Apple will drop headphone jack to make the iPhone 7 super slim, source confirms; wireless charging and waterproof, too

“Apple’s next big phone — presumably called the iPhone 7 — will come without a 3.5mm headphone jack, will be noticeably thinner, will very likely support wireless charging and be waterproof,” Mark Sullivan reports for Fast Company, citing “a source with knowledge of the company’s plans.”

“Our source confirms that the new phone will rely on its Lightning cable port for sound output to wired headphones. That port has been used for power and data transfer in recent iPhones,” Sullivan reports. “Users can also use wireless headphones.”

“Apple is working with its longtime audio chip partner Cirrus Logic to adapt the audio chipset in the iPhone to work with the Lightning port, according to our source,” Sullivan reports. “Numerous third-party headphone makers will use the technology in their own Lightning-compatible headphones, our source says, and they’ll have to buy a license to use the audio processing technology.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds for some time now (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones). They work perfectly with our Apple Watch and iPhone 6s Plus units.

Of interest: Apple Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”

Apple’s patent abstract: A monitoring system that can be placed proximate to the head or ear of a user is disclosed. According to one embodiment, the monitoring system can be used with headphones, earbuds or headsets. The monitoring system can, for example, be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities. The positioning of the monitoring system can also facilitate sensing of other user characteristics (e.g., biometric data), such as temperature, perspiration and heart rate. The monitoring system can also be used to control a an electronic device. In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures. More info here.

From your ear to your wrist in the blink of an eye™.

SEE ALSO:
Petition demands Apple keep 3.5mm headphone jack in the ‘iPhone 7’ – January 7, 2016
More reports claim Apple has dumped the 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 – January 5, 2016
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may be poised to kill off the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 7, 2014
Apple may ditch analog 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning to make thinner devices – June 6, 2014
Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, iOS software update to deliver support – June 5, 2014
Apple preps HD audio for iOS 8 plus new Apple In-Ear Headphones and lightning cable – May 13, 2014
Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014
Apple paves way for more affordable iOS accessories with lower MFi and Lightning licensing fees – February 7, 2014

27 Comments

  1. If iPhone charging will be wireless — not sure about it since it requires radio-transparent “window” on the phone, so full-metal unibody cases are impossible — then in some distant future new generations of iPhone can come without any jacks/connectors at all. Users will never have to plug in their phones in anything any more.

    1. Not true. Most metals don’t block magnetic fields (what are used for inductive charging). Conductive metals block electric fields and electromagnetic fields (which require an electric field component).

    2. No..you won’t have to plug it in. With a power cord, you can still pick up the phone and use it. With inductive charging , the phone is stuck on a charge base..and it stays there…so, you can’t have your phone charging in the car unless you bring a charging plate, and will be hovering over you phone checking emails if you lose power but still need to use it..and instead of having a cable on you, or have one at work/home..you will be lugging around a charge station..or have to buy extra just to have one at work/home.

    1. They will be replaced with wireless readers. They will need to be replaced anyway, in order to be able to read cards with chips, as well as accept ApplePay.

      Square sells the wireless devices for very little ($20 – 50, depending on functionality). The more expensive model works with ApplePay. Paypal’s device is also $50, and accepts chip and contactless (including ApplePay).

      Everyone is moving away from those free magstripe card readers that plug into the mic port, so this is not really going to be a major issue for any decent business.

  2. I would much MUCH rather have more battery life than a thinner phone. Ive and Cook seem to forget that form follows function not the other way around. I am increasingly disappointed with Apple and I have been a user since the summer of 1984.

  3. This is just another money grab by Tim Cook.

    He loves removing perfectly working ports so that he can charge you for an adapter.

    We all know how he works now!

    I hope the stock goes fo 5 bucks, if they don’t get rid of this clown soon!

    1. Erm Tim does not design the products or its features. Jonny Ives team does the designing so what they say goes!!! You might want to do your research before posting comments like that.

    2. Yeah, Jony designs the products. No one apparently remembers how the world was going to stop when Apple switched to USB from SCSI, ADB and serial ports. That was Steve’s doing, so the trend is from Steve, not Tim.

    3. Apple has ALWAYS been this way. They’ve never been afraid to ditch a connection standard for their propietary, often superior method. They drag the rest of their respective industries into the future, kicking and screaming. Are you a recent Apple fan or something?

      1. You almost had me until “often superior method”. I do not FEAR the loss of the headphone jack but I do DREAD have to always have a “dongle” handy to use my Bowers and Wilkens headphones or to use a cheap set of earbuds when I forget to charge my LG bluetooth headset.

    1. Don’t go wild just because it’s digital. Digital can suck too. And, at some point it has to be converted to analog so you can hear it. This still has to happen if you have a speaker in the phone, so I’m not sure how much space it’s saving other than the jack itself.

    2. You’re ears are basically two analog ports. For the foreseeable future humans will need an analog connection.

      All you’re actually doing is moving the DAC and amplifier closer to your ears.

  4. The EU’s 2020 requirement of mini USB standard could be part of it. When Apple, and everyone else, will have to change this could be a new use for Lighting. I believe Apple will push USB-C as the standard. With Thunderbolt 3 going to USB-C connector this would make a lot of sense. Lightning could become the new audio standard.

    Lightning has a lot of advantages for audio. It can power noise canceling headphones, give better range of sound, hook up to 5.1, have better microphones, more controls, just a few ideas.

      1. If it was easy, why hasn’t someone already done it? There are a number of possible advantages to the Lightning connector, and making it waterproof is just one.

        I remember how many people complained when the Mac didn’t have a drive for an 8 inch floppy, when they dropped the mini-floppy, when they dropped the super drive, and when they went to a flatter graphics style. About the only one of these things you’ll find on a competitor’s machine that you won’t find on an iMac is an occasional super drive.

        1. “If it was easy, why hasn’t someone already done it?”

          Well, since they are speculating that Apple will be the first to implement this, that might have something to do with it. Did that little tidbit fly over your head?

      2. The 3.5mm audio jack is as easy or easier to waterproof than the Lightning connector.

        If you want to see what a waterproof 3.5mm jack looks like, just go to WaterFi.

        Hint: it looks just like any other 3.5mm jack.

  5. no wonder apple shares are falling. is beats proving a dud investment so now they have to prop up that business with this stupid idea.

    being thin has nothing to do with this decision. the ipod touch is very thin and has a headphone jack. its all about selling new beats and adapters.

  6. Forward modern progress, and the first to do so.
    Anyone who is griping about their old analog stereo mini plug port can easily buy a small lightning adapter and use that. Bluetooth and lightning is the way to go in 2016.
    If you need your old tech, then buy an adapter. Quit being a ball and chain, like Flash was

  7. Nobody who cares about audio quality, battery life, or convenience of living without adapters thinks this is a good idea. Apple’s trying to solve a problem nobody has. I am sick and tired of Apple’s overzealous attempts every three years to move everyone to at least one new new connector or, worse, some piss-poor wireless “connectivity” that doesn’t work reliably.

    Apple needs to get its house in order. The shoddy quality 3.5mm jacks that Apple uses in many of its iPhones are already notorious for triggering Siri or stopping playback. Just read the Apple support forums or look at youtube — THAT is a known problem. Ditching a reliable, bombproof, inexpensive, ubiquitous connector that works great everywhere else is not progress.

    http://www.audioholics.com/editorials/apple-wages-war-on-3.5-mm-jack-promotes-planned-obsolescence

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