A new report from Fast Company not only corroborates reports that the iPhone 7 will abandon the 3.5mm headphone jack, but also adds a ton of new information about what we can expect to see in Apple’s next-gen iPhone.
With respect to Apple’s plans to use the iPhone’s Lightning port for audio-out, the report details some of the sound quality advantages Apple plans to incorporate alongside the design change.
Apple is working with its longtime audio chip partner Cirrus Logic to adapt the audio chipset in the iPhone to work with the Lightning port, according to our source.
Our source adds that the audio system will also leverage a new noise-canceling technology from Wolfson Microelectronics—a U.K.-based audio tech company Cirrus acquired in 2014. The software will be baked into the phone and also into the headphones that will plug into it, and will help remove background noise in music playback and in phone calls, our source says.
It’ll be interesting to see if these advantages do anything assuage the concerns of consumers who are already fuming about Apple’s plan to do away with the beloved 3.5mm headphone jack. In fact, more than 200,000 individuals have already signed a petition against Apple’s rumored design change.
Headphone jack issues aside, we also learn that the iPhone 7 may feature wireless charging functionality. The report interestingly notes that Apple contemplated incorporating wireless charging as far back as the iPhone 5s, though it remains unclear why such plans were ultimately abandoned. Of course, wireless smartphone charging isn’t exactly new or revolutionary, with a number of Android handsets on the market already supporting the feature.
The report further relays that the iPhone 7 will be waterproof, echoing a number of previous rumors which have also pointed to Apple rolling out a waterproof iPhone design. In fact, one of the ancillary benefits of removing the headphone jack is that it actually makes it easier to developing a waterproof device.
Apple inching towards a waterproof iPhone shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. You might recall that the iPhone 6s performed remarkably well during water-based testing, even being able to withstand a full hour submerged in a bowl of water. With the iPhone 7, it appears that Apple will push things even further by delivering a device with an IP68 rating, something a few Android handsets already have.