Rumor has it that Apple is planning to give up on the headphone jack for the iPhone 7, and this possibility was received with mixed feelings from the community.

Some agree that the iPhone no longer needs a 3.5mm audio jack when the Lightning port is already there and can serve pretty much any purpose, while others swear that they won’t buy the new iPhone if no headphone jack is offered.

There’s so much controversy around this subject that it’s really hard to find a pertinent reason for whatever option you choose without the other side coming with a counterargument that really makes sense. But we’ll get it a shot at explaining why the audio jack actually needs to go on the iPhone 7.


More room inside your iPhone

The one good reason for replacing the aging 3.5mm audio port with an all-purpose Lightning connector is the space it eats up inside an iPhone. The photo you see here was shot by iFixit when tearing down the iPhone and clearly shows that the whole jack module takes almost as much space as the Taptic Engine.

For those of you who didn’t know, the Taptic Engine is an essential part of the new 3D Touch feature available on the latest iPhones, providing you with the touch sensation of a click when enabling this pressure-sensitive capability. So since it works with 3D Touch, the Taptic Engine module is a critical part of the new iPhone and takes almost the same space under the hood like the old audio jack.

Without it, Apple has a wide array of possibilities, and there are currently two different versions that make sense. The removal of the audio jack module leaves enough room for Apple to offer a second speaker (although there are small chances for the iPhone 7 to be stereo), or for a bigger battery, which is clearly quite an important thing to have on the latest-generation iPhone.

And what’s worse, replacing a faulty audio connector implies replacing the whole assembly placed at the bottom of the phone, so it involves bigger costs that Apple could avoid with the removal of this port on the iPhone 7.

As iFixit puts it, “this assembly is convenient as a space-saving measure, but it has a nasty side effect – repairing a single damaged Lightning port or headphone jack requires replacing the entire assembly.”

The latest rumor indicates that Apple might debut two different versions of the iPhone 7 with a 4.7-inch screen, one with a headphone jack and another one without it, while the Plus might only come without the aging connector. If this is true, Apple can tackle both sides and offer everyone the right iPhone, but there’s no doubt that, at some point in the future, the 3.5mm will go dark anyway.

This is how much space the audio jack takes inside an iPhone

This is how much space the audio jack takes inside an iPhone
Replacing the headphone jack involves replacing the whole assembly

Replacing the headphone jack involves replacing the whole assembly

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