Rumor suggests Apple may be backtracking on unpopular iPhone 7 change

Just as it seems like we thought we knew everything there was to know about the iPhone 7 ahead of its unveiling, a new report suggests that Apple may have backtracked on its decision to drop the headphone jack.

Just as manufacturers are falling over each other to come out with Lightning headphones and headphone adaptors, it seems like they might not be needed.

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According to Mac Otakara, not only will the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come equipped with a headphone jack - a long-established feature of smartphones that previous rumors suggested that Apple had done away with - but that the handset will also come with a Lightning headphone jack adaptor.

See also: If Apple won't give you wireless charging, add it to your iPhone yourself

Not only that, but the report also supports the claim that the iPhone 7 will come equipped with a second set of speakers at the top - although here it says these will be single-channel monaural speakers as opposed to stereo - and that there will also be a 256GB version for those who want plenty of storage space.

So what's going on here? Is Apple dropping the headphone jack or not?

Several possibilities spring to mind:

  • The rumor is right and there's been a change of heart over at Cupertino
  • The rumor could be wrong
  • Apple is testing multiple version of the iPhone 7 and hasn't yet decided on whether the time is right to remove the headphone jack

While I don't see all that many downsides to Apple ditching the headphone jack - it's old technology and the Lightning port could offer a better user experience - the removal of something that people are so used to, especially on a device that's otherwise rumored to be very similar to the iPhone 6s, could come across as a lame reason to upgrade.

Why Apple would include a Lightning headphone jack adaptor with a handset that has a headphone jack is not clear. Maybe Apple just wants people to get used to using the Lightning port for this feature, and perhaps Apple will offer users some cool new feature only available if they plug in via Lightning. That said, it seems very un-Apple for the company to be hedging its bets on a technology change so much. Apple is usually a very all or nothing company.

Another rumor suggests that Touch ID button could be replaced with a Touch ID pad that works just like the existing button, but replaces the physical button with a touch-sensitive pad.

Another leak claims that the iPhone 7 will feature dual-SIM trays, which would be a first for Apple. While dual-SIM smartphones aren't all that popular in the US, they are popular in Asian markets, as well as India, and since these are where Apple can expect the most growth in the coming years, it might make sense to add this functionality now.

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