Later tonight, Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus at its launch event in San Francisco. A lot about the new iPhones has already been leaked, and if rumors are to be believed, we re set to see some major hardware upgrades. Right from faster processor and more RAM, to doubled storage space, improved camera and waterproofing, to capacitive Touch ID button, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus could get the long overdue upgrades that they deserve. However, rumors also suggest that Apple could ditch the age-old 3.5mm audio port in favor of Lightning port. While it may disappoint a lot of people who have bought premium headphones with 3.5mm connector, let s take a look at some of the benefits. Also Read - This photo shot with iPhone X by an Indian wins iPhone Photography Awards 2021Also Read - Top Apple gadgets, accessories for less than Rs 15,000 for Apple fans
The 3.5mm socket has been a default audio connector for decades. It is widely used on laptops, PCs, smartphones, TVs, MP3 players, gaming consoles and many other devices. However, with Apple choosing to use Lightning port for charging, data transfer and audio, it will be forcing users to either use Bluetooth headphones or headphones with Lightning connectors. Given the fact that millions of people across the globe use wired headphones with 3.5mm jack, Apple s move is potentially a risky one. Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak criticized the company s rumored plan to make users rely on Bluetooth headphones or Lightning cable. However, Apple seems to be fully confident.
Why is Apple ditching the 3.5mm port?
Apple is not the only one, earlier this year LeEco and Motorola have ditched the 3.5mm audio port in favor of USB Type-C audio on some of their smartphones. But then again, unless someone doesn t take the necessary steps to make way for newer technologies, age-old ones won t become obsolete. The manufacturers claim that the new audio ports can offer uncompressed output for better audio experience, compared to a standard headphone jack.
Citing sources, a recent report from Fast Company stated that Apple is working with Cirrus Logic for making audio chipsets that will work with Lightning port for transmitting audio output. To produce better sound quality for music and also on calls, the new system may also come with built-in noise-cancellation technology. Apple’s MFi program allows third-party hardware makers to ensure their devices and accessories are able to work well with Apple’s iOS devices. DON’T MISS: Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch 2 to launch today: Here is everything we already know
In a recent interview with TechRadar, Dr Kevin Currie, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers highlighted the fact that the 8-pin Lightning connector can send more data compared to Bluetooth. It is especially important when your headphones decode audio signals digitally. He further mentioned that while advanced Bluetooth version can transfer maximum data 25Mbps (or 3.2 megabytes per second), a Lightning port can transmit data at the rate of 480Mbps (or 60 megabytes per second). This could offer far superior audio quality, compared to existing 3.5mm audio port, or even Bluetooth with AptX codec, something that Apple doesn t support yet.
The removal of the 3.5mm audio port will not only create space, but also help Apple to make the new iPhones thinner. There is one more crazy logic too the display on next year s iPhone is expected to double as a fingerprint scanner too, and the physical Touch ID senor is likely to go away. With the 3.5mm headphone and Touch ID sensor gone, it will also create more room for additional hardware.
How could Apple make up for the missing 3.5mm port?
Lack of 3.5mm port on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus could be a bummer, but if rumors and recent box leaks are to be believed, Apple is likely to have you covered. Apple is likely to include Earpods with Lightning port connector and a Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter in the packaging. However, it remains to be seen as to how much of impact the adapter causes on the audio quality. ALSO READ: Here s how Apple plans to make up for the missing 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
Truly wireless headphones with custom Bluetooth-like chip
Earlier this year in January, we came across a report stating that Apple is working on truly wireless Beats AirPods with custom low-powered Bluetooth-like chip to offer stellar battery life. These headphones will not have any cable running around from one ear to the other. The concept and working is expected to be similar to Motorola s Hint, Bragi s Dash and Samsung s recently unveiled Gear IconX in-ear headphones. To ensure that the headphones properly fit your ears, Apple could also be developing different sized ear sleeves. These headphones can be used for listening music and taking calls, and one of the headphone (right ear) is likely to have power / call button, and volume buttons. DON’T MISS: Apple accidentally confirms one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the new iPhones
However, these headphones are likely to be targeted towards a higher-end market than the company s Beats brand. While other details such as price and availability are missing, we ll know more Apple announces it later today.
Why Apple’s move makes perfect sense?
Now, considering all the above points, Lightning port could offer better audio quality than existing technology, something that audiophiles would appreciate if it works as expected. Apple could move the DAC away from the phone and that could mean headphones with better DAC than what was possible with the space constraints within the phone.
Yes, the move will make it more cumbersome for users to use their old headphones with the new iPhones or use the new Lightning EarPods with their laptops and other devices that still have a 3.5mm audio port. It will take sometime for the industry to move to the new standard. In all probability and if Apple is able to come up with wireless AirPods that not only sound better but have better battery life compared to current Bluetooth wireless headsets, we all would eventually move to a wireless world. ALSO READ: Massive Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus leak reveals 5 color options, dual-camera features and more