2016 has just begun and among the most prominent events we look forward to is Apple’s yearly iPhone launch. Love it or hate it, everyone will be glued to their browsers to view it. And while the smartphone industry seems to be losing its stance on innovation, Apple last year did have something new to show off in the form of a 3D Touch display. This year however, the focus may be on audio (among other things) and while there have been plenty of rumours, it does seems like Apple may cull the 3.5mm headphone jack after all.
The news comes from a weibo account whose author supposedly knows people in Apple’s supply chain. The site claims that Apple will not just skip on the 3.5mm headphone jack that it has been using for years, but kill the jack altogether by introducing Bluetooth EarPods with the iPhone 7.
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More importantly, all those who would still like to plug in their traditional 3.5mm headphones into an iPhone 7 will have to use an adaptor that fits into the lightning port.
While all of this may sound unbelievable, you have to take such news with a pinch of salt. While Apple has been producing some “unbelievable” accessories this year (Smart Battery Case), Bluetooth EarPods do sound like a reality.
For those who aren’t aware, there are headsets available that offer a lightning port without any adaptors. But the cables for the same are pretty thick, as thick as the currently available data transfer and charging cables that Apple packs in with iPhone’s and iPads. And these don’t bend easy and are too stiff to roll up and slide in your pockets. So clearly, the lightning port is not the best way to go if your skipping on an essential audio port. Bluetooth however is.
Sony has been working with wireless audio as well, and this was since last year with the launch of the Xperia Z3+ and LDAC audio support for richer wireless audio streaming.
With Apple things only get simpler, more importantly, because well, that’s where all the music is, locked up in the iTunes music store, in a variety of formats. All Apple will have to do is flick the switch and convert the music and introduce a new wireless audio format in September. It did that with the Lightning port, and before that with the DVD drive that went missing on the MacBook Air (and now even on MacBook Pro models). Of course it can, this is Apple.