Here are the subtle changes you will see on the iPhone 7 – CNET

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The design changes to the iPhone 7 over the iPhone 6 shown here may be slight.

Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Buy an iPhone 7 later this year, and you may spot at least a few minor design changes.

Expected to launch in September, this year's iPhone will feature a longer ear speaker, according to a blog post Thursday by Japanese site Makotakara. Further, the ambient light sensor, which automatically adjusts the screen's brightness based on the surrounding light, will swap positions from the left to the right side of the phone.

The proximity sensor, which detects the distance between the phone and your ear, will adopt a "dual specification," according to Makotakara. This could mean the phone will have two such sensors to provide faster and more accurate readings. The rear camera face on the iPhone 7 will become larger. And the iPhone 7 Plus will sport a dual rear camera, according to the site, a rumor that has surfaced several times in the past.

Apple needs to entice consumers to buy the iPhone 7, especially in light of falling smartphone sales. But reports say this year's iPhone will offer only minor physical changes, and that next year's model will be the one to wow buyers with major new features and enhancements.

The tweaks claimed by Makotakara for the iPhone 7 come from makers of screen protectors and cases, who have reportedly stopped receiving orders in light of the changes. The modifications to the sensors and earpiece mean that screen protectors and cases designed for the iPhone 6 and 6S lineup would not fit, hence requiring a redesign of those accessories.

"While there may not be large design changes, it will probably be difficult to keep using the same cases and films," Makotakara said.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus may offer only one major hardware change, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday -- no more standard audio jack. Instead, Apple would use the Lightning port to pipe through audio. Asked why this year's phone will include no must-have new features, an Apple executive reportedly said that "the new technology in the pipeline will take time to implement."

Neither Apple nor Makotakara immediately responded to CNET's request for comment.

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