Reports suggest Apple is working on Beats-branded wireless headphones for the next iPhone.
The rumours surrounding Apple’s plans for headphones and the iPhone 7 have intensified again, with fresh reports that the firm is preparing to do away with the headphone jack.
According to unofficial Apple news site 9to5Mac, Apple is said to be working on a premium set of wireless earbuds that could appear alongside the next iPhone towards the end of the year.
Likely to be under the Beats brand that Apple now owns, the premium buds are said to also enable the wearer to interact with their iPhone and use Siri thanks to a wireless microphone also built into them.
What has also been suggested is that the earphones would not be part of the iPhone box bundle, but rather an optional extra. According to 9to5Mac, Apple will instead include a new version of its EarPods that will connect via the Lightning port currently used for your charger.
The fallout from all this is likely to see a wave of new wireless and Lightning connector-based headphones flooding the market in the coming year and beyond, such is Apple’s usual ability to influence the market.
The reason behind this expected shake-up centres around design. The size of the headphone jack on the iPhone limits the amount of work that can be done to change the design of the device, certainly when it comes to how thin it can go. By removing the need for it, Apple could open the door to making the iPhone thinner, or tweaking the design in other ways.
Of course any change would mean many having to buy new, Apple-approved headphones too if they wanted to keep listening on their iPhone, which would do no harm to Apple’s revenue, some would argue.
Another rumour that is also refusing to go away is the launch of an iPhone 6c sometime around March, with some predicting it will be a smaller version of the current generation iPhone 6 and 6s. Though not a traditional release time for Apple smartphones, there is a feeling a launch could happen alongside the appearance of a new Apple Watch around the same time.