Next Apple iPhone may have no 3.5 mm audio jack
According to 9to5mac who is citing a "reliable source" from Japanese blog Macotakara, Apple may soon be dropping the universal 3.5 mm audio jack as its size has become a limiting factor in reducing the thickness of the next major iPhone. If the audio jack were to be removed, then the source claims that Apple can flatten the smartphone by more than 1 mm as a result.
There are a host of benefits from the potential removal of the common audio jack. Aside from the aforementioned thickness decrease, Apple would be encouraging users to use the much more versatile Lightning port for everything from charging to data transfers and audio. The more advanced connector can allow earphones to have more music features and controls without needing to wake the smartphone. Users can also still use Bluetooth-activated earphones for a more convenient wireless approach.
The drawbacks of having no 3.5 mm audio jack will be hard to overcome. Users would be forced to buy 3.5 mm to Lightning adapters or new Lightning-only earphones, both of which would mean more money in Apple's pockets. This extreme inconvenience alone may be enough to deter a good handful of potential customers. With that said, it's quite common for portable devices to switch to smaller ports in order to adapt to the size and shape of the chassis. VGA and DVI ports are now rarities on consumer notebooks and even full-size HDMI ports are being axed on many newer Ultrabooks.
Apple is also rumored to be switching to OLED panels for its iPhones by 2018. If these rumblings prove to be true, then the upcoming iPhone generation may feature more changes than previously anticipated.