Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed no shortage of advancements that have brought us smaller, more compact mobile devices. Today’s phones are thinner than ever before, with dense high-resolution screens are processing power that belies their slender construction. But for as stunningly sleek as phones have become, have we hit a brick wall? How do we make stuff smaller still? We’ve been wondering just how far Apple might be willing to take things, especially after seeing the company patent a bizarre non-standard headphone connector in an apparent effort to shave fractions of a millimeter of thickness requirements. Now a new rumors suggests the company could go in a different (but no less controversial) direction, dropping an analog headphone jack entirely in favor of Lightning-powered audio accessories.
The move away from a standard 3.5mm headphone jack would supposedly give Apple the ability to shrink the iPhone 7 down by another millimeter; as you may recall, the iPhone 6S grew to 7.1mm thick (from the 6.9-mm thick iPhone 6), so this move might help Apple reclaim that space – and then some.
We’ve already seen the emergence of headphones that use a Lightning connector, but the vast majority of those in operation don’t, so presumably we’d see the deployment of adapters to allow the use of existing headphones with the new iPhone.
As for the smartphone’s accessories themselves, presumably we’d be looking at a new generation of EarPods, ones with an integrated D/A stage and their own Lightning connector.
While the change might make enough sense from Apple’s perspective, it’s not hard to imagine how there could be a lot of pushback, so we’d love to pick up some additional corroboration for this rumor before buying into it too heavily.