The only big design change we can expect to see in the iPhone 7 when it ships this fall will be the lack of a headphone jack. That's what the latest report claims, and it also says it'll be 2017 before a major redesign comes. Considering this report comes from the Wall Street Journal, Apple should just go ahead and officially confirm the headphone jack is gone.
Sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal said Apple is really ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of digital audio out via the Lightning connector. They say this will let Apple make the new model a little thinner and more waterproof, but it will otherwise look almost exactly like the current iPhone 6s.
The WSJ's sources are in line with other reports claiming the new iPhone models will stick with the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens introduced with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
We've already seen rumors saying the familiar headphone jack is getting the ax, so that isn't really big news. What makes this different is that it's the WSJ making the statement. The publication has been long been seen as a favorite for controlled leaks from Apple, and a reliable source for future designs and plans.
With the WSJ's sources on board with the end of the headphone jack reports, it seems all but assured the next iPhone won't sport the audio out port—just like the new Moto Z Android-based smartphone.
That doesn't, however, mean the headphones you love will be useless this fall. Apple will have a Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter available, although it isn't clear yet if it will be included with new iPhone purchases or an add-on accessory. Bluetooth headphones will continue to work, so that's an option for iPhone buyers who aren't into extra dongles.
Apple hasn't said yet when the next iPhone will ship. Since the new models will most likely ship with iOS 10 pre-installed, it's a safe bet we'll see them this fall when the software upgrade rolls out.