Pretty soon, you may be plugging new headphones into the iPhone’s Lightning port. Apple is reportedly expanding its Made for iPhone program with new terms that allow manufacturers to make headphones that link with iOS devices via the small connector– first introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012. 9to5Mac claims that Apple will add support for Lightning headphones in an upcoming iOS firmware update. The company has a history of doing away with dated components (i.e. the 30-pin dock connector), but eliminating the headphone jack would be a drastic step even for Cupertino. It’d be another way for Apple to achieve consumer lock-in, but aside from that, it’s hard to come up with obvious or practical benefits to such a change.
—Chris Welch, Apple reportedly paving the way for Lightning headphones, but benefits are unclear
Just as the iPhone isn’t really a phone (it’s a mobile computer with cellular capabilities), maybe we should think about headphones having the potential to be more than headphones.
Last month’s rumor about Apple making headphones that track your pulse might have been a hoax, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out not to be (or not far from the mark).