“Multiple sources at Japan’s Portable Audio Festival are reporting Apple is in discussions to add high resolution streaming audio to Apple Music in 2016,” Gordon Kelly writes for Forbes. “The reports claim Apple wants to implement 96kHz / 24-bit music streaming and is in deep discussions with headphone makers – and here’s the interesting part: the high res audio is specifically designed for use with headphones featuring Lightning connectors.”
“Needless to say, this also comes at a time when Apple has stepped up its marketing of Lightning headphones. JBL, Philips and yes, Beats are all now selling Lightning headphones which are being heavily promoted in Apple stores,” Kelly writes. “A great deal of marketing was also thrown behind the debut of Audeze’s $799.95 EL-8 Titanium Lightning headphones earlier this month. Clearly Lightning is being positioned as the high quality option.”
“Of course those serious about their audio will spot a flaw in this logic: the headphone jack is a standard which already supports high resolution audio,” Kelly writes. “That’s true, but it also misses a crucial point: Apple’s business logic.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The ability to have a shallower, smaller, potentially waterproof connector outweighs whatever licensing fees Apple may accrue. Apple has enough money. The don’t need Lightning licensing fees.
If and when Apple dumps the headphone jack for Lightning, it’ll be mainly about what the move offers in terms of design freedom for Jony Ive & Co., not about licensing fees.