The iPhone 7 could ditch the headphone jack to make way for a stereo speaker, according to reports.
Rumours have swirled for weeks that Apple might be dropping the headphone jack entirely, and encouraging people to plug headphones into the Lightning port or use Bluetooth instead. A new report has lent further credence to the rumour, as well as suggesting some of the ways that Apple will replace the headphone jack.
The part of the phone that currently holds the jack — on the left hand side of the bottom of the phone —will be used for an extra speaker to allow the phone to send out stereo audio, according to a research note from analysts at Barclays.
At the moment, iPhones feature just one speaker panel on the right hand side. Wider audio has been an interest of Apple in recent devices, such as on the iPad Pro — which uses speakers on all of its sides to produce a bigger, stereo sound.
Many phones already include stereo speakers, mounting them together or on either sides of the phone so that the audio seems much wider when listening to music or watching films.
Apple is expected to replace the existing headphones, which use the headphone jack, with an upgraded model that plugs into the Lightning port on the bottom of the phone. Some rumours have also suggested that Apple could offer entirely wireless headphones over Bluetooth.
The evolution of the iPhone
Some rumours had suggested that the company would add noise cancellation to those headphones, using the extra power and space to allow the phones to keep out audio. But that is likely to be kept until the next phone is release — probably known as the iPhone 7s, and likely to be released towards the end of 2017.