When Apple shows off its latest iPhone on Wednesday, it will answer a question it hasn’t had to address in years: “What’s it putting in the box?” (Besides the iPhone itself, that is.)
The iPhone has traditionally shipped with a pair of Apple’s iconic earbuds, made famous in early advertising for the iPod music player. But tech analysts and industry bloggers, citing leaks from Apple’s Asian suppliers, say it looks like the tech giant has decided to do away with the analog headphone jack in the next iPhone.
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That means the earbuds themselves are in for a revamp, one that could hint at Apple’s plans for expanded use of wireless technology.
iPhone 7: Incremental Changes
The headphone jack is drawing attention partly because there might not be many other major changes in this year’s iPhone. The new models – the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, if Apple sticks to its usual convention – are expected to offer faster processors, more memory and improved cameras.
But despite a recent dip in iPhone sales , most Apple watchers expect the company to save its next big overhaul for 2017, the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone’s release.
(Also see: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Price Leaked; Wireless ‘AirPods’ Spotted)
Though it might not seem dramatic, eliminating the 3.5 millimeter analog jack would be controversial. On the plus side, it could let Apple make the iPhone slightly thinner and possibly waterproof; it might also free up space for other components.
But it also means future iPhone buyers will need new headsets that use a digital connection. That could just mean changing the headset cord so that it plugs into the same port that recharges the device. Or it could herald an Apple commitment to wireless earbuds that connect to the phone via a technology such as Bluetooth. Apple already sells wireless headsets from Beats Electronics, which it acquired two years ago for $3 billion (roughly Rs. 19,915 crores).
(Also see: Apple Lets Slip New Beats by Dre Products Will Launch at iPhone 7 Launch Event)
While Apple hasn’t commented, reports of the change have sparked an outcry from those who believe the old analog jacks worked perfectly well. Tech blogger Nilay Patel of The Verge blasted the move as “user-hostile and stupid.”
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