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What to expect from the iPhone 7 launch

While expectations are low for Apple's newest iPhone, there are a few new bells and whistles predicted for the devices expected to drop at the company's Wednesday event.

What's new

Apple has been secretive about what's in store for the gathering in San Francisco, but analysts and reporters have their own ideas on what is conventionally the launch of new holiday-season devices.

The new iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 7, isn't expected to look radically different, The Wall Street Journal reports, with the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens as on the iPhone 6.

But Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said he expects some features of the old phones to be removed, such as the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and the two inner-most antenna lines on the back of the device. Apple's also expected to add a pressure-sensitive "home" button, a faster processor and a secondary grille for either an additional speaker or microphone, Gurman reports, with a new dual-lens camera system on the 5.5-inch "Plus" model.

Apple is expected to ship the device with Lightning headphones and a dongle adapter to connect old headphones to the Lightning port, according to a report from Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves on Aug. 31. There's also potential support for a contactless Japanese-style payments system, FeliCa, according to Gurman.

Earlier this summer, supply chain checks by Deutsche Bank indicated that "professional class" waterproofing, stereo sound and a darker color option could also be afoot in the iPhone 7. The starting point for storage on the new entry-level iPhone could be 32 GB, up from 16 GB, according to an earlier report by the Journal.

Those darker colors could include "dark black" and "piano black," while the phone would come with EarPod headphones with a Lightning connector and 3.5-millimeter adapter, notable KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo said, according to The Verge. The phones' performance could also be improved by more RAM, a better color display, improved sensors and a better camera flash, especially on the "plus" model, The Verge reported.

A new Apple Watch is slated to include a GPS chip, a faster processor and battery life improvements, Gurman reports. Meanwhile, software updates announced at Apple's developers' conference should roll out, and new Macs and iPad features may break out after Wednesday's event.

Why it matters

After Apple made its mark revolutionizing the music, tablet and mobile phone markets, investors are asking whether the company can cling to its penchant for innovation.

Ahead of the busy holiday shopping season, Apple's dominance as one of the world's richest companies hangs in large part on the sales of its devices. IPhone sales are expected to decline 12 percent in the September quarter when compared with sales in the September 2015 quarter, according to FactSet data.

"Although it has become a challenge to guess the features of new Apple products, what matters more to investors is figuring out how much the products will sell after introduction," wrote UBS analyst Steven Milunovich.

— CNBC's Harriet Taylor contributed to this report.