Third iPhone's the Charm? Apple Reportedly Developing iPhone Pro

Senior Editor
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Maybe the next iPhones won't be the most earth-shattering released to come out of Cupertino, if rumors surrounding the iPhone 7 are anything to go by. But it looks like Apple may offer you plenty of new phones to choose from this fall.

An iPhone Pro could join Apple's current iPhone lineup.An iPhone Pro could join Apple's current iPhone lineup.That's the chatter coming out of Chinese microblogging service Weibo, where someone posted reported prices for the next round of iPhones. The alleged leak, spotted by PocketNow, shows three models, with a new iPhone Pro reportedly joining the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in Apple's phone lineup.

MORE: Why You Might Want to Skip iPhone 7 and Wait for 8

The prices listed in the Weibo post suggest that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will cost the same as their predecessors. The listed price for the base model of the iPhone 7 Pro comes in at $1,070, though that's inflated by import fees. Strip those out, PocketNow says in its report, and you've got a phone that will start around $850 — which would still make this rumored phone one of the more expensive models on the market.

The Weibo post, with translation from Google TranslateThe Weibo post, with translation from Google TranslateYou'll at least be getting a lot of storage for your buck. The post on Weibo claims the iPhone 7 base models will start with 32GB of storage. That's welcome news for those of us who think that 16GB is far too little storage in this age of 4K video and Live Photos.

While it may seem a leap of faith to put much stock in a post on a Chinese social network, part suppliers have been known to leak details about upcoming phone releases on Weibo. Also, rumors of an iPhone Pro have been percolating for about as long as chatter about the iPhone 7.

What's not clear at this point is how Apple might distinguish a Pro model of the iPhone from the rest of the lineup. One way might be size. The iPhone 6s Plus sports a 5.5-inch display, so a Pro model aimed at productivity mavens could go even bigger in the vein of Samsung's Galaxy Note phones. (The upcoming Note 7 will reportedly have a 5.8-inch screen, for example.)

Rumors about the iPhone 7 have focused on the device's rear camera — specifically that Apple may adopt a dual-camera setup which uses two lenses to collect more image data. Some analysts have thought Apple might restrict that feature to the larger of its iPhones, but it could turn out to be a way for Apple to make the iPhone Pro standout from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Another possibility is that the iPad Pro's Smart Connector works with the rumored iPhone Pro. That would provide a way to both charge the new phone attach accessories like a keyboard.

Of course, there may be some other way to make an iPhone Pro stand out from its fellow iPhones that we haven't thought of yet. Let us know what would make the iPhone Pro a must-buy for you in the comments.