Apple's senior vice president of industrial design Jony Ive is overhauling the system by dropping its current lifelike design in favour of a simpler interface, according to 9to5Mac.
Unnamed sources describe the new iOS 7 as "black, white, and flat all over," tipping new black-and-white user interface elements and a long-awaited move away from heavy textures. Speculation about changes to the next iteration of iOS began in November, when Apple dropped its top iOS chief, Scott Forstall, and added "Human Interface issues" to Ive's plate, sparking rumours that the end of skeuomorphism was nigh.
Citing sources familiar with Apple design meetings, 9to5Mac reported that many of the current textures — such as linen on the notifications panel and leather in the calendar app — will be replaced with flat black-and-white colouring.
iOS 7's makeover will also include a Lock screen facelift, according to the site. In place of the shiny, transparent time bar, there will be a shine-free black interface, while the usually square pin code grid will be replaced with round, black buttons with white text and borders.
Apple is reportedly also testing new panels for quick access to information, including a localised news feed in the Notification Center, as well as a dedicated panel for on-off toggling of Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode, and Bluetooth.
Current iOS 6 users, enjoy the look and feel of your home screen app icons and core Apple apps while you can. 9to5Mac reported that most of Apple's own content will be redesigned to fit the flatter, less-skeuomorphic designs, changes that will affect Mail, Calendar, Maps, and other core apps.
"For the upcoming operating system, Ive has not simply picked areas of the software design to tweak. He has essentially made his mark on every corner of the operating system, according to descriptions from sources, all while mostly keeping the essence of what has made iOS so ubiquitous," 9to5Mac reported.
With WWDC more than two weeks away, we can probably expect more rumours about iOS 7 to emerge before the official word comes down.
The annual conference will be held in San Francisco from 10-14 June 10-14; Apple has promised an in-depth look at "what's next in iOS and OS X," but we'll likely have to wait until autumn for a new iPhone device.