Apple iPhone 7 ditches headphone jack
Wireless ‘Airpods’ will be bundled the new iPhone 7 models after Apple ditched the traditional headphone jack.
Users wishing to use traditional headphones with the new smartphones will have to plug a clunky adapter into the lightning connector.
Apple says the ‘Airpods’, which will cost £159 to buy, will pair with the phone more quickly than is usually the case with Bluetooth headphones.
Several new products were revealed at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco: the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series Two.
Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto also made an unexpected appearance to announce the Italian plumber’s maiden appearance on mobile – a running-themed iOS game – before the end of the year.
Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said it took “courage” to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack.
“Apple EarPods are the most popular headphones in the world. Now we’re moving them to Lightning,” he said.
“Why? Because it provides digital audio, power, and many other advantages that are simply not possible over an analogue connection.
“The analogue headphone jack has been with us for a very long time. But the reason to move on is courage.
“The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.
“Up until now no one has taken on the challenge of fixing the things that are difficult to do in the wireless experiences so we can all enjoy them.
“So that’s what we’re doing with the Apple AirPods.”
The entry-level iPhone 7 will have 32GB storage, double that of the iPhone 6, and be available in four colours – but its price has gone up from £539 to £599.
There will also be 128GB and 256GB options, with the latter priced at £799.
The iPhone 7 Plus, which ranges from £719 to £919, will have a two-lens camera on its rear – wide angle and telephoto lenses – each with a 12 megapixel sensor.
They will be available to buy from September 16.
Experts have estimated that Samsung could lose $1 billion (£749 million) over its rival smartphones, which have been hit with a global recall after several exploded while charging.
The new iPhones will also be water resistant up to depths of 1m (3.2ft) for 30 minutes at a time, meaning they can easily survive being dropped into the sink or toilet.
The standard camera is also greatly improved, with better low-light photography and a 10x zoom – double the amount than before – by digitally cropping the photo in the camera app.
Software to be released later via an update of the new iOS 10 operating system will keep background humans in focus while blurring the rest of the shot.
iPhone sales and market share have reduced in the last year.
Sales of Apple’s flagship wearable, which has failed to ignite the public's imagination, have also fallen in that period.
The Apple Watch Series Two will be water resistant to 50m (164ft), meaning it can be worn while swimming.
It will also have a built-in GPS location tracker for the first time, great news for runners, and a more powerful processor.
We reported last week that the Irish Government intends to appeal against the European Commission’s recommendation that Apple pay $13 billion (£11bn) in back taxes to it.