Sunday 11 December 2016

iPhone 7 to be exceptionally thin but will your headphones work?

Published 05/10/2015 | 12:31

The new headphone jack that Apple have patented
The new headphone jack that Apple have patented

The iPhone is about to get a lot thinner.

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That’s if Apple decides to put its latest patent into use.

The Cupertino-based company has been granted a patent for a ‘D-shaped’ headphone jack that would see it shave off 43pc off the size of the existing jack.

The patent award is in line with the company’s desire to make relentlessly thin smartphones.

Apple’s Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive, has been quoted as saying that iPhones and iPads can only be as thin as their largest component. In terms of height, the camera is the evident outlier on the current generation of iPhones.

However, camera technology has experienced substantial reduction in size in recent years and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, the headphone jack has remained perched at a gluttonous 3.5mm for some time.

Apple’s patent works much like the old headphone jack with external contacts positioned along a sleeve and dielectric strips and a sleeve to provide left and right audio.

"Embodiments of the present invention generally concern electrical connectors, cable assemblies, and connector pins. An electrical connector may include pin-shaped electrodes and be part of a cable assembly while being adapted to be fully insertable into an electronic device and contoured to match an outer surface of the electronic device," the patent says.

The repercussions of the patent are uncertain as yet; however it seems unlikely that those with existing 3.5mm headphones will work with the new port. At least not without a an adapter.

Also the inclination with the new patent would mean that Apple is shaping up to make even thinner phone. That could in-turn have a knock on effect on its much criticised battery capacity.

However, much like its patented iRing, there is no guarantee that this will actually come to fruition. However, if anything it shows the continuing search for improvement on Apple's existing products.

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