We know that Apple is about to ditch the headphone jack on the new iPhone 7, it’s been leaked and reposted by so many different sources it’s hard to believe they could all be mistaken. The assumption has been that Apple would replace them with a set of Lightning Earpods in the box and Bluetooth headphones as an optional upsell, or possibly as an in the box bonus for high end iPhone buyers.
In the last 24 hours however there are new whispers that suggest Apple is about to break the wireless headphone model by ditching Bluetooth for its new headphones (almost universally leaked as ‘Airpods’.
This is an intriguing rumour which raises many questions. Will the new iPhone support both Bluetooth A2DP and AVCRP protocols for music playback and control or will Apple kill them in favour of its own proprietary protocol. If it’s the latter it would allow Apple to control sales of all headphones for the iPhone, wired or wireless, by virtue of its ‘Made for iPhone’ certification initiative. A nice little earner.
It has a major downside of potential iPhone owners if it does drop these standards though: every single Bluetooth device, including portable speakers, cars and music systems, becomes obsolete to the new iPhone owner.
For that reason I can’t see Apple doing something as drastic as this.
More so, I’m at a loss as to why Apple would create a new proprietary standard for its Airpods, as it would block sales to existing iPhone users – and for Beats branded sets – sales to Android owners who might be tempted to try them out.
As a late-breaking rumour its a good one, but it raises more questions than it answers. We won’t have to wait long to find out though.