Two of the biggest rumours about the iPhone 7 just got a bit more evidence to back them up.
Fast Company has published a report, based on a source “with knowledge of the company’s plans,” that Apple is planning to kill off the headphone jack in its next smartphone — and make it waterproof.
First up, the headphone jack: This has been rumoured for a while. Apple is apparently mulling over ditching the traditional 3.5mm audio jack. By doing so, it can make the iPhone thinner, while users will be forced to switch to wireless headphones or use a pair compatible with the device’s Lightning port.
The most recent report on this came via Chinese-language site Anzhou earlier this week, which cited “supply chain sources” as the basis of its information.
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 second rumour in Fast Company’s report is that Apple is also considering making the iPhone waterproof.
There has been speculation on this for a while, based on the fact that the iPhone 6s is significantly more waterproof than its predecessors due to the inclusion of new seals and gaskets — but Apple never advertised this. It may be that the company was quietly experimenting before a proper launch of the feature in the next-generation iPhone.
In December 2015, The Commercial Times also reported that Apple is considering making its next device 7 waterproof.
Apple releases its iPhones on a yearly tick-tock cycle. One year, it releases a major upgrade with a design overhaul (the iPhone 4, 5, 6); the next, it releases an -s device with incremental changes and improved guts (the iPhone 4s, 5s, 6s).
The 7, expected to launch in September 2016, is also rumoured to be getting an upgraded screen, and might even remove the home button altogether.
Fast Company also reports Apple is looking into wireless charging and noise-cancelling headphones.