The iPhone 7 is widely reported to do away with the headphone port completely and rely only on the lightning port for connecting headphones as well as data transfer and charging. An image from China now purports to show a set of Apple’s iconic white earbuds with a lightning connector in place of the typical 3.5mm connector.
The image surfaced online on Chinese media hours before Apple is set to unveil the iPhone SE, an update to the company’s smallest smartphone, the 4-inch iPhone 5s. It is expected that the iPhone SE — which stands for special edition — will retain the headphone jack but Apple is preparing to get rid of the port completely on its major smartphone updates for 2016, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
It has been widely reported that Apple will remove the headphone jack from its next big iPhone models in order to help make them even thinner. A leaked case purportedly for the iPhone 7 showed no space for the 3.5mm headphone port.
— 9to5Mac (@9to5mac) March 21, 2016
The image of a tangled set of Apple EarPods show a product identical to Apple’s current headphones only with the lightning connector at the end. There is no way of confirming the veracity of the image, and it could be that the image shows a third-party product being produced in anticipation of Apple’s design change.
As well as working on lightning headphones, Apple is said to be keen to leverage its acquisition of Beats to drive adoption of wireless headphone technology in the coming years.