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Apple could change the size of the iPhone headphone jack – and annoy everyone

iPhone 6S
iPhone 6S

Apple caused a lot of controversy when it brought in the lightning adapter on the iPhone 5 – and it may pull a similar stunt next year with the headphone jack.

The company wants to make its phones thinner than ever, but some components of the iPhone can't be shrunk down – including the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple has patented a new technology for connecting your headphones, which may appear in the iPhone 7, in the form of what it's calling a 'D jack'. This has a diameter of 2mm, and would need a specific headphone connector.

Prepare for change

iPhone 7

It proves considerably thinner than other headphone connectors – especially the typical 3.5mm jack – but it'll mean replacing all your headphones that connect up to your iPhone or using an adapter, unless you've got Bluetooth earbuds.

The iPhone 7 is likely to be a major redesign of the iPhone 6S, so it wouldn't surprise us if Apple decided to go even thinner than before.

Back when we were waiting on the iPhone 6, the rumour was that Beats headphones would come with exclusive adapters for the lightning port as a further way to leverage the brand Apple spent $3.2 billion on. Perhaps that's set to change, and Beats will soon come with a D jack instead.

There's nothing official suggesting this, but without moving Beats headphones onto a new adapter it would be difficult for the company to justify the change.

Dropping down to a smaller headphone jack would be another hurdle jumped in the race to make the phone thinner. Even though this patent has only just been released it was filed by Apple back in May 2011, so if Apple's planning on using it, it's possible we'll see something soon.

Via Apple Insider

James Peckham

James is Phones Editor for TechRadar and covers all the big announcements from the best manufacturers making mobile phones, tablets and wearables. Based in London, James is often testing out the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, VR headsets and - when he can be motivated to go outside - fitness bands. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest from the mobile world.