There are rumours the next iPhone will not have a headphone jack, prompting accusations the company is favouring design over function.
The inlet, which allows users to plug in physical headphones, could be removed in order to make the phone even thinner, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
The rumours suggest that users might instead have to connect their headphones wirelessly via bluetooth or using the “lightning” connection port at the bottom of the phone.
A wireless lightning connection would simultaneously charge earphones from the headset while being controlled via an app.
The rumour has sparked outrage, with tech writers the world over going into meltdown.
One of the strongest reactions came from The Verge, where journalist Micah Singleton labelled it “a bad idea“.
“There are a ton of reasons to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack intact,” Mr Singleton wrote.
“And, seemingly only one rationale for Apple to get rid of it next year – to make a thinner iPhone, which absolutely no one is clamouring for.”
A smartphone researcher previously told The New Daily that Apple is not giving the majority of the market what it wants: cheaper phones with better functionality.
Commenting on the iPhone 6S, Queensland University of Technology’s Dr Christine Satchell said it seemed like user needs and Apple’s design were “going in opposite directions”.
Ditching the headphone jack would seem to prove Dr Satchell correct.
Potentially frustrating for consumers
If the rumour is true, it would echo Apple’s earlier decision to remove the 30-pin connector port (for charging and downloads) upon release in the iPhone 5.
Unlike the 30-pin connector, headphone jacks are not exclusive to Apple; they are a universal technology. This would probably make it impossible to use other branded headphones in the iPhone 7 – and make it impossible to use Apple’s new headphones in an older Mac, iPad or Windows PC.
Moreover, if you enjoyed connecting your iPhone to a car sound system or other audio system via a 3.5mm cord, you could no longer do that.
Instead, you would be forced to carry around a second pair of headphones and other connective equipment for your sound system needs.
-with Jackson Stiles and Anthony Colangelo