iPhone 7 will be Waterproof, Include Lightning Headphone Dongle


Apple’s iPhone 7, expected to ship this fall, will include “professional class waterproofing” and a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle. That’s according to Deutsche Bank analysts following Apple’s production closely.

iPhone 7 with audio dongle

Artist’s rendition of a waterproof iPhone with audio dongle

The iPhone 7 hasn’t been announced yet, but the company’s typical fall release cycle means we’ll most likely see them in stores come September around the same time iOS 10 ships. Rumors say the new model will have redesigned antenna lines, and will drop the familiar 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of audio over the Lightning connector and also Bluetooth headphones.

All Wet iPhones

Supply chain sources speaking with Deutsch Bank analysts said the new iPhone will sport “professional class waterproofing,” which fits with reports saying the new model will be more water resistant than current models. That’s also a pretty good sign Apple is either stepping up the iPhone’s moisture protection, or planning to promote the waterproofness it added in the iPhone 6s.

TMO’s Dave Hamilton pointed out on the Daily Observations podcast that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are surprisingly water repellant and can withstand submersion for a surprisingly long time. Dropping an iPhone 6s into a puddle or bucket of water isn’t any problem, and leaving one underwater for an hour won’t require a bag of rice to dry out its innards.

Dave also noted that the iOS 10 beta will alert iPhone 6s users if moisture is in the Lightning port. That means Apple already has sensors in place to monitor potential moisture weak points, and may be a hint that the company is ready to start bragging about how resistant new iPhones are to water.

Goodbye Headphone Jack

Deutsche Bank also says Apple will address the missing 3.5mm headphone jack by including a Lightning connector adapter so everyone can continue to use their current wired headphones.

Losing the headphone jack is a sore point for many iPhone owners, and the idea of needing a dongle to use headphones isn’t the solution they’re looking for. Including the dongle with new iPhones, however, should be at least some small consolation because Apple isn’t expecting users to buy an audio adapter as an accessory.

But Wait, there’s More

The iPhone 7 will be more than swimming pool-safe, according to Deutsche Bank. It’ll also sport improved cameras, better audio quality, a non-moving Home button that simulates a click feel, and a new color.

That’s all packed into a design that looks almost exactly like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. If you’re looking for a significant body redesign, that’s most likely coming in 2017. Until then, we’ll have to be happy with iPhones that won’t die under water.

[Thanks to Business Insider for the heads up]

7 Comments Add a comment

  1. Brutno

    Lee, from what I’ve read the Lightning port allows for pure digital signal transmission, for lack of a better descriptor. This means noise-cancelling headphones that do not require a battery – they’ll draw from the iPhone battery, yielding smaller, lighter headphones and the ability to use the iPhone’s microphone to “listen” to the outside noise that needs to be cancelled. There’s more,
    but that’s a start.

    Continuing on with the standard jack means a one-way, analog signal only. With Lightning, you get all the digital benefits and analog-out as well.

  2. mrhooks

    It also isn’t a great idea to use shared ports on the off chance that one needs both simultaneously. For example, using headphones for music purposes (metronome, drum machine, whatever) when your iPhone is low and needs to be charged. Sound stupid, but it has happened to me before, and it’s more likely to happen again than I am to put my iPhone into water for any reason.

    Perhaps Apple (or a third party such as Belkin) will market a breakout cable/dongle, if such a thing is possible with Lightning. Still, I’d rather have separate ports, and not spend extra money on accessories.

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