iPhone 7 Could Ditch 3.5mm Audio Jack, According to Supply Chain
Music has been an increasingly important part of Apple’s business as the company completely reinvented the music buying wheel with its iTunes digital storefront. Most recently, the company also shook things up with the launch of its Apple Music streaming service, challenging the likes of Spotify with a paid-for service that also bundles access to Beats 1 radio station as well. Apple’s next move, however, may prove to be more divisive than revolutionary as the company is reportedly planning to ditch the 3.5mm audio jack with the iPhone 7.
The information was initially reported by Japanese publication Macotakara, which detailed Apple’s plans to get rid of the audio jack all the way back in November, but that info has now been backed up by a tipster who has posted on Chinese social media site Weibo (via GadgetzArena). The leaker claims that Apple’s plan to drop the audio jack from the iPhone 7 has been confirmed by the supply chain of the upcoming handset, and that instead of the traditional 3.5mm audio jack, wired headphones will connect to the iPhone 7 via the Lightning port which is also used to charge the iPhone.
Moreover, the report claims that to set aside concerns that iPhone 7 users will be unable to charge the phone and listen to music at the same time, the handset will ship with a wireless Bluetooth headset. Given that many low and mid-range wireless headsets don’t have Bluetooth built in (and use a USB stick for the connection instead) and traditional wired ones do not have a Lightning connection, obviously this rumor is being met with great concern. If Apple’s bundled Bluetooth headset breaks, then these cheaper headphones will not work as a replacement (as they are), and the only way to get them to work will be with an adapter, but this could also be pricey and it could drain the iPhone’s battery too. And on top of this, the Lightning headphones are unlikely to work with PCs or any non-Apple products.
One possible reason for the decision is that Apple owns (maker of high-end wireless headphones) Beats and that the company also wants to make the iPhone 7 thinner than its predecessor. However, this too causes great concern as not only could this make the iPhone 7 much harder to hold (and therefore more prone to being dropped) but iPhone Bendgate is still fresh in people’s minds, and so some users fear that this may cause the iPhone 7 to be more bendy as well.
While the speculation is unconfirmed (and should be taken with a grain of salt) there is also the possibility that this will drive customers to purchase Android smartphones instead. Android phones were already an alluring prospect because of the lower price and with headphones getting a price hike too, some Apple users may jump ship because of (alleged) change.
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