Late last year, a report claimed that Apple was planning to drop the standard 3.5 mm headphone port on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to make the handsets thinner than previous models. Supply chain sources in China are now backing up those claims.
In a recent 60 Minutes interview titled "Inside Apple," the news program got an unprecedented look inside Apple's headquarters, interviews with senior executives, and a look at the company's secretive design studio. During the interview, Charlie Rose asked Apple CEO Tim Cook if he saw room to improve the Apple Watch and his answer not only addressed the company's first smartwatch but also Apple's ecosystem of products and how it manages to make each successor a bigger hit than the previous one. Tim Cook told Charlie Rose, "Charlie, when we launch a product, we're already working on the next one. And possibly even the next, next one."
It should come as no surprise, then, that Apple is putting the finishing touches on its next-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which are expected to be introduced in the fall.
We reported in late November that Apple was planning on giving the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus a brand-new design that would make the smartphones ultrathin. To achieve this, sources claimed the company was going to drop the industry-standard 3.5 mm headphone port in favor of using the single Lightning port to charge the devices, transfer data, and listen to audio.
Now, a new report from Chinese site Anzhuo claims supply chain sources have revealed that Apple will indeed drop the 3.5 mm headphone port from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The move is said to allow Apple to focus on pushing consumers into using wireless headphones, mainly its very own wireless "AirPods" the company has already trademarked and is rumored to include in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus' box.
It wouldn't be a complete surprise, considering the company has used similar methodology when it removed the optical drive from the original MacBook Air in 2008 and only included a single USB Type-C port in last year's MacBook to make it one of the thinnest laptops on the market.
As with all rumors of upcoming Apple devices, it's best to take this latest report with a huge grain of salt for now.