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Apple launches water-resistant iPhone 7, kills the headphone jack

Promising, unsurprisingly, to be "the best iPhone that we have ever created", the iPhone 7 claims ten key new features, including a new design, new home button and IP76 water and dust resistance.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come in new colours for Apple, including a new jet black finish, and are designed with a high-gloss, seamless unibody design, glass, aluminium and stainless steel.

The new iPhone 7 home button is 'customisable', with force sensitive control and new, more responsive taptic feedback, which can be programmed by third party apps.

There's a new Retina HD display for the new iPhones, promising to be 25 per cent brighter, adheres to the wide colour gamut cinema P3 standard and has a 3D Touch layer.

Apple also confirmed the removal of the headphone jack, focusing instead on the Lightning connection for audio.

MORE: iPhone 7 hands-on review

MORE: iPhone 7 Plus hands-on review

The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will come with bundled new Lightning EarPods, as well as an adaptor for connecting 3.5mm headphones. Also new were the AirPods - Apple's completely wireless earphones.

The AirPods will cost £159, the Lightning EarPods will be £29 when sold separately, and the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adaptor will cost £9.

And for the first time there are stereo speakers on an iPhone, promising twice the volume.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cameras get a big update too, with new optical image stabilisation, a wider aperture lens and a new 12-megapixel wide colour capture sensor. Faster, more energy efficient, the iPhone 7 camera sports a Quad LED true tone flash.

iPhone 7 Plus adds a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, allowing you to use both cameras to capture images. Both phones have 7-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras.

MORE: Apple AirPods hands-on review

There's a new Apple A10 Fusion Chip - "the most powerful chip ever in a phone" - that promises to run twice as fast as the iPhone 6, while using less power.

There are new finishes, too, an anodised matte black and a jet black.

In a strange turn of events, Apple's official Twitter account sent out a tweet went at the start of the event, before Tim Cook, Apple CEO, had announced the new iPhone 7.

As well as a water-resistant body, the tweet - now deleted - appeared to show that Apple has indeed removed the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple also confirmed the new iPhone 7 has stereo speakers, new cameras and a "longer battery".

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in silver, gold, rose gold and the new black finish in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models starting at £599. The new jet black finish will be offered exclusively on the 128GB and 256GB models.

The iPhone 7 will be available from 16th September.

MORE: Apple Lightning headphones and the iPhone 7: what you need to know

Joe Cox

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys mixing vinyl and cycling.