Back in November we heard whispers from insiders that the 2016 iPhone models would ditch the standard 3.5mm headphone socket for a thinner alternative. Now fresh reports from China back up that original claim, and suggest Apple expects most people to use wireless headphones instead.
Indeed, Apple is going to produce wireless versions of its traditional EarPods, according to sources – and don't forget that Apple recently acquired Beats, a company with quite a few pairs of wireless headphones to its name.
Considering that the 3.5mm headphone jack has been around for such a long time, it does seem ripe for some kind of upgrade – the question is whether Apple would be able to convince everyone with a wired pair of headphones to swap them for something new.
Unwired for sound
Headphones with Lightning connectors would also be available as a wired option (as they already are), but again it would mean users shelling out for new audio kit.
On the plus side, ditching the traditional headphone jack would give Apple more room for other phone components, while possibly enabling it to make the iPhone even thinner than it already is.
If the rumours are true, we might also be in line for a new high-resolution wireless audio standard. Currently, Bluetooth audio can only be streamed in CD-level quality, so audiophiles are going to want an upgrade before they ditch the headphone cord completely.
We've still got nine months to go before a new pair of iPhones is expected, but the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed. You can visit our iPhone 7 hub for all the details of everything we think we know so far.
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