This year new iPhone will differ in one major way from last year’s flagship, even though the iPhone 7 is generally seen as a minor upgrade from the iPhone 6s. For the first time, the iPhone will not feature a headphone jack – well, at least not the standard 3.5mm audio port we’re used seeing. According to most reports, Apple is killing the 3.5mm headset jack, and one of the “fixes” for the problem it’s creating is pretty simple: Apple can relegate sound output to the versatile Lightning port, and launch Lightning Earpods for the iPhone 7 series.

DON’T MISS: The iPhone 7 nightmare

A new leak from Asia seems to indicate that will indeed be the case. A couple of images spotted on Weibo by iPhone7.nl show what look like Lighting EarPods that some expect to see in the iPhone 7 box. It’s not clear at this point whether the headphones in the following image are genuine, or whether we’re looking at fakes. The latter is most likely the case, since just about anyone can make Lightning EarPods now that the reference design is available.

iphone-7-lightning-earpodsImage Source: Weibo

If these are in fact Apple headphones, they we’re looking at a bulky Lightning connector that replaces the 3.5mm jack. Everything else seems to be identical, including wire thickness, the remote, and the earphones.

On the other hand, one recent rumor did say that Apple will pack 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter in iPhone 7 boxes, and keep the same design for the EarPods for at least one more year. This seems like a more likely solution. What’s absolutely clear though, is that many iPhone 7 buyers will resent Apple for this particular change, no matter how much sense it makes in the grand scheme of things.

But no, it won’t be the nightmare some have predicted.

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