Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
Possible iPhone 7 Headphone Jack Depicted in New Image
This morning, French site Nowhereelse.fr shared an image of a Lightning cable assembly, apparently destined for the iPhone 7, which differs in design from the same part found in the current iPhone 6s.
The assembly part is host to a number of components, including cellular antenna cables and the obligatory Lightning port, but the new design clearly shows a separate white headphone jack on the far left-hand side.
The image was submitted anonymously via a Weibo account, therefore its validity cannot be confirmed. As Nowhereelse.fr notes, it could just as easily depict a part destined for a Chinese counterfeit manufacturer, rather than coming from Apple's official supply chain. Nevertheless, the part should provide some relief for those hoping that Apple's next generation of iPhone does not adopt a one-size-fits-all Lightning solution, which would also make it the sole means of connecting headphones and other audio accessories.
Recent rumors have suggested Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 will feature a thinner body with no headphone jack, with Apple instead planning to rely on the Lightning port and Bluetooth as ways to connect headphones to the device. Apple is also rumored to be working on Lightning-equipped EarPods to sell alongside the iPhone 7, while a more contentious rumor claims Apple may be planning to replace the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 with a second speaker for stereo audio.
Indeed, it remains to be seen if a Lightning-based audio solution would be restricted to Apple's larger iPhone 7 Plus handset, which could mean the leaked image is genuine without necessarily vouchsafing the inclusion of a headphone jack across Apple's upcoming line-up of iPhone devices.