One of the main factors preventing smartphones from being any thinner than they currently are is the size of physical connections on the handsets – namely the audio jack.
Apple is reportedly going to abandon the 3.5mm audio jack entirely in its upcoming iPhone 7.
According to a rumor at MacOtakara, the next iPhone might drop use the Lightning port for audio instead of the 3.5mm jack.
Doing so would allow the California-based tech giant to slim down its flagship phone even more.
Appleinsider pointed out that the company hinted that it may move to Lightning-enabled headphone accessories at a “Designing Accessories for iOS and OS X” session at WWDC last year.
Again, this is just a rumor, and it may not be true. Engadget pointed out in an article that MacOtakara doesn’t have “the greatest track record”, adding that “a lot could chance in the 10 months between now and the future iPhone’s possible launch in September next year.”
Using the Lightning port for audio would allow the company to slim down the phone, but at a cost. There are not many companies producing Lightning-based headphones, and it’s unlikely that other companies will join them.
David Murphy at PCMAG said:
“The big question is just how such a move might affect all the other headphones one can buy, as well as the other devices Apple makes.
While we can envision some manufacturers making iPhone-exclusive variants of their headphones, we doubt that Apple’s potential decision to chop out the headphone jack is going to suddenly make for a market full of Lightning-only headphones and earbuds.”
Apple would have to offer some kind of 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter as well, given that the majority of consumers own conventional non-Lightning headphones.