iOS 9 code reveals Apple’s plans to dump 3.5mm headphone jack in future iPhones

“More evidence is piling up to suggest that Apple will ditch the 3.5mm jack from the upcoming iPhone 7 — with Twitter user Chase Fromm discovering a potentially revealing line of code in the new iOS 9.3 beta 1.1 software release,” Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac.

“The code reads ‘Headphones.have.%sinput.NO.,’ which may suggest that Apple is looking for different methods of connecting headphones to the next-gen iPhone, most likely with Bluetooth wireless EarPods,” Dormehl reports.

“It’s worth noting that not everyone is in agreement about what the ‘Headphones.have.%sinput.NO.’ reference means,” Dormehl reports,” and that even if this reference is built into the iOS 9.3 beta, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that Apple will absolutely get rid of the headphone jack for the next iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t discount the ability for Lightning headphones to do more than just reproduce sound:

For one example, see Apple’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™.

Also, if you’d prefer no wires at all, you can do as we’ve been doing for awhile now and just 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, easy to pair, light and comfortable, and work perfectly with our Apple Watches and iPhones.

Apple’s intention to kill the 3.5mm headphone jack is brilliant – January 13, 2016
iPhone 7 said to be waterproof, replace 3.5mm headphone jack with Apple’s Lightning – January 8, 2016
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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Try using voiceover with those Bluetooth headphones, close your eyes and flick around the screen and see how “snappy” Bluetooth is. But lightning headphones… That would be great only if there were two lightning ports, one for listening and one for charging, interchangeable of course.

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. I think I can say this with certainty, two lightning ports are simply NOT going to happen.

      Apple puts (or eliminates) features based on what is used by the majority of their users.

      I know at least 100 people who use iPhones. I have yet to meet a single one who has ever used their phone while charging it, even to make a phone call; let alone to listen to music. I know this is very anectodal and not necessarily representative, but I would be surprised if the reality is any different. The reason is obvious: when your phone is connected to the charger, it has a very limited range of movement. That will obviously limit the range of movement to your headphones, so the most common way this wouldn’t be much of an issue is at one’s desk, while working. Most people in my office have their headphones plugged into their computer while working; not into their phone.

      If this rumour turns out to be true, we can expect to have EarPods with lightning connectors instead of the 3.5mm plug. Apple will likely sell adapters (lightning to 3.5mm) for $20, but you’ll likely be able to find one on Monoprice for half that. Major makers (Senheiser, Bose, Sony) will quickly develop special lines of headphones with lightning plugs, for iPhone users. People who already own high-end cans will have to live with the adapter cable.

      1. There are plenty of iPhone users listening to their phones while charging. Students at libraries and study desks, plane passengers waiting in the terminal, etc.

        “when your phone is connected to the charger, it has a very limited range of movement”

        External battery pack. Even small ones nowadays can fully recharge an iPhone 6/6s.

    1. If you want to waste your fucking time you might want to sign that petition, you mean.

      Apple will do whatever they have to do in order to push the envelope and move the human race forward, as usual.

      Anachronistic cave dwellers can whine all they want. It won’t matter one single bit.

      (Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.)

      1. I wouldn’t call analog connections anachronistic.

        The problem with bluetooth headphones is that the audio quality just isn’t there. It’s not as responsive as a physical connection either.

        And the problem with Lighting-equipped headphones is that they have to have their own DAC, which increases the cost of the headphones.

        “Being constantly offended doesn’t mean you’re right. It just means you’re too narcissistic to tolerate opinions different than yours”.

  2. Then it appears that I will not advance past iPhone 6. I have unusual hearing issues that required that I had custom internal hearing aids made in order to listen to my iPhone. They are not BlueTooth and are hard wired. Unless Apple keeps the mechanical plug, I won’t be going past my current iPhone. I know I’m an outlier, and wonder why Apple continues to change connectivity to their products. With Firewire, Lightning and their monitor connectors, they leave out any product that does’t comply with Apple standards, so what else is new. I remember when people were trying to find a cheaper alternative to the Lightning connector on Amazon and most of them either didn’t work or they caused issues. Apple needs to stop this insanity.

  3. MDN Thanks for highlighting that patent as I’d be first in line.

    Gathering heart rate and the temperature of my hot head inside my fencing mask during long training sessions is something I’m really interested in having. The Apple Watch could take care of the heart rate but it’s a bit exposed and could easily get smashed.

    Earphones going to a device in my back pocket that can track my heart rate and head temperature… sounds great

  4. ‘Headphones.have.%sinput.NO.’

    This looks like a typical C language formatting string. The %s part would be replaced by some other string at runtime.

    The code may be cycling through a list of possible inputs for headphones such as ‘Headphones.have.microphoneinput.NO.’ or maybe ‘Headphones.have.stereoinput.NO.’

    Maybe the “NO.” means “number”, so maybe it could be checking for how many of that kind of inputs the headphones have.

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