SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13/AP)— Kiss the headphone jack good-bye on the next iPhone.
Apple announced the iPhone 7 will not have a headphone jack. Instead, it will come with a pair of headphones that attach through the Lightning port as well as an adapter with each new phone.
The long-rumored decision to ditch the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack could cause an outcry from consumers. Critics have already complained that their old headphones won’t fit in the charging port without an adapter. There’s also the dilemma of where to plug in a set of headphones if the charging port is already being used to plug in a power cord.
Apple marketing chief Philip W. Schiller says it comes down to “courage to move on to something new.”
Schiller says removing the port frees up space in the phone for newer technologies. He also says the Lightning port was designed years ago with digital audio in mind.
Apple isn’t the first to ditch the headphone jack. Motorola quietly did so a month ago with some models of the Moto Z.
Apple says it’s also upgrading the camera and flash components for the new iPhone 7, and it’s making an even bigger change in the iPhone 7 Plus.
The larger model will come with two digital camera lenses. One will be for regular shots and the other will have telephoto capabilities, giving you a two-fold zoom. Smartphones typically have resorted to software tricks for zooms, resulting in fuzzy images when blown up.
Both lenses will take photos at 12 megapixels.
The two lenses will also sense depth and allow users to blur backgrounds in images, mimicking an effect that typically requires changing the lens aperture in stand-alone cameras.
Other smartphone makers including LG and Motorola are also starting to offer models with dual lenses to improve picture quality. While many consumers likely feel their current phone cameras are “good enough,” analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research says the extra capabilities may appeal to millions of people who like to post photos on social media, in the hope of impressing friends and earning “likes” for their posts.
Dawson says the new smartphone cameras still don’t match the capabilities of SLR cameras, but they offer improvements that may appeal to the “vanity” of social media users.
Other camera improvements include a new flash with four rather than two shades of color to match ambient light. High-end photographers can get images in RAW format, which allows for more versatile editing, matching what many leading cameras now have.
Apple is announcing the iPhone 7 at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday.