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Supposed Lightning EarPods for iPhone 7 shown in new leak

The iPhone 7 is largely expected to do away with the long-used headphone jack, allowing Apple to make the device thinner and sleeker than ever. While some rumors indicate that Apple will include Bluetooth earbuds as a replacement to the standard 3.5mm headphones, a new leak reveals that Apple might instead simply include wired Lightning headphones.

Updated on 07-14-2016 by Kyle Wiggers: Added additional images of purported Lightning-compatible EarPods. 

The leak comes from Chinese social media site Weibo (via iPhone7.nl), and basically shows headphones that look exactly the same as Apple’s EarPods, but have a Lightning connector instead of a 3.5mm connector.

Related: iPhone 7 rumors and news leaks

It’s important to take these images with a grain of salt, as they could pretty easily have been altered. If accurate, however, the leak seemingly confirms that Apple will be doing away with the headphone jack. Some reports suggest that the leak could be fake, considering the fact that the connector seems to be a lot larger than that of the standard Lightning cable. Still, it’s important to remember that in the case of headphones, a digital-to-analog converter is required to convert ones and zeroes to something the human ear can understand.

Actually, if accurate, Apple will be going above and beyond the latest rumors, which suggest that the iPhone 7 will come with Apple’s standard EarPods and a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter. It’s a somewhat unwieldy solution and would be very un-Apple-like, especially considering the fact that Apple has always been about great design and ease-of-use. Still, it would allow users to continue using their own headphones if they so choose. Perhaps the best solution would be to offer Lightning earbuds, like those shown in the latest leak, as well as a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter. One can dream.

lightning-headphones-leak

Apple is also expected to release Bluetooth earbuds, but most rumors suggest that those will be available to buy, rather than included in the box with the new iPhone.

Of course, we should find out the truth pretty soon. If Apple sticks to its normal update schedule, the iPhone 7 should be released in September.

Article originally published on 07-13-2016.