iPhone 7 said to be waterproof, replace 3.5mm headphone jack with Apple’s Lightning

“Apple’s next iPhone will reportedly be the first to sport wireless charging, according to a report,” Rhiannon Williams reports for The Telegraph. “Support for the QI charging technology, which charges phones when they are placed on and inductive pad, will feature in the new model, a source told Fast Company.”

“The iPhone 7 will also boast a waterproof body thanks to chemical coating and will do away with the iPhone’s headphone jack, as previously reported,” Williams reports. “The Apple Watch was the company’s first product with inbuilt inductive charging, which uses a magnetic connector that snaps onto the back of the device. Should Apple choose to incorporate the technology, iPhone owners could take advantage of Ikea’s wireless charging furniture range, alongside charging hubs in Starbucks and McDonalds across the country.”

“The decision to remove the headphone jack in order to create a thinner body would prove a controversial one. The company would presumably include new wireless headphones with the new handset, or a pair of headphones which connect to the phone through a lightning connector,” Williams reports. “The source added the company was likely to incorporate noise-cancelling technology from UK audio company Wolfson Microelectronics which aim to eliminate background noise.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is often the first to abandon outdated technology. Apple will take the hit for everyone else as they did when they eschewed the floppy, SCSI, the optical drive, Adobe’s Flash, etc.

Yes, Lightning can allow for thinner designs. Lighting is also digital. It can deliver power to noise-canceling headphones. Plus, Apple might be working on even more cool things for Lightning earphones: Witness 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™.

Plus, if you’d prefer no wires at all, you can do as we do and go Bluetooth. We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds for some time now (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones). They’re easy to charge, light and comfortable, and work perfectly with our Apple Watches and iPhone 6s Plus units.

SEE ALSO:
The fastest Lightning cable is also one of the least expensive – January 8, 2016
Apple will drop headphone jack to make the iPhone 7 super slim, source confirms; wireless charging and waterproof, too – January 7, 2016
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

20 Comments

  1. Don’t companies have to pay Apple licensing fees to use the iPhone lightening hardware? Apple-only headphones?? Doesn’t make sense. Maybe USB3..but not a proprietary connection for the most ubiquitous phone accessory.

    1. In my opinion, if they can’t supply you with some sort of Apple branded replacement for earphones with purchase of an iPhone 7, they shouldn’t ditch the 3.5mm audio jack. Sorry MDN, I refuse to pay $150 for a pair of headphones just because they’re wireless.

      1. I can’t believe anyone out there actually doubts that an iPhone would be sold with headphones. Selling a phone without a headset would certainly be the first, not just for the iPhone, but for practically ANY smartphone today! Obviously, not going to happen ever.

        Your new iPhone seven will likely have the same EarPods as did the old ones; the connector will be lightning, instead of 3.5mm. Why is this so impossible to imagine?

  2. Ya know, they could do the following.

    Replace the lightning connector with pizza. everyone loves pizza.

    Create no smoking zones on the bezzles.

    Replace screens with swimming pools.

    Create an app to automatically produce hot dogs on demand.

  3. The first to replace outdated technology.

    3.5mm jack does not fit the definition of outdated technology. It’s not even technical. It’s a specification you can scratch out on a rock. Apple has added technology to the 3.5mm jack in the form of serial I/O, where digital data can be transferred.

    If the story is true, there are quite a few non-headphone related products and functions they have made incompatible in addition to more expensive. The 3.5mm connector, didn’t require a license, unless that’s not true. But certainly the Lightning adaptor is more complicated to make in addition to paying a license “officially” to Apple, as we know some Chineses manufactures don’t. Which means everything that connects to Apple will be proprietary. A bunch of single tasking sh:t. It will work well and be more secure, but I have never heard of data along the 3.5mm jack being compromised.

    The thin iPod Touch has both a 3.5mm jack and lightning, while lasting 10 hours, whiteout issue. What Apple has to worry about is getting the camera to fit in. The thickness is not that important anymore.

    I suggest this is more BS writing, or its some crazy ass decision to get more money from industry partners.

    1. Apple infamously does not transition very well anymore, they just “ship” and expect everyone else to follow them. Whereas they should be transitioning technology steadily, not simply dumping the old standard in favor of new and shiny. Sometimes they have better ideas, but they don’t implement them very well (FireWire, Thunderbolt, new Macbook, trashcan Mac Pro). Other times they have really shitty ideas (.Mac/MobileMe, Ping, iPod socks, new Final Cut Pro, current version of iTunes, trashcan Mac Pro, I’m a bit bitter, can’t you tell…) and no one cares or is disgruntled. But for the most part they have sensible ideas and products that do work. I’m just a very old school Mac user.

      Like the MacBook with the single USB-C port, there should have been at least one or two regular USB ports on it. Simply chucking what is touted as “the next great thing” at users and hoping they’ll rally around it without any recourse or compatible accessories, then tell them they’ll need to buy a separate adapter just seems dumb.

      A lot of “old tech” such as the 3.5mm jack is very reliable tech. It’s affordable and convenient for the current world we live in. And sometimes Apple, who should be the staple of ease-of-use and usability, comes off as very inconvenient, expensive, and even unreliable because they rushed ahead too quickly into their bright future because the only light they’re seeing is a result of wearing their special Apple branded tunnel vision goggles.

      I’m just saying for the richest company on Earth, they should at least give you Bluetooth EarPods for your $600 iPhone if they want to scrap what currently works still for most of us without at least first selling us on the idea of why we should consider ditching our stupid and wired, yet fairly reliable and affordable earphones? If those Bluetooth headphones MDN keeps touting are $150, then Apple’s premium Beats headphones are surely going to be upwards of $200. But besides being untethered to your device, what makes the quality any better? Then you also have to charge them separately. I’ll want to go for a jog and forget that I didn’t charge my earphones, so then what? Normally you I wouldn’t even think about it, I just grab my wired earphones and go. Lost my earphones, broke earphones? No problem. They’re cheap.

      1. You are obviously new to Apple.

        Over the last (at least) twenty-five years, we have witnessed Apple abandon long-existing technology cold-turkey and force new ones with zeal and vengeance. The examples are quite numerous: NUBUS, ADB, 3.5″ floppy drive, SCSI, analogue modem, optical drive, PC card (PCMCIA), ExpressCard (remember that one?), firewire… All these were at one time introduced into Apple ecosystem, and subsequently simply wiped out when new technology showed much better promise. ADB was replaced with USB some 20 years ago, and Mac fan base screamed about the sudden complete obsolescence of all of their peripheral gear.

        Apple marches ahead without much regard for legacy systems and support. If they choose to ditch 3.5mm socket and replace it with something else (bluetooth wireless, lightning connector, usb3 or whatever), they won’t bother to listen to anyone complain about their old gear.

        And do you really think that when you buy an iPhone 7, there won’t be a pair of headphones in the box? The most intuitively logical expectation is to see exactly the same EarPods we had known for the past several years, except that at the end of that white wire, there would be a lightning connector instead of a 3.5mm plug.

        I can’t believe some people actually expect Apple to ship a phone with no headphones.

  4. Wireless charging is starting to show up in enough vehicles for Apple to consider adding it or be left out – an example is the new Cadillac Escalade. Not that that many people buy them, but all of the ones who do are rich and can afford Apple’s high margins – good to keep them in the ecosystem, and its a tech that truly adds value, since Bluetooth is already allowing a reduction in car cables and adapters.

    Waterproofing is a no-brainer. Apple would probably save some money if they didn’t have to deal with so many water-damage replacements. Could it be that they’ve figured a way to make a reliably waterproof lightning port? That would be a substantial win over the rest of the field.

    Bluetooth headphones that can be charged from the phone are also a great idea. Of course, if the iPhone’s battery can be increased, it would be even better than making the iPhone even thinner.

    If they come up with a cheap ($5-10) adapter for standard mic jacks to lightning, most people could reasonably maintain a couple of their more-expensive accessories (mostly higher-end headphones and charging cables) as they transition to even more wireless solutions (as has been the trend).

    It all sounds fine to me.

    1. That is a fact. Fine earphones are an investment, and all serious high-end hardware uses analog connections (Shure, Ultimate Ears, Etymotic, etc.) just like audiophile home and studio speaker systems.

      Wireless technology will eventually facilitate audiophile-class output, but we just aren’t anywhere near that point today.

      In addition to using lossy compression, Bluetooth sucks battery through a firehose. Unless there is a serious new wireless audio protocol to accompany the iPhone 7, the loss of the headphone jack will be a huge setback for the serious listener.

  5. Without a Lightning to analog female 3.5″ adapter included at launch, I won’t be upgrading to iPhone 7. I don’t want to use Bluetooth headphones because they eat iPhone battery life too fast. I love my Puma wired earbuds.

    But I am looking into the Bragi Dash Bluetooth headphones as a possible future solution. @$300 they are very expensive. They also include 4GB of internal music storage and an iPhone app. No Apple WATCH app-extension yet. We’ll see how Bragi’s development progresses. They got over $3 million from their Kickstarter campaign last year after only asking for a $200,000 goal. So they’re very well financed for the long run. Bragi by BRAGI GmbH
    https://appsto.re/us/Il069.i

  6. With reduction of ports on Apple devices, those that remain had better be durable enough to handle the extra wear and tear they’ll be subject to.. Does Apple have a way of just repairing the lightning port or do you have to get your entire device replaced?

    1. How do imagine the lightining port will get much extra wear and tear? It’s a durable port, moreso than the 3.5mm as far as the amount of force inserting and removing a cable. Someone would have to work very hard to break off a lightning cable in the port.

      1. I have heard that one of the options for earphone/buds when the 3.5mm plug is gone is to use earphones/earbuds using the lightning port. Since the port was already handling other connection tasks, one more (earphones) will be added to that port. ergo, increased wear and tear not just from plugging and unplugging but one more potential source of wire pulling or connector breaking.

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