AirPods trademark appears to confirm Apple’s wireless future

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EarPods aren't going wireless in 2016.
Prepare to say goodbye to wires.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

To make up for killing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, it appears that Apple is definitely planning to make some wireless earbuds of its own, based on some recently discovered trademark filings.

There has been some debate in the Apple rumor mill as to whether Apple will make Lighting EarPods or fully embrace the wireless future with wireless EarPods to go with the iPhone 7. The folks at MacRumors have found evidence that appears to confirm Apple will go with the latter route, except they might be called AirPods.

An amendment filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review process shows that Apple used a shell company called Entertainment in Flight to trademark the term “AirPods.” The link to Apple was unearthed thanks to a signature on the document from “Jonathan Brown,” who appears to be the attorney by the same name that works as Apple’s Senior Standards Counsel.

Brown has been involved with intellectual property in the past at Apple, as well as at chipmaker Rambus, where he worked before coming to Apple. A signature from 2010 civil court case involving Jonathan Brown appears to match the one found on the new AirPods trademark amendment.

It’s unknown whether Apple will actually use the AirPods name for its new earbuds, but it’s definitely interested in protecting the name for now. Apple used similar tactics to register the “iPad” and “CarPlay” trademarks. It did the same for “iWatch” too but discarded the name.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 around September of this year. Other features may include a redesign casing, faster A10 processor, a dual-lens camera, redesigned home button, waterproofing and more.