Rumor or not, it seems highly likely that the next iPhone will come equipped without the 3.5 mm socket to plug in your headphones. Instead, the replacements are wireless or lightning-connected headphones.
— Synchtank (@Synchtank) January 7, 2016
By moving to lightning-connected headphones, or wireless Apple earbuds, it is possible the lightning connector will shift towards better sound quality, better usability, as well as built-in app compatibility.
This is not the first time Apple has abandoned certain technologies and ended up revolutionizing the electronics industry. “They got rid of DVDs, they got rid of the floppy disk drive; they got rid of parallel ports, they’re eventually getting rid of USB. This is how they move,” tech analyst Horace Dediu told the BBC.
And whether Apple’s motivation is profit or not, the rumored development may just be a good thing. This alteration would help save critical space, which would make the iPhone 7 thinner, as well as possibly make it waterproof. Since there are alternatives to the 3.5 mm jack, Apple may think its worth dropping in order to advance a new design.
Surprisingly, an article from The Verge says that electronics manufacturers are not worried at all about a possible transition. Many headphone manufacturers have already started producing high-end wireless product lines, including firms like Seinnheiser, Bose, and Audio-Technica.
The 3.5 mm jacks that have been standardized across the industry has roots that date back to the 19th century. As a result, there has been strong resistance to the possible change.
— Vanessa Bourdillon (@VanessaBourdill) January 11, 2016
A petition has already popped up on SumofUs, a corporate watchdog. The petition, titled “Apple is ditching the standard headphone jack to screw consumers and the planet,” had more than 241,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.