Apple is rumored to remove the standard 3.5-millimeter headphone port on the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus/Pro. An accessory maker has posted images of a 3.5-millimeter headphone port to Lightning adapter, in addition to two other Lightning equipped audio accessories.
Apple has taken the position of removing popular hardware features to its Macs, iPods, and iPhones over the years in order to reduce the real estate and enhance the devices in the process. While it may not be a popular feature when first introduced, the company has had a proven track record over the years, which has also led to other manufacturers following the same strategy.
When Steve Jobs unveiled the original MacBook Air in 2008, it was billed as the world's thinnest notebook. In order to achieve this feat, Apple chose to remove the standard CD/DVD drive found on practically every laptop and desktop computer on the market. In order to appease users who required the drives, Apple offered an optional USB SuperDrive DVD drive. Soon after its release, PC manufacturers followed Apple and began to remove the same drives from its laptops.
Apple is rumored to remove the 3.5-millimeter headphone port from the iPhone and iPhone 7 Plus, with the first report making headlines in November 2015. In mid-May a video was created based on reported renders of the next-gen iPhones and appeared to confirm that the standard headphone port would not be part of the new handsets.
Reports have suggested Apple is planning to offer Lighting adapters that will also have a standard headphone port so iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus/Pro users will still be able to use their existing headphones. Now, a Chinese accessory maker has shown similar adapters and Lightning-equipped earphones.
Macotakara has posted images of the accessories, which are manufactured by Tama. The adapters are listed by their model numbers. The TSH02JC is a Lightning connection headphone amplifier, which includes a Lightning-connected cable that also includes a separate amplifier with the standard 3.5-millimeter headphone port and what are believed to be dedicated power and volume buttons.
The company has also created a similar adapter that includes a microUSB port to allow power charging while the adapter is plugged into the iPhone's Lightning port. Another image showed a pair of Lightning-equipped headphones.
There's no word on when these iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus/Pro Lighting audio accessories are expected to go on sale or at what price they'll be sold for.
We'll keep you posted on any new information regarding these and other iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus/Pro news as it becomes available.