It’s sounding more and more like Apple is preparing to make a big change in the iPhone 7 — ditching the headphone jack altogether.
Back in November 2015, rumours swirled that the Cupertino company was considering removing the 3.5mm jack from the upcoming smartphone, slated to go on sale in Autumn 2016. Instead, users would be forced to move to wireless headphones, or use a wired pair compatible with the Lightning port.
The logic is that by removing the jack, Apple can make the iPhone even thinner, as right now its existence puts a limit on the minimum thickness of the device.
Chinese-language site Anzhou is now also reporting that the rumour is true, based on “supply chain sources.” (We saw the news over on Mac blog 9to5Mac.)
If it happens, the move is guaranteed to be controversial. Just about every wired headphone set currently on the market will become incompatible (though Apple may also release a Lightning-to-3.5mm-jack-converter to ease the transition).
But Apple is no stranger to aggressively abandoning standards. From the floppy disk to the CD drive, Apple has repeatedly been one of the first to reject technologies that it views as obsolete. And in the most recent MacBook, it jettisoned every port — including the charger — in favour of a single USB-C port and a headphone jack.
Apple abandoning the ancient 3.5mm audio jack — which has its origins in the Nineteenth century — doesn’t seem so out of character.
The iPhone 7 is also currently rumoured to have up to 256GB of internal storage, and a beefy 3,100mAh battery.