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Apple’s new headphone jack patent could make life awkward for everyone

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iPhone

Apple’s desire to shave fractions off the iPhone’s profile could lead to the company eschewing one of the most time-tested of tech standards.

Judging by a patent discovered by Patently Apple this week (via 9to5Mac), the company is planning to ditch the trusty 3.5mm jack for future iOS devices.

In its place would be a half-height solution, which would effectively chop the jack in half.

That could perhaps enable the iPhone 7 to sneak towards the 6mm mark, with the current iPhone 6S model coming in at 7.1mm thick.

While it wouldn’t be a problem to use existing headphones with an adapter, such a move would add to the ever-growing range of proprietary connection standards employed by Apple.

Headphone makers are already making use of the company’s Lightning port, while the firm also announced a new mechanism for connecting a keyboard to the iPad Pro at its launch event earlier this month.

On the other side of the coin, Apple dropped its trusty MagSafe connector on the MacBook (2015) in preference of a single Type-C USB port, meaning users will need an adapter to use more than one peripheral at a time.

Related: iPhone 6S review

While another adapter might be a pain in the neck for iPhone and iPad users, this represents a relatively simple, if not-so-streamlined way to cut the iPhone’s dimensions down even further.

Of course, a patent filing isn’t a surefire indication of Apple’s plans; often it just signifies the firm is playing with ideas.

Anyway, with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus not yet on the shelves, we’re not quite mentally ready to embrace the iPhone 7 rumours just yet! Just kidding. Of course we are!

Brian

September 22, 2015, 1:21 pm

Why have any ports? Wifi for data, wireless Qi charging (or metal contacts on the back) and bluetooth headphone. If you can make the SIM slot (or have a built in sim?) and speakers waterpoof then you've got a fully waterproof phone.

MattMe

September 22, 2015, 2:24 pm

Surprised they would do this and not just force use of lightning or USB Type C port headphones.
But we all know why they might...

Everlast

September 22, 2015, 5:01 pm

A proprietary headphone jack will be a HUGE mistake! Perhaps they'd like to shift some Beats headphones, but this will cause them more pain than profit.

Dead Words

September 22, 2015, 8:56 pm

Wireless connections aren't as reliable or as powerful as corded connections yet. The technology just isn't there.

ElectricSheep

September 22, 2015, 10:15 pm

Well, that gave me a laugh!

LittleBlueDot

September 23, 2015, 8:14 am

It is for audio. I challenge anyone to tell the difference, when playing mp3 files, between wired and Apt-X bluetooth connection. Oh wait, iOS devices don't support Apt-X!

Dead Words

September 23, 2015, 11:18 am

I can't stand listening to music through Bluetooth. Bluetooth stereos are better than headphones but when I'm wearing headphones I do not use Bluetooth.

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