Report: Apple to remove headphone jack from next iPhone

You may notice that something familiar is missing from the next iPhone: a standard headphone jack.

With the iPhone 7, due out next year, Apple plans to remove the port, according to a report out of Japan. Instead of plugging headphones into a dedicated jack, users will connect them to the iPhone’s Lightning data port. The new smartphone will come with a pair of headphones that can plug directly into the port, but in order to plug in regular headphones, users will need a separate adapter, according to the report.

The headphone jack is thicker than the Lightning port, and the actual connector is almost twice as long. By removing the headphone jack, Apple could theoretically make its devices thinner and allocate more space to a display, batteries or other electronics. The move would also allow music and sound to be transmitted digitally from the device to the headphones, potentially improving fidelity.

The company made a similar move four years ago, when it replaced the 30-pin data port it had used with iPods and the first iPhones with the smaller, thinner Lightning connector. And earlier this year, Apple released the new Macbook, which replaces standard USB ports with a new, thinner, smaller USB-C port that doubles as the computer’s power connector.

A move to use the Lightning port for headphones could cause similar complications as that faced by Macbook owners. Eliminating the headphone jack would make the new phone incompatible with nearly all wired headsets on the market. If owners wanted to use their old headset, they’d need to purchase a separate dongle.

Meanwhile, by combining two or more functions — power and sound — into one port, the new design would make it difficult for users to connect the phone to two devices at the same time. iPhone users likely wouldn’t be able to charge their phones and use wired headphones at the same time, unless they purchased a separate adapter.

Not that kind of complication would likely bother Apple. The company has a long history of embracing new connection and input technologies and abandoning older ones without appearing to worry much about the consequences to its user base. The company was among the first to adopt USB, USB-C and Thunderbolt ports and among the first to ditch floppy and DVD drives and standard USB ports.

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 6s during an Apple media event in San Francisco in September. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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  • freddysrevng2

    Lord knows, iPhones need better batteries.

  • juanm105

    Before you say that the new design can do this or that OR more importantly that it will NOT do this or that and will cause incompatibility with this standard or that type of connection, let’s wait until we have an ACTUAL ANNOUNCEMENT from Apple with some REAL DETAILS not fiction from a report. I also like that you provide a link to a report AND that report quotes an unnamed source. Also you left out that bluetooth connections may be possible eliminating the concerns raised. Finally WHO REALLY KNOWS, ONLY APPLE. So let’s wait nine months until Apple gives birth to the next iteration. Perhaps Apple will get out of the phone business entirely since some rumors have Apple barely surviving all the “competition” out there.

    • It’s over for Apple. Going to a new headphone jack format will completely eradicate them.

      Samsung will come out with a Headphone Jack Plus that will change the headphone jack landscape, and give Samsung 98.5% market share by 2017. At that point, either Sony or Procter & Gamble will be in the hunt to buyout what will then be a worm-riddled Apple.

      If all the other 628 things Apple has done after which the prognosticators have written their eulogy doesn’t land them 6 feet under, this one for sure will spell the end for them.

      –end sarcasm–

    • chris9465

      If you go by history like the article said it wont work, like iOS 8/9 don’t work. 8 never worked at all and 9 is horrible for music..

      use history as your guide; it wont work

  • Captain America

    Yet another device to buy batteries or charge up.

  • This upsets me.

    In related news, can someone please bring back the horse-drawn buggy, and polio? The 20th century was sooooo awesome. (The current headphone jack was used in a set of headphones first made in 1910.)

  • TheGCU

    Yet another screw you by Apple. Our mindless fanbase will buy whatever we throw at them. While the majority of companies are going the universal route, Apple goes deeper into the proprietary mindset. Let’s not forget that Apple got huge by selling music players. And now they want to remove the industry standard headphone jack? Stupid.

    • You can talk with your wallet. Don’t be that person who’s complaining about the new iPhone as you pay the Apple Store employee for your new iPhone.

      Walk out and head to over to your nearest Samsung Store to buy a Galaxy.

      • Lafayette Escadrill

        I love my LG 450 flip phone. Only cost $32 and the battery lasts for 4 or 5 days.

    • chris9465

      they’ll charge you $50 for an adapter haha its a ripoff like the 16gb iPhone that really only has 12Gb so you’ll buy cloud storage

  • kobebryant243

    poverty ppl pretending they wouldn’t buy one if they had the money LOL

  • Desert Lady

    If Apple make this a reality they will finally loose my family’s business. I will let others drink the koolaid. It was bad enough they rendered my older iPads useless with the new IOS but now they want the masses to spend even more

  • John Calvert

    1. Go Pro already has done this. You just purchase an adapter if you want to run a mic. If you don’t want to buy an adapter get BT headphones.
    2. Is it not likely that the next version of the iPhone will have the same charging mechanism as the watch? It’s overdue. therefore its not really a problem. You don’t need the port for charging any longer. .

  • zergling101010

    i stick with apple out of convenience, but if they actually implement this then it’s time to start thinking about going android 😛

  • Massive fail.

  • ellafino

    If they include the adapter with the phone okay, but if they try to sell it as an accessory forget about it.

  • Mos Def

    I often wonder aloud when I read people posts here about something that is rumored and not confirmed. WHAT THE F DO YOU REALLY WANT? There are enough BT headphones out there that work seamlessly with Apple. If you need an adapter so you can use your headphones in a lightning port, then get one. Or not. It is up to you. I see some of the most self centered, pandering bunch of SOBs here that it is really humorous. People buy what they LIKE and people use it as the LIKE. Getting an f’ing life, kids. Go outside and breathe some fresh air. Relax. It is a fracking phone.

 
 
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