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Report: Apple plans to nix 3.5mm port on iPhone 7, require Lightning for wired headphones

Over the years, Apple has been known for its obsession in making devices thinner and lighter. Every gram, millimetre and component carefully scrutinised and assessed to determine its value to the device as a whole.

However, this is a fine art in itself - removing too much could unnecessarily cripple a product for the sake of shaving down the physical dimensions by a relatively tiny amount. Conversely, allowing a device to remain the same size or even increase slightly in size between generations for the sake of improved battery life could be a boon to customer satisfaction.

According to a report from Macotakara, it is claimed that the traditional 3.5mm stereo port will be dropped in the forthcoming iPhone 7. This would enable Apple to reduce the thickness of the iPhone by "more than 1mm" in comparison to the iPhone 6s which is 7.3mm thick and possibly make the iPhone 7 the thinnest ever iPhone when released.

In the past, Apple had actively considered switching from a 3.5mm stereo port to the less popular 2.5mm version by going as far as patenting a unique connector but decided to wait until alternate audio connection solutions matured. However, it seems that Apple plans to allow audio connections over Bluetooth or the Lightning connector only moving forward. This would force adopters of the next iPhone to either carry a Lightning to stereo adapter (if made available) or buy new Lightning compatible headphones.

If this report is true then it wouldn't be the first time that Apple would cause a major upheaval in its ecosystem after it eschewed the legacy 30-pin dock connector starting with the iPhone 5. However, a change to Lightning based audio solutions should not come as a complete surprise as Apple quietly updated with "Made for iPhone" program last year to include Lightning headphones prior to Philips and JBL releasing such products.

Source: Macotakara via 9to5Mac

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