Apple’s existing headphones that come neatly packaged in every iPhone box might not get a major overhaul this year. Some rumors that claimed the iPhone 7 will lack a headphone jack had also suggested that Apple would either pack wireless headphones with the iPhone or simply fit them with Lightning connectors/adapters to make up for the absence of the 3.5mm jack.
A new report indicates that Apple won’t change much the functionality of its iPhone headphones this year, aside from possibly launching Lightning versions for the new iPhone.
A Barclays note published on Friday and seen by Business Insider says that Apple isn’t likely to include active noise-canceling headphones with the iPhone 7. But Apple might have such headphones in place for next year’s iPhone 7s series.
“We still believe there is potential for AAPL to add [active noise-canceling] in the [iPhone 7S] but believe AAPL is including just the digital headphone in the [iPhone 7] this year,” Blayne Curtis and Christopher Hemmelgarn wrote.
“We do believe there are aftermarket AAPL and Android opportunities this year, and we have included only 7.5M units in FY17 as those sales. Recent speculation surrounding the elimination of the headphone jack in the IP7 is consistent with this move as AAPL will need to provide a digital headset inbox but likely was not willing to spend the extra cost for the ANC functionality.”
The note explains that supplier Cirrus Logic could sell Apple a codec that would let the headphones use the digital Lightning connector input instead of the analog headphone jack. A second codec would be needed to activate the noise-cancelling feature.
Furthermore, Cirrus could provide an amp for the secondary speaker that would replace the headphone jack, the analysts said.
Apple is interested in noise-canceling headphone technology, a patent discovery revealed a few months ago (image above). Most interestingly, that patent described technology for developing wireless earphones that would have advanced noise-canceling abilities – read more about the patent at this link.