iPhone 7 will be waterproof, charge wirelessly and have no headphone jack

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iPhone-7-concept
An iPhone 7 concept gets rid of the ugly antenna lines too.
Photo: Eric Huismann

The upcoming iPhone 7 is almost certainly ditching the headphone jack at this point. What at first seemed like a ridiculous stretch is now shaping up to be the most credible rumor about the next-gen iPhone so far.

The latest whispers indicate that, while the headphone jack is out, wireless charging and a waterproof design are finally in.

Fast Company reported today that an anonymous source confirmed all these rumors. Apple wants to make the iPhone 7 even thinner than the iPhone 6 and 6s, and the only way to do that is to ax the 3.5-mm headphone jack.

That means two things will very likely happen when the iPhone 7 launches.

The first is that every iPhone 7 will ship either with a pair of Lightning-connected EarPods or wireless, Bluetooth-enabled EarPods to replace the current ones that ship with the iPhone.

Second, customers who want to use third-party wired headphones will have to purchase new ones that connect via Lightning port. Some manufacturers have already begun shipping Lightning headphones, albeit for a pretty steep price. Apple could also theoretically release some crappy 3.5-mm headphone-jack-to-Lightning adapter, too.

The future is still very bright, though. The source tells Fast Company that the new audio system in the iPhone 7 will have built-in noise-canceling functionality. The next-gen handsets will work with the new earphones to block out background sounds when you’re listening to music or on the phone.

Plus, the iPhone 7 should finally be waterproof and charge wirelessly. Waterproofing will presumably come via a simple hydrophobic coating inside and outside of the device, but it’s not yet clear how Apple plans to execute the wireless charging feature. Many Samsung smartphones charge on a wireless charging pad, so unless Apple has an unforeseen trick or two up its sleeve, Cupertino should just follow suit.

Don’t worry about buying your new pair of headphones just yet, though. Several months still separate us from the iPhone 7. Plus, people who generally stick with Apple’s own headphones shouldn’t need to buy anything new.

As always, the device is due out in the summer or fall.

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  • AJ5790

    Out with the old, in with the new. Bye bye 3.5mm. Can’t happen soon enough. Probably the oldest tech still in use.

    • Andrew

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The phone does not need to be any thinner, and they don’t need to force people to buy all-new headphones like they did with charging cables.

      • AJ5790

        If they bundle headphones with all the phones (they do) no one is “forced” into anything. And the thinner postulation is just that, the phone could possibly be the same thickness but remove 2 internal parts equaling more battery space. Just as reasonable a possibility.

      • Null Static Void

        except for after the immediate debut of the ipod and iphone. Nobody has ever liked the earphones that came with the iphone. They sound lame, are delicate, and get dingy and grey very fast.
        This is about as dumb a move as the USB-C Macbook.

      • AJ5790

        Funny… Your use of the word nobody is incorrect, because I don’t care that much about buying 200$ headphones for “quality”. I’ll use a giant generalization as well and say that probably north of 90% of iPhone owners couldn’t care less about the quality of the sound their headphones deliver.

      • Its just a giant inconvenience for the majority of people still using 3.5mm headphones. Dongles suck, prob wouldn’t be included, and bt headphone quality can’t ever compete. My main gripe more pressing than fidelity issues with bt: oh great another battery to remember to change and have wear out.

      • nrennie

        How naive?! What about the many of us that have purchased $500+ headphones?! I guess we don’t apply….

      • Brent

        That’s the whole point

      • Brent

        I believe apple is in the business of changing the way we “plug and play” if you will. They make a killing on updating connectors, changing wires, etc. They limit your choice for the old by introducing the new (something I don’t necessarily like), but make it a better experience once you do switch over. If they didn’t have the hand up on the tech it wouldn’t be possible and too many people would just go elsewhere.

        As for audiophile’s such as myself, I wonder if the lightning port will increase performance or if many people will simply drop the iPhone altogether as a listening device with headphones. Not that any audiophiles rely on their phones as their music listening source… but still, I’d like to see better quality tech put into the iPhone to take advantage of audiophile headphones and set-ups. Like a miniature rig all set up inside your phone.

        The phone of the future is really just the tricorder of the past… Maybe the 3.5mm will be back one day in the form of a projector. Or maybe they’ll hide one in the apple logo on the back for holographic projections.

    • nrennie

      That statement just tells me you have no idea of how the technology works.

  • Garrett Fahey

    Love it. With wireless charging, I wonder if we’ll see some new materials.

  • Rick Ludwig

    An “Anonymous Source” eh? Sounds Legit.

    • Amber Hugs

      The anonymous source was probably Anthony Crispino who predicted the iPhone 4S. He did an interview on TV back then. Look it up on YouTube.

  • David Malcolm Puranen

    They could also ship a bluetooth to 3.5 adapter. I know someone who uses it so he can clip the adapter to his coat and keep his phone in his pocket in the winter.

    Either way getting rid of the headphone jack isn’t a big deal. They also might stop including headphones with the iPhone. Lots of people don’t use them with their phones. Apple could also offer every new iPhone customer 50 bucks off a pair of Beats headphones. There’s lots of things they could do. (Though given that bluetooth chipsets are insanely cheap these days, they’ll probably come out with a nice version of the EarPods that use bluetooth.) Personally I just bought a nice pair of Sony headphones on boxing day. They sound great, and don’t have awkwardly heavy bass.

    • elpardo

      I had a

  • Geoff Gentry

    The issue I have with no headphone jack is easy, connection to things easily is out without an lightening to headphone adapter. Using the iPhone for hooking in to soundboards and other devices are easy now. In the audio world the less adapters the better is the rule. Now if Apple will allow a good quality lightening to XLR connection that would be fine.

  • Maybe they are ditching the lightning port as well? Makes sense to me! No open ports to let water in. Everything wireless needs no plugs.

  • radrave

    screw apple and their perpetual profits making schemes disguised as cutting edge design. This is the last straw.

    • AJ5790

      Have fun using Android.

      • Lindle

        We will, thanks

  • Null Static Void

    I’m gonna have to resurrect Zombie Jobs here again.
    He was hardnosed about certain design aspects that may have seemed meaningless or silly at the time. But in the end he was mostly right. His first mouse was a pain inducing nightmare, but much better than key navigating everywhere on a screen.

    Lately Apple seems to be emulating Jobs forceful vision, but without any meaningful direction.
    They’ve been spawning more pointless variations in models (two colors of gold!) and obsessing on slimming everything to unrealistic dimensions. Having 64gb and 128gb devices allows us to carry uncompressed music with us. I am also not the only person who has invested hundreds of dollars
    in premium headphones (NOT beats) so I can hear something approaching
    fidelity with this uncompressed audio. I don’t want to have to listen via BT, which will screw with the audio. And I don’t want to buy an adapter to get my audio jack back.

    What is worse is that this is almost certainly a move precipitated by the Beats acquisition. They have a headphones division. So why not make proprietary headphones? Yeah, except people with decent hearing hate Beats. They are hyped and unnatural sounding!

  • jtz

    I like the idea of a waterproof iPhone, but no headphone jack is a non-starter for me. I use that for a lot of things…connecting to car stereo, connecting to guest stereo when traveling, in rental cars (not all rental cars have USB stereos). Come one, Apple, that’s just too much. 1mm less in thickness while killing an important port. And I don’t want to carry a bunch of adapters.

  • Chris Nova

    charge wirelessly.. LOL.. and how does that work ?

    • Lindle

      Grab a high end Android or Windows and see

  • Fred Holden

    I absolutely don’t argue that tech needs to move on move on, but to me this just gives me another thing to charge every day.

    When I didn’t have a car, I’d be spending a lot of my day on public transport, with my headphones. I would be listening to music for far longer than any of the current wireless headphones can last without charging. Similarly, my phone would need simultaneous charging from my battery pack at least 3 times during the day. So now, I have to choose between stopping listening to music between iPhone charges (lightning headphones) or stopping listening to music to charge my wireless headphones.

    Perhaps Apple should ‘double down’ on battery technology before forcing decisions like this on a market that shouldn’t have to make them

  • Jenn Em

    If there’s no headphone jack, aren’t they losing out on the Square ? Doesn’t that credit card swiper plug into the headphone jack? How would you connect an auxiliary wire to your car to your iphone if there’s no headphone jack?

  • Claudia Bach

    Do I even want a thinner phone? Think Ill get the z5 compact. Amazing battery life, great camera. The apple product with no rivals is the macbook. The iphone has better alternatives out there and many.

  • umadpeople

    oh hell no they are not ditching the headphone jack, not with my precious headphone

  • Dazmurphy

    People need to get a grip really!
    It’s the most outdated tech around!!
    Does anyone miss the floppy disk and optical cd drive? Nope. Apple seem like the only ones that have the balls to move on from these.
    It’s tech that was used in the 19th feckin century for godsake!!

    And yes of course it’s inconvenient, and it will increase profit margins slightly, etc.
    But just get an adapter for your outdated earphones. Everything should have been wireless years ago and now finally it will.

  • OverKillBill

    I use my iPhone for my business to accept credit cards using PayPal Here. The card reader uses the headphone jack, losing it would negatively affect my business.