Apple wants you to believe design is different on iPhone 7

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple introduces the new iPhone 7
Megan Hawkins | CNBC

Apple said again that it's serving up a new design for the iPhone.

CEO Tim Cook mentioned it multiple times at Wednesday's event in San Francisco.

But the device pretty much looks the same and has for three years now.

Apple is looking for any edge it can find with sales of its flagship product sliding in 2016. There are some new physical details. The company said on Wednesday in San Francisco that the iPhone 7 offers a new waterproof design, and it comes in some new colors including "jet black."

According to Daniel Ives of Synchronoss Technologies, Apple is betting on "interim releases" when compared to the "major hardware changes" that Samsung is pushing.

In reality, whatever new magic the iPhone 7 offers over its predecessors comes from enhanced software, camera features and processing power. There are plenty of new bells and whistles on the inside to potentially attract buyers, but the design is just a talking point.