones surpass the two year guideline as a result of manufacturers producing higher quality devices these days. Mobile users who are less anxious to upgrade their device tend to notice and really feel the enhancements of a new phone over those who upgrade hastily.

Rumors surrounding the upcoming Apple iPhone 7 flagship hint at new features and specs that will enhance the smartphone's overall design and functionality. According to AppleInsider, the Cupertino tech giant filed a patent application that suggests the iPhone 7 could be water and dust resistant. Should a weatherproof iPhone 7 land next year, it's definitely worth waiting for if you're accident prone and notorious for dropping your phone into the toilet or losing it in the ocean. Illustrations from the Apple filing depict a mobile device simulating a pair of headphones and a USB cord connecting to it. Coincidently, the image debunks the circulating iPhone 7 rumor that Apple has plans to omit the 3.5 mm headphone jack in favor of an all-in-one Lightning/audio connector.

There's a report that says Apple may switch to glass-on-glass touch panels for the iPhone 7, enabling an edge-to-edge display. Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo disagrees with this rumor which comes out of an Asian supply chain. Predictions are that Apple intends to make the new iPhone 7 unibody design just as thin as the iPod touch, between 6mm-6.5mm. To achieve this, Apple must continue with in-cell panels for the iPhone screen's construction. Other rumored iPhone 7 specs include an A10 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 3D Touch, a 12MP main camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. There will likely be two iPhone 7 models including a 4.7-inch display model and an iPhone 7 Plus 5.5-inch version, no surprise there. In comparison, the iPhone 6S sports nearly identical hardware specs rumored for its successor. The iPhone 6S features a 4.7-inch display, an A9 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 3D Touch, a 12MP main camera and 5MP front facing camera. Minus the rumored water resistant feature, you could say the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 are practically the same phone with an upgraded CPU.

As for the retail price of the iPhone 7, you can expect similar pricing to that of the iPhone 6. The next-gen iPhone could have a starting price of $549 for the 4.7-inch 16GB iPhone 7 and $649 for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. Until its official 2016 reveal, iPhone 7 release date news, specs, leaked images and videos being spotted in the wild are imminent. Take every bit of them with a proverbial grain of salt as you weigh your options and decide to either buy an iPhone 6S or wait for the iPhone 7.