New rumors floating around the web suggest that Apple might forego the standard headphone jack in the iPhone 7.
The Cupertino-based tech giant will reportedly go with the Lightning-based headphones instead for its next flagship handset.
News about the iPhone's design change was first reported by Japanese tech blog Macotakara. According to the site's source, the headphone jack, which can be commonly seen in current models of smartphones, laptops, digital music players and PCs, will be replaced with a Lightning connector.
In addition, the upcoming Apple handset will also come with EarPods which will be supplied by a third-party company that manufactures Lightning-based headphones.
Macotakara noted that the removal of the standard headphone jack is part of Apple's efforts to further slim down the iPhone 7. According to the site, with the Lightning connector, the iPhone 7 could be 1 millimeter thinner than the company's current flagship smartphone, the iPhone 6S.
Although the latest update regarding the iPhone 7 is only considered part of the rumor mill running up the hype for the upcoming device, Venture Beat noted that it will not come us a surprise if Apple does replace the headphone jack with the Lightning connector. After all, the company had already launched its Made For (MFi) licensing program which covers headphone models with a Lightning port.
Through MFi, third-party companies, including Philips, were given the permission to manufacture and release headphones that can connect to Apple's devices using a Lightning cable.
But aside from the MFi program, there's also another factor that strongly supports the reports regarding the removal of the standard jack in the iPhone 7. Mac World pointed out that Apple has a history of enforcing design changes or removing certain feature just to make its devices thinner.
For instance, during the time when PC users relied on the floppy disk, Apple released the original iMac desktop computer, also known as the iMac G3 in 1998. Although the device did not come with a floppy drive, it came with a port for a USB. This move helped revolutionize the popularity of the USB, which is now regarded as the standard data storage device.
Although it may be hard to imagine the same scenario right now, but Apple's possible move to introduce the lightning connector as the official replacement for the standard jack could transform how people connect headphones to their devices in the future, just like what happened 17 years ago.