Apple’s quest to make iPhones even thinner may come at the expense of those sweet headphones you bought on Cyber Monday. The latest report in the Apple rumor sack is that the company may chop the 3.5mm headphone jack from next year’s iPhone 7, a move that would require adapters to use old cans and usher in a market for Lightning-only accessories.
According to Japanese blog MacOtakara, Apple is looking into the idea because it wants a slimmer iPhone — by one millimeter, possibly — and doing so would potentially leave too little room for the standard jack. Replacing the 3.5mm would be EarPods with Apple’s Lightning connector, which would transmit audio digitally as opposed to the old analog way.
A move to Lightning would instantly make the iPhone incompatible with the vast majority of wired headphones on the market, and would require an adapter. One solution would be for Apple to include the converter with the iPhone 7, along with a new pair of EarPods. However, when Apple has made similar changes in the past — from 30-pin data port to Lightning connectors, nixing USB ports in the new MacBook, etc. — it just goes for it, and awaits your next visit to the Apple Store.
As many blogs have pointed out, a new port would complicate how you charge your phone and listen to audio at the same time. One solution would be you’d have to buy a splitter with two ports, or as Business Insider speculates, Apple could also add a second Lightning jack to the iPhone 7 and subsequent models. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.