Every year around this time, speculation over the next generation iPhone hits the Interwebs with a fervor. And while most of the iPhone 7 rumors so far have been less-than-impressive, one that has haunted current iPhone owners grows stronger: Apple’s desire to rid the device of the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Lightning-based headphones are the future, it would seem. And if the below video is to be believed, the future will arrive next month with the introduction of Lightning EarPods.
Apple has long been rumored to be looking into dropping the classic headphone port, going back to its 2014 acquisition of Beats. Without it, the company could provide iPhone owners a slimmer version of its flagship device at some point (note: this doesn’t mean a slimmer phone would come right away, as there’s still other technical considerations to take into account). The Wall Street Journal reports that doing rid of the headphone jack could also improve the iPhone’s water-resistance.
Though some purported “leaked” photos of the iPhone 7 are showing no headphone jack, there have been conflicting images popping up on Chinese social media site Weibo. If Apple does choose to get rid of the 3.5mm slot entirely, chances are high that a 3.5mm-to-Lightning connector will be included with the purchase of the latest phone; though, there’s still bound to be complaints, as there were when Apple switched to Lightning in the first place.
It does mean a major change for future iPhone owners, and anyone who’s shelled out big-bucks for third-party headphones. Again, an adaptor helps—but an additional accessory gives way to a whole host of new problems, including cost, damage, and potential loss (of both the accessory & sound quality).
Also, if Apple is indeed waiting for 2017 to introduce wireless charging for the iPhone, those wishing to listen to music while charging their device will be out-of-luck (or, will need to purchase another, yet-to-be developed accessory). It’s possible the company has moved-up their timeline on this feature—and, if so, excellent—but, if not, it’s hard to imagine that the 3.5mm jack will be gone entirely until that is ready.
We likely won’t be waiting long to find out. If history tells us anything, the iPhone 7 will be out sometime in late September. In the meantime, you can check out all of the features iOS 10 will have to offer here.