Lots of people are asking if I think the iPhone 7 will be the first iPhone not to feature the 3.5mm headphone jack.. Personally I don’t think this would make good business sense, sure Apple could (and probably will in the future) by selling a 3.5mm to lightning connector.. They may even bundle one in with the phone!
However, it would make much more sense to enable audio output via the Lightning connector, and allow for an ecosystem of lightning headphones from the worlds leading manufacturers first. Then drop the headphone jack once everyone’s bought into the idea. This was also discussed on the Apple Insider podcast, which if you don’t currently subscribe to – you should!
Of course the 3.5mm deserves to die, it’s been around since the early 19th century. It’s feature list is lacking, and it’s sound quality is good…… But it could be better!
Opening up the Lightning connector to audio makes a whole load of sense, bringing with it even higher quality sound, which would work hand in hand with the worlds uptake on 4K media.
Of course, the biggest bugbear is going to be the lack of the ability to charge the device while listening to music. However, as it stands lightning connected devices are not allowed to draw power from the device. This is set up in the Lightning adapter requirements that manufacturers have to meet to be allowed to use the connector.
Sure it’s going to piss people off, but Apple are often found leading the masses to the new connectivity options, such as USB C and FireWire. At the end of the day, it’s the evolution of the quality of music driving the change, and not just their want for an even thinner handset.
Only time will tell… But I’d be very surprised if the iPhone 7 is the first to sport no headphone jack!!
Edit: Victor Marks has pointed out that such headphones are already in circulation, which you can see here