iOS 9.3, currently in beta mode, is bringing forth some interesting ideas. First, iOS 9.3 beta has shown that Apple has in-built Li-Fi (light wireless technology) into the future iOS update for iPhones and iPads, but it doesn’t stand alone. We’ve been hearing that Apple would eliminate the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but now we have some confirmation of this within the beta code itself.
A developer who goes by the Twitter name @uloshe (or Chase Fromm) has posted a picture of iOS 9.3 beta code from his iPhone, highlighting the words “headphones.have.%sinput.No…” This means, in short, that there are no headphone inputs (or jacks) in iOS 9.3 beta code. Currently, iOS 9.1 has been released for existing devices, but iOS 9.3 could be issued for the newest iPhones to arrive on the market this year. We don’t know when iOS 9.3 could arrive, but it appears as though iOS 9.3 is only in beta mode because it isn’t yet ready for final release until the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus announcement — which won’t come until September (8 months from now). Apple may have iOS 9.3 ready for its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this summer, but until then, we’re bound to see leaks here and there. At this point, though, it’s safe to assume that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are in existence in the form of prototypes, and Apple is testing them out (otherwise, why have a code written here that entertains no headphone input)?
What would be the reason for Apple to remove headphone jacks in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus? Apple could be doing this to make its devices thinner and lighter, which could be the reason (though Apple’s new 3D Touch sensor makes the iPhone 6s thicker than the iPhone 6), but it could also be the case that Apple wants to start charging more for its iPhone-compatible headphones. Currently, some individuals have been able to pair their iPhone with a cheap, budget-friendly headphone set. With Cupertino having acquired Beats headphones and the company now under its wing, Apple is in the business of manufacturing Bluetooth-based headsets. Keep in mind, too, that Bluetooth-based headsets cost more than wired headphones. Apple could simply make the music listening experience a little more sophisticated by bumping up technology to move with the times. At the same time, it could be a move by Apple to market its Bluetooth headphone sets, and iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus buyers are far more likely to pick up Apple’s Bluetooth headsets — seeing that the 3.5mm headphone jack will become a thing of the past.
The issue of the 3.5mm headphone jack is one that some tech enthusiasts have thought about for a long time. Why in the world would companies rely on Bluetooth in other areas but continue to maintain the 3.5mm headphone jack? Bluetooth-based headsets would be more convenient, not mandate the use of a jack or a wire, and would allow you to sit down your phone and still listen to your music across the room or house. Headphone jacks also complicate the idea, as consumers have had to ditch their headphones when the wire or jack are injured or damaged. With Bluetooth-based headsets and the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, consumers will no longer have to worry about those traditional problems. Now, Apple needs to make its Bluetooth headphones sweat-resistant and water-resistant.