Apple’s iPhone 7 might replace Bluetooth on top of headphone jacks

Artist depiction by Effah Hanie

By now you’ve heard that Apple are ditching standard headphone jacks in their new iPhone but they might be replacing Bluetooth as well.

It’s just a few hours until Apple hosts the launch event of the new iPhone 7 and in case people weren’t up in arms about traditional headphone jacks being replaced with a ‘Lightning port’ it seems you might not be able to use your Bluetooth headphones with your shiny new iOS 7 either.

Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities and notoriously accurate Apple leaker, made a note on some new earphones from Apple called “AirPods”. These are separate from the new Lightning earpods as AirPods are wireless but won’t necessarily use a Bluetooth connection like almost every other pair of wireless ear/headphones.

Apple music headphones earphones
Apple’s new earphones using the “Lightning” input

Kuo said in his note, obtained by AppleInsider, that: “Apple will likely have its own-designed Bluetooth-like communication chip and launch own-brand Bluetooth headphones targeting the high-end market, with Beats positioned in the midrange market.” If the rumours are true it will put Apple in a unique position as the exclusive manufacturer for all compatible ear/headphones both wired and wireless.

Apple’s new “Bluetooth-like” headphones are presumed by Kuo to promote the use of other low-power wireless communications like controlling home accessories or car computers and so on. This is part of Apple’s “higher requirements for power-saving, communication specs and potential rapid growth” that has led to the potential move away from battery-intensive Bluetooth technology.

Kuo reckons that assuming AirPods are real and are coming, Kuo is often correct in his assumptions, Apple won’t bundle the AirPod’s with iPhone 7. Early packaging has suggested that the iPhone 7 will come bundled with lightning earpods, though AirPods may be included with a future iPhone. iPhone 7’s will reportedly also come with a 3.5mm headphone jack adapter for the Lightning port so you don’t need to throw away your $1000 Shures just yet.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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