It might be nothing. It might be the biggest little thing ever.
According to rumours posted on the Japanese Apple blog Macotakara, Apple is considering removing the audio jack from the new iPhone model in order to make the phone slightly thinner.
The difference in size? A single, solitary millimeter.
Talk about a little thing making a big difference: removal of the headphone jack could be disastrous for the $8 billion headphone industry, the blog warns.
It’s anyone’s guess what the new iPhone 7 might actually look like and which features it will or won’t contain. Rumours have been circulating for a while now that the next model would be thinner, somehow, but talk of eliminating the headphone jack is relatively new. It’s possible the phone could incorporate a multi-purpose (and smaller) USB-C port, which measures 2.5 mm high, but, again, it’s all speculation at this time.
Over at Mashable, Lance Ulanoff reports that Creative Strategies President Tim Bajarin told him it’s unlikely the 3.5 mm headphone jack would be eliminated for design purposes. “If Apple has found some significant way through USB Type C to enhance sound—and it’s highly noticeable—that could justify it,” he adds.
This could be a major disruption in the headphone industry, which saw 286 million pairs shipped in 2013 and is poised for expansion to $11.3 billion in 2017, according to the research firm FutureSource. There’s the question of adapters or new headphones to buy, all of which could either make customers annoyed or could provide a boon to the headphone market.
When Apple changed the size of its charger port a few years ago, people were cranky about having to buy a new cable for their iPhones. Will the same thing happen again, causing people to pour even more money into the tech giant? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.