Rumors swirl that next iPhone will have no audio jack

A rumor that Apple will leave out the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack from the next edition of the iPhone has been swirling around this past week. According to the rumor, Apple would have users use their proprietary Lightning port for audio instead.

This rumor can be traced back to a June 2014 article in Forbes and has surfaced once again, first in Macworld.

The reason

There have been a few speculations as to why Apple might pull the plug on the headphone jack.

One is that it is an image issue. Doing away with the headphone jack would allow Apple to make the next iPhone even thinner. The iPhone 7 could be a trim 6.1mm, a full 1mm thinner than the iPhone 6s.

In Forbes’ original article 18 months ago, they speculated that the move was about profit and user control for Apple.

That’s because, according to Forbes, any headphones sold for use with Apple’s Lightning port would fall under their MFi (Made For) licensing program, and therefore would have a sizable fee attached to them.

That is, unless they are Beats headphones, Beats was bought by Apple in 2014.

Advantages and disadvantages of Lightning

One of the major advantages behind switching to using the Lightning port for audio is that it is easy. The phone would only require a firmware update to make the switch.

Additionally, one could envision that wireless headphones would be perfect for a Lightning port. No more tangled wires and you can go into the next room, listen to your music, and not bother anyone.

Some disadvantages would be that consumers would have to buy new headphones, probably Beats.

If consumers don’t want to buy new headphones then they will have to get an adapter for the Lightning port that would allow them to use their old ones, so either way there is a cost to the consumer.

Finally, barring some wireless innovation, consumers would not be able to listen to music and charge their phones at the same time, which is something that they can do now.

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Nick Seebruch

I am an External writer at ShoutEx. My interest lie in marketing, communications and journalism

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