iPhone7 rumour have been pretty consistent for a while now claiming that the next model will see Apple abandoning the standard 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of a proprietary solution that uses purpose-built headphones plugged into the firm's Lightning port; the reason, it's alleged, is that it will allow the iPhone 7 to be thinner than ever (after all, a phone with a 3.5mm jack can't be thinner than 3.5mm), enable a bigger battery cell, and potentially allow for easier waterproofing (assuming, for now, that the rumour that it will be IP certified is also true). Despite these advantages, the obvious disadvantage that has ruffled more than a few feathers is the lack of compatibility with pretty much every set of headphones on the market, including very advanced, high-tech and expensive ones that audiophile consumers may be very fond of, such as those produced by Bose or Sennheiser. In short, it means the only headphones you could use with the iPhone 7 would be Apple's own design, unless and until third parties start producing Lightning port headphones themselves, that is. Either way, it is a bit of a "screw you" to plenty of existing iPhone users with their own headphone preferences.
Now though, there is evidence that what we've been hearing for so long may not come to pass, or at least aboard the next-gen iPhone 7. An image has emerged from sources inside China, reported via local news source MyDrivers. The photo is claimed to show the circuitry for the iPhone 7 and according to people in the know this circuitry includes components for supporting a 3.5mm headphone port. Here it is:
We should stress that amidst a large body of rumours saying there will be NO 3.5mm port this is the ONLY bit of info so far saying the iPhone 7 WILL have one, and we've no real way of verifying the authenticity at this point, so do take it with a pinch of salt. That said, it does fit with a few bits of other info we've heard so far about Apple's future plans. The most immediate thing which springs to mind is that of all the alleged measurements thrown around for the iPhone 7 none of them are thin enough to really require ditching the 3.5mm jack - the very thinnest suggestion so far claims the bodyshell thickness will be around 6.2mm, so there's still plenty of room for that port in a design of that size. What's more, prominent KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, a man with unnerving accuracy when it comes to iPhone rumours, has submitted multiple reports to investors claiming that the iPhone 7 will buck Apple's usual trend of big updates on the solid number models (ie; non-S variants) and will NOT be a big update with tons of amazing new features. In short, it will be incremental, which makes us think it's unlikely the design will be overhauled to a great extent, nor would we likely see a major overhaul to key hardware features such as the headphone port, alleged waterproofing, or anything in that vein. That kind of thing, says Kuo, is being saved for the 2017 model, whether it's called the iPhone 7s or something else.
All of which leaves us thinking the iPhone 7 will be rather a lot like the iPhone 6s with a few tweaks here and there - completely replacing the headphone jack would not be a small tweak, so we're not so sure it's going to happen in light of this new information. It could also be possible that the Lightning port rumours we heard before are actually relevant to the 2017 model instead.