No room for 3.5 mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 thanks to AirPods

  • Sanshey Biswas, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 12, 2016 12:05 IST
The EarPods were introduced in September 2012 and Beats Electronics was acquired by Apple in May 2014. (Apple)

Apple might ditch the earphone jack with the iPhone 7 in favour of AirPods — a wireless version of EarPods reported 9to5Mac. The AirPods are expected to be sold separately with a charging case of it’s own — adding to your long list of iPhone, Apple Watch and MacBook chargers.

Music typically requires three elements — source, medium and listener. With iTunes and Apple music, Apple has the source covered and aggressively chasing Spotify with the exponential growth in paid subscribers. Compared to the 20 million paid users on Spotify (gathered over almost a decade), Apple has already scooped up 10 million paid users within a year of existence.

But Apple doesn’t seem to be satisfied with the feat. Not content with owning the source of our music consumption, Apple is reportedly trying to control our choice of earphones too, with rumoured AirPods. As the owner of Beats, Apple filed to register the AirPods trademark in 2015. Staying true to their habits of secrecy, the patent was filed from Jamaica to avoid leaks online. The AirPods might even be as advanced as Doppler’s hearable that enhances music listening experience from the phone and external sources — at music festivals. Not to rendering your trusty pair of wired earphones, Apple might pack in an adapter to turn your charging port into a 3.5 mm headphone jack with the iPhone 7. Which wouldn’t be that bad an idea if they do shift to USB C as the only port on an iPhone.

Sources also reveal that the final design of the iPhone 7 hasn’t be decided yet. And Apple is working for a few alternatives before they zero down on one, and start manufacturing. Considering the design changes from iPhone 4s to 5 and 5s to 6, iPhone 7 is likely to have a fresh look. Apple may finally ditch the lightning port too, in favour of USB Type-C, considering that they have been a part of the technology’s development process and used it as the primary source of power and connectivity in the new MacBook. Cutting down further, Apple might get rid of the home button as gestures can replace it’s functionality thanks to 3D Touch and an onscreen fingerprint sensor patent filed by Apple.

FastCompany reports that all these cut-downs might be in the endeavour to make the iPhone 7 slimmer and more waterproof. Since Apple has already done quite a bit of waterproofing with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus according to Wired. But until the rumours are busted or validated, there’s one thing you can be sure of. Apple might be gunning for the position of leading source and medium for music consumption, but it’s not replacing the listener anytime soon.

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