More reports have surfaced that Apple is planning to do away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack in the next-generation of the iPhone handset, tentatively dubbed the “iPhone 7.” Two Asian publications, translated by AppleInsider, have cited supply chain sources supposedly “confirming” this decision. The reports come from Anzhou and WeiFeng, if you can read them.
Anzhou’s sources claim that the iPhone 7 will rely on wireless protocols. They state that Apple is aiming not only to make the new handset thinner but also to spur sales of new wireless headsets. WeiFeng, on the other hand, adds that Cupertino intends to include Lightning as a wired audio option. This could allow users to choose between wired or wireless, depending on the circumstance.
In November, Mac Otakara first reported on the supposed omission of the wired headphone jack. Apple has remained silent on the matter, of course, but the topic has been fiercely debated. Some say the move away from the industry-standard headphone jack is forward progress, while others fear the obsolescence of their decades’ worth of audio investments.
While I primarily use Bluetooth headsets with my iPhone, there is still a strong benefit to maintaining a headphone jack in the device. There’s a certain amount of latency in Bluetooth that is inappropriate for some uses, such as using the iPhone for live video recording. I hope these rumors prove to be unfounded, at least until wireless protocols advance enough that they are equivalent to their wired cousins in terms of low-latency recording.