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article imageApple's iPhone 7 changes may include a farewall to 3.5mm headsets

By James Walker     Sep 23, 2015 in Technology
A recent Apple patent filing has suggested that the company could be planning to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack from its iPhone 7, replacing it with an ultra-slim 2mm version instead. The change isn't the first time Apple has moved ports about.
In 2012, owners of Apple accessories were forced to change them all or buy often-pricey adapters when the company changed the charging port design for its products. Next year, it looks like the smartphone giant may drop an even more radical change, eschewing the traditional, universally-compatible 3.5mm headphone jack for a 2mm variant.
9to5Mac reports that a patent filing for such a port was uncovered this week by Patently Apple. Resembling a D-shape, it is both thinner and shorter than the current 3.5mm jack. Functionality is similar with left audio, right audio and microphone input separated by strips along the headphone connector. A ground contact is isolated in the tip to eradicate electrical interference.
An image from Apple s patent filing for a 2mm D-shape headset connector showing the jack connectors
An image from Apple's patent filing for a 2mm D-shape headset connector showing the jack connectors
US Patent Office
Apple's motive behind this could be one that is increasingly tiring smartphone consumers. Recently, it has often seemed as though manufacturers are on a quest only to create the thinnest phone possible, sacrificing any hardware that gets in the way.
In the case of the iPhone 7, it looks like the humble 3.5mm jack could have been made redundant to shave a few more millimetres off the overall chassis width. With a new version number indicating major design changes, next year seem as good as any for Apple to unveil the 2mm D-plug.
Whether the change will please fans remains to be seen. With so many thin phones about, both consumers and press reviewers have begun to call for a return to useful functionality. What thinness achieves in the design line is easily lost in comfort, battery life and heat output. Many people are unlikely to feel that a marginally thinner body is a suitable trade for adapter-less compatibility with the vast majority of headphones and headsets ever made.
However, it should be remembered that the existence of this design does not automatically mean that physical versions of it have been built, as with all corporate patent filings. It's entirely possible that Apple is simply saving this one for a rainy day as it is very common for companies to build up banks of patents in case they ever feel the need to use them. In any case, the iPhone 7 is still a year away so fans have many months of 3.5mm usage ahead of them.
More about Apple, iPhone, iphone 7, Smartphone, Ios
 
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