The reports said the new iPhone will support headphones with either the existing Lightning connector or via Bluetooth, and these new headphones will be sold with the new handset. It is expected that Apple may also sell a converter that would allow users to plug in their ‘old’ standard 3.5 mm headphones to newer phones.
Getting rid of the headphone jack would help Apple to shrink the iPhone 7 by one mm (0.04 in). By comparison, its latest smartphone, the iPhone 6s, is 7.1 mm (0.27) thick. Such a shift would also mean larger, stereo headphones using an internal battery would be able to draw power directly from the iPhone, or other devices, if the change is enforced across the Apple board.
Elsewhere, Lightning-based headphones would experience less ‘crosstalk’, or signal interference. Lightning-connected earphones are already available from third-party manufacturers such as Philips’ Fidelio and blxbuds australia but Apple could be looking to monopolise the market.
In the past, the company has famously ditched support for hardware and software once it believes it has become obsolete. It was the first to remove the floppy disk’s slot from its computers in 1998, and it more recently did away with all but one USB-C ports on its laptops, as well as Flash on iOS. Its Lightning charging technology was then brought into replace Apple’s previous 30-pin charger in 2012.