The latest iteration of the iPhone is likely to do away with a headphone jack when the device hits shelves this fall, sources within Apple’s supply chain have confirmed.
In a bid to make the iPhone 7 thinner and improve audio quality, Apple will seal the jack in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector (as used on current iPhone models) that would handle both charging and audio output, Mac Rumors reports. While such a move might be a step forward for iPhone functionality, it would also serve to latch users even deeper into Apple’s product ecosystem.
Apple is also rumored to be releasing its own wireless headphones, which would connect to iPhones via Bluetooth.
Given the iPhone’s sweeping ubiquity (the company said it sold a record 13 million models of the 6s and 6s Plus in the three days following its launch), the revamp could mark a move away from headphones as we know them and a shift toward wireless or Lightning-compatible listening devices.
Apple made a similarly controversial switch in 2012 when it abandoned its 30-pin chargers in favor of Lightning connectivity on the iPhone 5. At the time, the company launched an adapter to ease the transition, as it is also rumored to be doing in the case of the audio jack.
Other rumored features of the iPhone 7 include a strengthened waterproof frame, edge-to-edge display and a larger 256 GB storage size option on the iPhone 7 Plus.