Ahead of the iPhone 7 launch, Apple is rumored to be developing a set of wireless Beats earphones that charge up cable-free through a carrying case. 9to5Mac, citing sources, said on Friday that the headphones would sell as a premium alternative to the EarPods bundled with every iPhone. Apple is reportedly aiming to launch the earphones alongside the iPhone 7.
The earphones would be completely wireless. Each earbud would have its own battery and radio, cutting the cord between the two pieces. Since the earbuds would lack even a charging connector, users would have to place them back in their case to charge through a battery. The report does not explain how the case battery is charged. The earbuds are expected to last for nearly four hours on one charge.
It wouldn't be the first Apple product to go fully wireless. The Apple Watch, which launched in April, has no plugs or ports. A report from Thursday predicted that Apple would include wireless charging technology with the iPhone 7. If true, it leaves the door open for Apple to abandon the existing Lightning connector, as all its uses would have a wireless alternative.
As for the iPhone 7 itself, third-party case makers say Apple still doesn't know what it will look like. Three different designs are in testing, including one that looks a lot like the existing iPhone 6S. Another thinner design is said to be completely new, which would be more in keeping with Apple's pattern of launching a new-look iPhone every two years.
9to5Mac also affirms the rumor that Apple wants to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack. If the rumor holds up, it will be one of the biggest changes to the iPhone since its launch. A new version of the bundled EarPods are planned for the iPhone 7 launch that will connect over Lightning instead.