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1/10/2016
11:15 AM
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iPhone 7 Will Reportedly Support Wireless Headphones

Say goodbye to wires -- for a price. Apple is reportedly planning on offering wireless headphones as an accessory for the upcoming iPhone 7.

Samsung, Huawei, HTC Show Off Smartwatches At CES
Samsung, Huawei, HTC Show Off Smartwatches At CES
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple may be getting ready to cut the cord when it comes to the headphones bundled with its upcoming iPhone 7 model, a report in Apple blog 9to5Mac indicates.

The tech giant is reportedly collaborating with Beats Electronics, which Apple purchased for $3 billion in 2014, to develop completely wireless in-ear headphones that would come with a charger and be marketed as a premium accessory.

In addition to being completely wireless, the headphones could also feature noise-cancelling technology and a microphone that would allow users to communicate with Siri, Apple's digital concierge, or answer phone calls.

The headphones currently in development will not have any sort of charging port, which the 9to5Mac report said indicates Apple may be working on a carrying case with an integrated battery that also serves as a charging device.

(Image: Prykhodov/iStockphoto)

(Image: Prykhodov/iStockphoto)

"While Apple hopes to launch the new earphones this fall, the hardware is still in development and could be delayed by battery life concerns," the article states. "As the design requires twin wireless chips and separate batteries, sub-4-hour battery life without use of the case would be expected."

The report also fuels further speculation that Apple will be ditching the standard headphone jack found on previous iPhone models -- and pretty much every single smartphone in existence -- and use the handset's charging port as an audio port as well.

This means of course that anyone with a set of headphones with the standard jack would have to buy some sort of dongle or adapter in order to plug into the iPhone 7. Otherwise headphone manufacturers will have to reconfigure their products or offer a version that will fit the newest iPhone.

The reason behind the decision, according to speculation, is that Apple is working on making its newest handset even slimmer than the iPhone 6s -- a full millimeter slimmer, in fact, which means the 3.5mm headphone jack has to go.

In other iPhone 7 rumor news, Apple is reportedly close to an agreement with rivals Samsung and LG to supply organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens for its next-generation smartphone.

The advantages to OLED displays compared to LCD displays is reduced thickness and improved picture quality. A November article in Japanese publication Nikkei reported that Apple would make the switch over to OLED displays in 2018.

[Read about more Apple predictions for 2016.]

Apple has built a secret research facility in Taiwan to experiment with and develop next-generation display technology, according to a Dec. 15 report in Bloomberg.

While an Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the report, Bloomberg's sources say the company is focusing on improving the displays in its mobile products by making them thinner, brighter, and more energy efficient, through the employment of LED technology.

Whether or not a more advanced display and wireless headphones will be enough to keep consumers flocking to Apple stores remains to be seen. Global market jitters struck tech giant Apple this week following a report in The Wall Street Journal that claimed the company was cutting down on production of its flagship product.

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Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
1/11/2016 | 9:55:17 AM
Re: Bluetooth?
Function-wise, I'm not sure what the user would gain over the Bluetooth options already in existence. It seems it's main gain is for Apple in changing fittings so that customers will all have to upgrade or buy some other thing to keep parts compatible.

Maybe someone should go into the business of connecting devices to whatever you need even when the company changes configurations. It could be like the Free Universal Construction Kit for electronics rather than just for Lego, Kinex, etc. that you could see at the MoMA
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/10/2016 | 11:18:24 PM
Bluetooth?
Maybe a dumb question, but isn't that just Bluetooth?
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