Apple is planning to release a set of wireless earbuds, expected to be called "AirPods", to compliment the removal of the headphone jack on the "iPhone 7," according to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.
"Apple will likely have its own-designed Bluetooth-like communication chip and launch own-brand Bluetooth headphones targeting the high-end market, with Beats positioned in the midrange market," wrote Kuo in a research note obtained by AppleInsider.
It's not clear if the chip in the iPhone 7 to support the wireless earbuds will actually have Bluetooth specifications. Kuo theorizes Apple could move away from Bluetooth specifications because of its "higher requirements for power-saving, communication specs and potential rapid growth".
Instead of shipping with "AirPods", the iPhone 7 is likely to have Lightning-based EarPods, now that Apple is doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack. Every model of the iPhone and iPod touch has shipped with a pair of headphones, making them almost iconic.
The "AirPods" are believed to be sold as a premium alongside Apple-owned Beats, though it's not clear at what price. Recent rumors have pointed to Apple releasing a new line of Beats wireless headphones, likely in time for the iPhone 7's launch in the coming weeks.
In a separate research note over the weekend, Kuo said the iPhone 7 will come with water resistance, new color options, haptic-feedback TouchID, and more. As with most rumors, we encourage you to take them with caution. Luckily, Kuo has a great track record in sharing Apple rumors and can provide a good indication of what's to be announced.
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