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iPhone 7 release date rumours & new features

David Price | June 23, 2016
Apple to ditch usual upgrade cycle, save features for iPhone 8 | iPhone 7 headphone jack 'safe for now' according to reports.

The site also stated that the iPhone 7 may have a second set of speakers added to the top of the smartphone, claiming that it'll be a "monaural system", or single channel mono to you and us. 

Petition: 'Keep the standard headphone jack'

A number of Apple fans have gone further in their scepticism, going so far as to start a petition demanding that Apple reconsider the plan.

"If the rumours are true, the new iPhone 7 will have a non-standard, proprietary headphone jack - making every pair of headphones on earth useless," the petition reads. "Not only will this force iPhone users to dole out additional cash to replace their hi-fi headphones, it will singlehandedly create mountains of electronic waste - that likely won't get recycled."

The petition set itself a goal of 200,000 signatures, and passed that shortly before time of writing: it's presently on 204,303. So there is some weight of feeling behind this. What do you think?

The original 'no headphone jack' rumour

In late 2015, the Japanese-language site Mac Otakara first reported on a rumour that the iPhone 7 won't get a headphone port at all, enabling Apple to shave a further millimetre from the device's thickness.

As we wrote at the time, this would have consequences. It wouldn't rule out headphone use entirely, but it would restrict it considerably. Users would have three options: wireless Bluetooth headphones; newly designed headphones that connect via the Lightning port; or an adaptor, which would probably be overpriced.

The iPhone is very much the iPod of its day, and music is a big part of its appeal, making this a big gamble in order to make an extremely thin phone even thinner. This would be even more unpopular than the removal of USB ports from the 12-inch MacBook. Is Apple really this obsessed with thinness?

Lightning-connected Apple Earpods & Wireless Earpods

If Apple doesn't include a 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7, it's going to need to ship the phone with new Earpods. According to 9To5Mac, the iPhone 7 will have Lightning-connected Earpods instead, and Apple is also said to be working on wireless Earpods as an alternative.

The wireless Earpods, which are likely to be created with help from the team from Beats Electronics, which Apple acquired in 2014, are expected to be so completely wireless that they won't even have a cable that connects the earpieces together.

And instead of EarPods, they could be called 'AirPods,' a name that Apple has already registered the trademark for.

AirPods may not come cheap - they'll be a premium alternative to EarPods according to the report, and could be around the £200 mark.


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