Apple Says Bye-Bye To Headphone Jack, Unveils Waterproof iPhone 7
New colours, faster processor and longer battery life for the smaller iPhone 7, and dual-cameras on the back for the iPhone 7 Plus – but as predicted, the headphone jack is no more.
Apple has unveiled the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, its next generation smartphones, which have a similar aluminium look but now waterproof with new insides, new pressure-sensitive home button, new dual-camera features and no headphone socket.
Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, took to the stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco to announce the smartphone, the first to launch with the company’s latest iOS 10 software for iPhone and iPad with improved notifications and messaging features.
The biggest change to the new iPhone, however, is the removal of the universal 3.5mm headphone jack, which used to be cut into the bottom of the smartphone and is common to almost all forms of audio-producing electronics. Instead, Apple hopes users will embrace the Lightning port, which is commonly used for power and file transfers, for audio, or wireless headphones such as those made by Apple’s Beats headphones brand.
Lightning connector headphones and a Lightning-to-analogue adapter will be included with the new iPhone.
Schiller said: “Apple EarPods are the most popular headphones in the world. Now we’re moving them to Lightning. Why? Because it provides digital audio, power, and many other advantages that are simply not possible over an analogue connection.
“The analogue headphone jack has been with us for a very long time. But the reason to move on is courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.”
Apple also announced a new set of its EarPod in-ear buds, this time without the cable, called AirPods, which it hopes will ease the transition from the headphones port.
Bluetooth headphones are widely available in a range of prices and capabilities, and have become popular in the past two years, but truly wireless in-ear buds have struggled to overcome the technological constraints of short battery life and weak connectivity. Several new models released this year from companies such as Motorola, Bragi and Samsung hope to solve those problems.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said: “Up until now no one has taken on the challenge of fixing the things that are difficult to do in the wireless experiences so we can all enjoy them. So that’s what we’re doing with the Apple AirPods.”
AirPods will cost $170 and be available in late October. Apple’s headphone brand Beats will also release new wireless models.