For some time now, we’ve been reporting on rumors that the upcoming iPhone 7 won’t include a 3.5mm headphone jack, opting instead for a single Lightning connector. While this has a number of hypothetical advantages including an even slimmer, possibly waterproof phone, not everyone is thrilled about the idea.
It seems that in order to keep customers happy, Apple may be working on a much improved sequel to the company’s standard EarPods. Last week, 9to5 Mac’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple is in the prototype stages of producing a new pair of wireless earbuds for the iPhone 7, which may be known as the AirPods.
A trademark was filed for the AirPods name last year by a firm named Entertainment In Flight LLC, which may just be an Apple shell company, according to MacRumors. Whether or not this is the case, the name would be fitting for the product described by Gurman.
Unlike most Bluetooth earbuds, the product Apple is working on is said to be entirely wireless, similar to the Moto Hint. The earbuds could have a few buttons for taking calls and activating Siri, and would likely include different sized gels in order to fit all customers better. The earbuds would not include a port for charging, but would instead come with a carrying case that would charge them.
Gurman suggests that Apple is using resources acquired from the company’s 2014 acquisition of Beats, but while that firm had wireless offerings prior to its acquisition, that technology didn’t seem to be very different from what’s inside any of the other wireless headphones we’ve seen.
Unfortunately, it isn’t very likely that even if these headphones are planned to enter production, they’ll be included with your new iPhone 7. The AirPods would likely be sold separately as an alternative to the EarPods, which would have to be updated to use a Lightning connector, assuming the newest iPhone does actually ditch the 3.5mm jack.
Other companies are already selling Lightning-enabled headphones including Philips, Audeze, and others. In the meantime, Forbes reports that over 250,000 people have signed a petition simply called “Keep the standard headphone jack in your iPhones!”