The big rumor as of late is that Apple may be removing the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack in order to make the next gen iPhone 7 that much thinner. Reputable Japanese Apple rumor site Mac Oktakara says that they have reliable sources that Apple is looking to scrap the standard port for a thinner profile. In order to do this they may be looking into a lightning based earpod solution for you to listen to your music & bluetooth would still be available. However for almost any other headphones out there you’d require a lightning to 3.5 adapter.
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple has scrapped something that seems proprietary to the consumer whether or not it effects all sorts of hardware. We saw this with CD drive in the Air, Scroll wheel on the mice, 30-pin to lightning switch, the list goes on. With the smartphone space going thinner & lighter this has required manufacturers to find clever ways to save space where they can without compromising power.
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This switch however would effect users from using any other pair of headphones outside of the standard ones Apple would provide, unless of course they had said adapter.
Many articles have pointed out that some companies already provide a lightning based headphone solution such as the Philips M2L/27 Fidelio . This would be a move in Apple’s case to unify the lightning connector & have a much slimmer profile. While thinnest is appreciated in smartphones I’m not suer if its worth the cost of switching everyone over to a new standard that would involve them carrying around an adapter or using the standard headphones. Unless Apple finds a way to design & implement this in a much more useful or clever way then I can only see blowback from the consumers.
Again this as of now is still a rumor & the iPhone 7 is still months away but isn’t something totally off base of what Apple has done in the past.