An analyst has suggested Apple may be ready to drop the bundled Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle for 2018's iPhones.
Ever since Apple took the 'courageous' decision to drop the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the company has included a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter in the box as part of your new phone purchase so users can still use their wired headset.
Speaking of 2018's iPhones, analyst Blayne Curtis at Barclays wrote "we currently model no dongle this year". The analysts didn't provide any evidence that the company will drop it or a clear reason why they came to this conclusion – but there could be a reason.
Multiple analysts – including Ming-Chi Kuo, who is famed for his Apple reports – have reported Apple wants to push down its expenses on upcoming iPhones and losing the adapter would drop the cost of the whole device, as well as saving logistically on the factory line.
It would mean Apple is spending less on both parts and packaging by not including the adapter, but would surely annoy many customers who have high-end headphones that still use the industry standard connection.
You can currently buy replacement adapters from Apple for $9 / £9, but it's an added expense and another thing to remember. Having it waiting in the box is useful for when you first start up your iPhone and remember you no longer have a 3.5mm jack on the phone.
If Apple does make the decision to move away from the adapter in the box, it'll be further evidence the company thinks Bluetooth headsets are the future and it's banking on the success of AirPods and other headphones.
It may also be we begin to see more headphone firms embrace the Lightning connection on wired headphones. If you're a customer looking to buy a headset that works across a variety of devices though, this won't be helpful and you'll then have to buy a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter for those devices.
We still don't know what 2018's iPhone range is set to be called (we're hearing rumors of iPhone 9, iPhone X2 and iPhone XI) but this new rumor suggests Apple may make it even more difficult to listen to wired headphones altogether.