• iPhone 7 Leak Confirms Apple's Massive Design Gamble

    Technically we can only truly believe it when Tim Cook holds the iPhone 7 up in his hand, but now leak after leak is confirming my theory 19 months ago that Apple is about to abandon the headphone jack…

    Respected business title Fast Company is the latest publication to tap into an Apple “source with knowledge of the company’s plans” and reaffirm that the iPhone 7 will be come without a headphone jack:

    “As has been rumored, our source confirms that the new phone will rely on its Lightning cable port for sound output to wired headphones,” said Fast Company writer Mark Sullivan. “That port has been used for power and data transfer in recent iPhones. Users can also use wireless headphones.”

    Sullivan also has meat to add to these bones with an interesting twist. He states Apple is working with audio chip partner Cirrus Logic to realise the transition and that new noise cancelling technology from UK-based Wolfson Microelectronics (a Cirrus purchase in 2014) will be built into the phone. This will remove background noise during music playback and phone calls.

    Interestingly Fast Company says noise cancelling will also have the potential to be included directly in Apple’s spec for Lightning-based headphones to bring these benefits to older iPhone models. This could prove an ingenious way of boosting adoption of Lightning headphones and Sullivan states numerous third party headphone makers are onboard with Apple-owned Beats, no doubt, leading the way.

    On the flipside Fast Company says Apple will take one notable risk and that is removing headphones from the box. It argues Apple will instead look to sell a more premium pair of noise-cancelling Lightning earphones separately and just include a Lightning to 3.5mm adaptor in the box. It possible, but to me that approach would make little business sense and just encourage owners to use the adaptor and stick with what they have.

    Whether this last fact is or isn’t on the money, however, it is safe to say the smoke building around Apple’s exclusion of the headphone jack has now turned into a full blown forest fire.

    Winning Angry Users Over

    Unsurprisingly the news has met a hostile reception. An online petition against the move has netted over 200,000 signatures in 24 hours and even polls on Apple-specialist websites have been divided.

    So what can Apple do to convince users it knows best? Actually a lot.

    As the name suggests, the ‘iPhone 7’ marks a redesign year (‘S’ years improve components) and it looks like Apple is going to pull out all the stops. Removing the sizeable 3.5mm jack connector from the inside of the phone will allegedly free Apple to make it fully waterproof, fit a larger battery and add wireless charging so users can charge their phones and listen to music at the same time (the Apple Watch has already tested wireless charging, though an iPhone 7 wireless charging dock would inevitably be an optional accessory).

    It is also widely touted that Apple will make the iPhone 7 even thinner but quite who, other than Apple’s design team, thinks iPhones are still too thick is beyond me and others. That aside, these are all potentially worthwhile improvements and for committed iPhone users who don’t spend a lot on headphones the loss of the jack won’t be a big deal.

    Then again I believe it is important to remember that for Apple removing the headphone jack is a wholly self serving move which divisively fragments the market.

    Why? Well were Apple playing nice it would simply switch to USB Type-C which is also reversible, handles audio, video and data and an industry standard which can be used by everyone else to drive forward advancements in audio. Apple even has USB Type-C on the 12-inch MacBook at the expense of every other port other than, ironically, the headphone jack.

    But going this route would make Apple a licensee rather than the licenser it is with Lightning jack headphones. It would also put an end to the lucrative third party accessories of the MFi program and provide a simple route for customers to leave for rival products.

    So yes, Tim Cook may well hold up a Lightning port only iPhone 7 this year and yes, the new functionality may be great and sell the transition. But it remains a divisive move when a better, fairer option was available.

    By Gordon Kelly - Forbes

    Forbes Welcome
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      So this means we'll wait for the 7S and see how the removal of the 3.5mm jack pans out?
    1. Clem-Clone's Avatar
      Clem-Clone -
      I'd rather have a decent dock to port my audio-out thru my iPhone, into my home stereo than rely on an outdated jack or crappy dock.
    1. SirZyrion's Avatar
      SirZyrion -
      I like this move overall. However, if you have an older car without Bluetooth and you use the 3.5mm audio jack to listen to Apple Music through your car stereo, you're cut off unless Lightning to 3.5mm adaptors hit the market. Seems like they'd be writing off a lot of people by assuming everyone has bluetooth in their car.

      Honestly though, I'd rather see Apple create a lightning to Apple Watch charger adapter so I can use one cable to charge all of my devices when I travel.
    1. gldoorii's Avatar
      gldoorii -
      Expected a picture of this "confirmed leak", finds out it's another "report from a source"... Nice click bait with the title.
    1. DavisMedia's Avatar
      DavisMedia -
      Quote Originally Posted by SirZyrion View Post
      I like this move overall. However, if you have an older car without Bluetooth and you use the 3.5mm audio jack to listen to Apple Music through your car stereo, you're cut off unless Lightning to 3.5mm adaptors hit the market. Seems like they'd be writing off a lot of people by assuming everyone has bluetooth in their car.

      Honestly though, I'd rather see Apple create a lightning to Apple Watch charger adapter so I can use one cable to charge all of my devices when I travel.
      Actually, adapters are always an option. Best Buy carries one from Griffin (I think), called the iAUX, which plugs into a cigarette lighter and runs to a 3.5mm cable. It's a perfect workaround for someone with aux and no BT. Besides, most cars that have aux ports have BT as well. And if they have neither, they'd need to replace the stock stereo anyway.
    1. tridley68's Avatar
      tridley68 -
      Cant wait for the I phone 7 my I phone 6+ is getting old .
    1. roger1079's Avatar
      roger1079 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SirZyrion View Post
      I like this move overall. However, if you have an older car without Bluetooth and you use the 3.5mm audio jack to listen to Apple Music through your car stereo, you're cut off unless Lightning to 3.5mm adaptors hit the market. Seems like they'd be writing off a lot of people by assuming everyone has bluetooth in their car.

      Honestly though, I'd rather see Apple create a lightning to Apple Watch charger adapter so I can use one cable to charge all of my devices when I travel.
      So Apple should stop innovating because some people don't bother to keep their automobiles current or get the most current technology options when they buy? Those people can stop whining and either stay with the 6S or switch to Android. Good for you Apple.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger1079 View Post
      So Apple should stop innovating because some people don't bother to keep their automobiles current or get the most current technology options when they buy? Those people can stop whining and either stay with the 6S or switch to Android. Good for you Apple.
      No but Apple should use industry standards that are in use in the vast majority of the tech world. But rather than do that, they "innovate" with proprietary ports/connecters/cables for the sole purpose of getting more money from you, and even more so, try sell more crappy Beats headphones.

      But rather than let you use any set of Head Phones from like the last 20 years, you'll either have to get a new set or an awkward $20 adapter.

      This couldn't be more from innovation and closer to simply consumer gouging.

      P.S. Sorry I don't have a more current car, my 2010 VW Polo only has Aux In. You pretentious asshat.
      I didn't spring for the BT option, but even then with Apples crappy battery life, I wouldn't use it.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      This will be a crap move. If they want to dump the headphone jack the least they could do is adopt USB-C so something is standard on the phone.

      Regarding the thinness, they are already compromising overall actuall thinness with a bulging camera, and I doubt they'll be able to avoid that without significant reduction in camera quality. So if they will do it for a camera, why not a headphone jack?

      Anybody know if there's anything Lightning does that USB-C can't?
    1. roger1079's Avatar
      roger1079 -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      No but Apple should use industry standards that are in use in the vast majority of the tech world. But rather than do that, they "innovate" with proprietary ports/connecters/cables for the sole purpose of getting more money from you, and even more so, try sell more crappy Beats headphones.

      But rather than let you use any set of Head Phones from like the last 20 years, you'll either have to get a new set or an awkward $20 adapter.

      This couldn't be more from innovation and closer to simply consumer gouging.

      P.S. Sorry I don't have a more current car, my 2010 VW Polo only has Aux In. You pretentious asshat.
      I didn't spring for the BT option, but even then with Apples crappy battery life, I wouldn't use it.
      crappy battery life? Have you used an android device ever? Apple battery life is far from poor compared to most of the competition.

      As far as the headphone jack goes I will gladly use an adapter or buy a new set of headphones in exchange for waterproofness and increased battery life. Nobody buying a premium device should complain about the need for a single added accessory when the trade off is so beneficial. At any rate this is still not confirmed so it is still early for everyone to get their panties in a bunch over what can't possibly be more than a $30 additional cost. I am far from an Apple fanboy, but I am not in the least bit bothered by this as Apple has ALWAYS chosen proprietary connections over standardization. For those that can't get past it, there are always Android and Windows devices to choose from.
    1. roger1079's Avatar
      roger1079 -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      No but Apple should use industry standards that are in use in the vast majority of the tech world. But rather than do that, they "innovate" with proprietary ports/connecters/cables for the sole purpose of getting more money from you, and even more so, try sell more crappy Beats headphones.

      But rather than let you use any set of Head Phones from like the last 20 years, you'll either have to get a new set or an awkward $20 adapter.

      This couldn't be more from innovation and closer to simply consumer gouging.

      P.S. Sorry I don't have a more current car, my 2010 VW Polo only has Aux In. You pretentious asshat.
      I didn't spring for the BT option, but even then with Apples crappy battery life, I wouldn't use it.
      I just saw the pretentious asshat comment. Real cute.

      P.S. My cars are a 2002 F-150 and a 1992 Mustang, so as far as having a current vehicle, you have me beat by 8 years on one and 18 years on the other, both of which have Bluetooth and Carplay enabled head units. BOTH of my cars combined are worth less than yours, so I hardly see how I am the pretentious one.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger1079 View Post
      crappy battery life? Have you used an android device ever? Apple battery life is far from poor compared to most of the competition.

      As far as the headphone jack goes I will gladly use an adapter or buy a new set of headphones in exchange for waterproofness and increased battery life. Nobody buying a premium device should complain about the need for a single added accessory when the trade off is so beneficial. At any rate this is still not confirmed so it is still early for everyone to get their panties in a bunch over what can't possibly be more than a $30 additional cost. I am far from an Apple fanboy, but I am not in the least bit bothered by this as Apple has ALWAYS chosen proprietary connections over standardization. For those that can't get past it, there are always Android and Windows devices to choose from.
      Seriously. I hope the EU start to push that common charger connector thing again. Apple are a bunch of d***s.

      Remove the jack if you need to but retain an industry standard interface FFS. Apple tout green credentials in one breath but go proprietary and non repairable in another.
      Which Android device did you mean by the way?
    1. roger1079's Avatar
      roger1079 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      Seriously. I hope the EU start to push that common charger connector thing again. Apple are a bunch of d***s.

      Remove the jack if you need to but retain an industry standard interface FFS. Apple tout green credentials in one breath but go proprietary and non repairable in another.
      Which Android device did you mean by the way?
      Every technology company out there has or still does make proprietary connectors for multiple types of technology devices. Sony has done it with memory cards and cables as far back as I can remember. Microsoft, Samsung, LG, Nokia, and the list goes on and on. Some have moved to standardized connections, however there are still many who have not. Somehow when Apple does it though it is a big deal while the other companies doing the exact same thing remain largely unmentioned.

      If it really upsets you that much, petition your legislators to do something about it as was done in Europe a while back. They want to maintain profits as well as control over accessories available for use with their products. They have been like this for as far back as I can remember. As I already mentioned, an open market is a beautiful thing. If standardized connectors are important to you, there are a plethora of options out there that fill that need right now.

      Apples cheapest currently offered phone, the 5s 16GB, starts at $450 without the subsidy and the prices go all the way up to $949 for their most expensive option (6s+ 128GB). They are far from cheap phones when compared to many others and they are considered premium products alongside the Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, and other flagship devices. If you can afford a premium phone, another $30 or so for an adapter shouldn't cause any real strain on your wallet.

      Again though, all this uproar is silly at this point being that NONE of this his actually anything more than a rumor.
    1. Darkflame's Avatar
      Darkflame -
      What happens to those of us who like to take naps while listening to music and charging our phone? Is it going to come with a splitter or sorts to allow one plug to charge and one to put out music? I'm taking it an extra fee of course.
    1. Darkflame's Avatar
      Darkflame -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger1079 View Post
      Again though, all this uproar is silly at this point being that NONE of this his actually anything more than a rumor.
      True but I wouldn't doubt if there was someone in apple tasked with leaking ideas to gain public feedback.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Quote Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
      What happens to those of us who like to take naps while listening to music and charging our phone? Is it going to come with a splitter or sorts to allow one plug to charge and one to put out music? I'm taking it an extra fee of course.
      Well for that relatively small group of people there's obviously the bluetooth headphones option, which would probably be better for listening while napping anyway.
    1. Silvio6's Avatar
      Silvio6 -
      I often found myself using both lightning to charge/dock and audio connector to call. If both are on same connector, this means less possibilities while charging (unless using wireless, which will not help the speed of charge :-)
    1. Silvio6's Avatar
      Silvio6 -
      Not sure why, but I always noticed the quality of audio was better from the lightning connector than from Bluetooth. In my car and home audio.
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silvio6 View Post
      Not sure why, but I always noticed the quality of audio was better from the lightning connector than from Bluetooth. In my car and home audio.
      It's a simple fact, cable still produces better sound in comparison to Bluetooth. Technology is just not there yet.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      It feels like Apple will soon make all their "smart devices" only connect to their Carplay units as well...
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