Possible Apple Lightning-to-headphone adapter for 'iPhone 7' spotted in new photos

Posted:
in iPhone
Photos and a video of an adapter allegedly taken from a Foxconn factory in Vietnam surface, with the photographer claiming that the adapter will be included with this fall's iPhone update.




The pictures show an adapter with a Lightning end not significantly larger than an existing cable. The headphone jack enclosure is not much larger than the female end of the connector itself.

A photo, and the provided video, shows an iPad mini running iOS 9 declaring that the inserted adapter is not an authorized accessory. The report and photoset from tinhth.vn claims that an iPhone running the iOS 10 beta did not display the same warning.



One picture depicts the Lightning end of the adapter pulled out of the enclosing plastic, with the cable and associated circuitry hidden by plastic and metal shielding. Additionally, one picture depicts the Lightning end not centered in the cable end, further demonstrating the size difference. Why the plastic cable end is larger than the cable and shielding assembly is not clear.




The report claims and audio is automatically routed to the Lightning plug upon insertion of the adapter, and away from the existing headphone jack. However, at no point is there a demonstration of audio being played through headphones connected to the adapter.



At present the ">Lightning cable, and associated communications protocol, are a digital-only serial bus. All eight pins on the cable can be used for signal, with existing audio devices using Lightning requiring a digital to analog conversion chip.

Lightning cables contain a chip to negotiate with the device which pins on the cable perform what tasks. It is unclear how much extra room is inside the cable for a digital to analog conversion chip, or if there is an improved chip in the adapter that would perform both tasks.

The iPhone 7 is expected to release in the fall. Rumors point to a potential removal of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack from the new phone, with it instead relying on Bluetooth streaming, or Lightning wired headphones. Existing headphones, or earbuds, would require some form of adapter containing a digital to analog converter to function with the new device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    If Apple doesn't bundle Lightning EarPods with the iPhone I'd be very surprised. If that dongle is true I'd imagine it would be an add-on accessory.
    Butidonttweetlolliver
  • Reply 2 of 42
    ppietrappietra Posts: 271member
    the outer-shell coming off that easily doesn’t seem at all like an Apple product.
    The cable length doesn’t seem like the best option either. No cable would have made it more robust against wear and tear
    Butidonttweetlolliver
  • Reply 3 of 42
    ppietrappietra Posts: 271member
    ireland said:
    If Apple doesn't bundle Lightning EarPods with the iPhone I'd be very surprised. If that dongle is true I'd imagine it would be an add-on accessory.
    It would make a lot of sense if the dongle was bundle with the iPhone. It would reduce much of the possible bad reaction by giving everyone the option to continue using their existing earphones. It would be even better if the dongle was different from this one, adding a lightning port, so people could listen to music and charge the device at the same time or use some other lightning peripheral if possible.
    mike1ajmas
  • Reply 4 of 42
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    ppietra said:
    the outer-shell coming off that easily doesn’t seem at all like an Apple product.
    The cable length doesn’t seem like the best option either. No cable would have made it more robust against wear and tear
    Disagree about cable comment. A single long adaptor would exert too much leverage and could damage the port if bumped. The cable serves as a buffer.
    edited July 2016 1983chiamike1lollivermacguirealjustinlong
  • Reply 5 of 42
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 881member
    The weird loose housing around the lightning end looks pretty fishy. Also, isn't it possible that new devices would be able to send analog signals through the lightning jack, and any new adapter would only be compatible with these new devices? That seems more likely than having to include a quality D/A converter in the adapter. Making a better mock-up than this would be a joke--you just have to chop off the end of a lightning cable and attach a jack. It doesn't even have to work. But I'm still hoping that they don't get rid of the headphone jack, since i use it a lot more than most of my iPhone's features, including the ability to make phone calls. I'd rather have an add-on dongle that you have to attach whenever you want to make an actual telephone call, as ridiculous as that would obviously be.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    The other problem that I see is one of the reverse direction. I use my EarPods on my MacBook Pro, which has a 3.5mm port but no Lightning port, and I don't see a way for Lightning EarPods (if they end up making them) to be converted to the 3.5mm standard.
    chialolliver
  • Reply 7 of 42
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    ppietra said:
    ireland said:
    If Apple doesn't bundle Lightning EarPods with the iPhone I'd be very surprised. If that dongle is true I'd imagine it would be an add-on accessory.
    It would make a lot of sense if the dongle was bundle with the iPhone. It would reduce much of the possible bad reaction by giving everyone the option to continue using their existing earphones. It would be even better if the dongle was different from this one, adding a lightning port, so people could listen to music and charge the device at the same time or use some other lightning peripheral if possible.
    Has Apple ever included an adapter in the box to ease a transition? My guess is the phone will ship with lightning EarPods and anyone who uses other wired headphones will be free to buy this adapter for $20 or whatever they decide to charge. Lots of people charge their device while using the headphone jack. That will suck until we get some form of wireless charging.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    jurassicjurassic Posts: 94member
    Finally! Apple is making it desirable for users to listen to music using digital headphones, rather than using the 4 decades old analog headphone jack. Digital not only provides better sound quality (wider and flatter frequency range, wider dynamic range, no static or interference) but it also allows for many features such as software based noise isolation.
    lolliverbadmonk
  • Reply 9 of 42
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    jurassic said:
    Finally! Apple is making it desirable for users to listen to music using digital headphones, rather than using the 4 decades old analog headphone jack. Digital not only provides better sound quality (wider and flatter frequency range, wider dynamic range, no static or interference) but it also allows for many features such as software based noise isolation.
    Or you could be wrong.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 652member
    The oversized housing is likely intended to have a slightly larger stabilizing bit on the outside of the case - as a lightning connector can sway back and forth a bit more in the jack compared to a headphone plug., and making a one-piece would mean even a longer rigid lever-arm on the outside of the phone. As we know with power connectors etc., stability and flexibility are your friends.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    ireland said:
    If Apple doesn't bundle Lightning EarPods with the iPhone I'd be very surprised. If that dongle is true I'd imagine it would be an add-on accessory.
    Well, think about that for a moment.

    If they include Lightning EarPods and no adapter, the accessory they include can only be used with modern iOS devices.

    If they include standard EarPods and a Lightning Adapter, the accessories they include can be used with any thing.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    The other problem that I see is one of the reverse direction. I use my EarPods on my MacBook Pro, which has a 3.5mm port but no Lightning port, and I don't see a way for Lightning EarPods (if they end up making them) to be converted to the 3.5mm standard.
    You don't? Really? That's even easier and cheaper. Lightning is a smart connector. The reverse adapter would detect a 3.5mm source and bypass the internal DAC and amp chipset, sending the analogue signal straight to the earbuds. The adapter itself would only need the authentication chip. It could be powered by he headphone jack itself, or a small rechargeable battery in the adapter itself, or even from the Lightning headphones if equipped with a battery. This is essentially the way some digital/wireless headphones work now, when plugged into an analogue source.

    this will actually encourage Lughtning headphone adoption, since the reverse cables will be so much less expensive. 
  • Reply 13 of 42
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    rogifan_new said:

    Lots of people charge their device while using the headphone jack. That will suck until we get some form of wireless charging.
    Eventually, they will probably make some tandem adapter for listening and charging at the same time, perhaps like a Lightning 2 port hub, or maybe Belkin will make something with a Lightning and a 3.5mm audio jack. With Lightning you'll have to find all these adapters to use your new Lightning headphones on a Mac or on an airplane audio system, etc. I sort of wish they had bailed on Lightning and gone with USB-C. Eventually that will be as standard as USB-A is now.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    ppietrappietra Posts: 271member
    volcan said:
    ppietra said:
    the outer-shell coming off that easily doesn’t seem at all like an Apple product.
    The cable length doesn’t seem like the best option either. No cable would have made it more robust against wear and tear
    Disagree about cable comment. A single long adaptor would exert too much leverage and could damage the port if bumped. The cable serves as a buffer.
    that is a good argument but I think it would be possible to design it without being that much longer than the lightning connector housing that is already shown in the picture. The jack could sit on top and the casing could also be a bit wider which would reduce lateral movements of the connector.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,759member
    TurboPGT said:

    If they include Lightning EarPods and no adapter, the accessory they include can only be used with modern iOS devices.
    I doubt Apple care about that at all.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    ppietra said:
    that is a good argument but I think it would be possible to design it without being that much longer than the lightning connector housing that is already shown in the picture. The jack could sit on top and the casing could also be a bit wider which would reduce lateral movements of the connector.
    Remember that the headphone jack itself is also going to contribute to the length so you are better off with the cable I think.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 17 of 42
    ppietrappietra Posts: 271member
    ppietra said:
    It would make a lot of sense if the dongle was bundle with the iPhone. It would reduce much of the possible bad reaction by giving everyone the option to continue using their existing earphones. It would be even better if the dongle was different from this one, adding a lightning port, so people could listen to music and charge the device at the same time or use some other lightning peripheral if possible.
    Has Apple ever included an adapter in the box to ease a transition? My guess is the phone will ship with lightning EarPods and anyone who uses other wired headphones will be free to buy this adapter for $20 or whatever they decide to charge. Lots of people charge their device while using the headphone jack. That will suck until we get some form of wireless charging.
    It is a rare thing for Apple but the situation is much more serious and with bigger consequences than many other hardware transitions, with a possible big backlash from many unhappy costumers. There will be a need to educate people about what they can do with iPhone to listen to music without a jack, and making them pay and chase after an adaptor is not the best way to grow iPhone sales.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,397member
    Before anyone says "oh good, another adapter to carry around", just leave your headphones plugged into the adapter and keep it with them. When you aren't using your headphones, they don't suddenly disappear, you have to store them somewhere.
    realjustinlong
  • Reply 19 of 42
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    rogifan_new said:

    Has Apple ever included an adapter in the box to ease a transition? 
    One example is way back when the MBP had a DVI port, I believe they supplied a DVI to VGA adaptor in the box so you could use it with conference room projectors and TVs. Also the Apple Pencil comes with a Lightning to Lightning adaptor, but that is not really due to a transition, just to enable the iPad to charge the Pencil.
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 20 of 42
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    volcan said:
    rogifan_new said:

    Has Apple ever included an adapter in the box to ease a transition? 
    One example is way back when the MBP had a DVI port, I believe they supplied a DVI to VGA adaptor in the box so you could use it with conference room projectors and TVs. Also the Apple Pencil comes with a Lightning to Lightning adaptor, but that is not really due to a transition, just to enable the iPad to charge the Pencil.
    I'd say that's similar. Apple didn't want users to only be able to charge it by sticking it in to the iPad, so they created and included the adapter for connecting to a cable.
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