Citing reliable sources over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Japanese blog Macotakara claims Apple plans to abolish the 3.5mm headphone port to reduce the thickness of the iPhone 7. If true, this will make the iPhone 7 Apple's thinnest phone ever released, but it also means users will need to use Lightning connected headphones instead of the industry standard 3.5mm equipped models.
The Macotakara report has already caused an uproar with some Apple users who claim the company is only trying to force customers to purchase future Lighting-equipped Beats headphones, but the blog claims Apple will supply compatible EarPods with all iPhone 7 models.
Apple introduced the ability for third-party manufacturers to create Lighting cable headphones as part of its MFi (Made for iOS) accessories program last year, but not many companies have taken advantage of the opportunity. If Apple does indeed ditch the 3.5mm headphone port then iPhone accessory makers will have no choice but to include 3.5mm to Lightning adapters with their headphones or create Lightning cable-equipped models.
This will not be the first time Apple has made a major change to the iPhone to reduce its size. The company replaced its own 30-pin dock connector with the smaller reversible 8-pin Lightning connector on the iPhone 5 in 2012. Apple eventually phased out the 30-pin adaptor on all its iOS devices making the iPhone 4s and iPad 3 the last models to utilize the technology.