The new Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are displayed during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, September 9, 2015.REUTERS/Beck DiefenbachThe evidence is mounting that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone.
Instead of using that old 3.5 mm standard headphone jack, people will have to plug their wired headphones into the Lightning port, where you plug in the charger, to listen to music.
Of course, they could also connect wireless headphones using a Bluetooth connection.
Although in the short term it may be frustrating to consumers — well, absolutely infuriating to some — there are a lot of advantages for Apple to eschew this more than 100-year-old technology in favor of the super fast Lightning port.
You wouldn't need a separate battery pack to power noise-canceling headphones.
I recently got an awesome pair of Bose noise-canceling headphones, and I love them. But they come with a pesky, awkward battery pack that powers the noise-canceling function. Since the lightning port is powered, future iterations of these headphones could possibly be powered by your phone rather than by a battery pack.
It enables higher quality audio.
The digital Lightning connector can support higher quality sound than a 3.5 mm analog headphone jack. As Apple Insider recently reported, Apple is working on launching its "Hi-Res" streaming service, which would deliver higher quality music (Spotify and other services offer a similar high-quality audio stream). Sound of this quality can be transmitted over Lightning, but not a 3.5 mm jack.
It would be "smarter."
Christian Hartmann / Reuters
As my colleague Alex Heath reported last month, you could program an app like Spotify to open when you plug your headphones into a Lightning port, or Apple Music, or whatever else. Since it's a digital signal, more information than just sound can be carried over the wire.
Apple has a long history of moving the industry forward when it comes to this stuff.
People were up in arms when Apple didn't include a floppy disk drive on the candy-colored iMac. The same goes for when the company stopped shipping CD/DVD drives on their Macs, and removed the FireWire 400 and 800 ports from their computers
In all of these instances, Apple has been right — the industry moved in the direction Apple was going. Floppy discs, CDs, and FireWire have all pretty much gone the way of Crystal Pepsi.
The new MacBook, even, has only one USB-C port and a headphone jack. But we'll have to wait and see if Apple made the right bet on this one.