The rumor mill has been in overdrive concerning the next edition of the Apple iPhone. These new images appear to show that the iPhone 7 will still include a headphone jack.

A series of reports had raised the possibility that the iPhone 7 would not have a headphone jack. It was one of the most controversial rumors regarding the smartphone, but now it appears that it may not be true.

iPhone 7 Headphone Jack [LEAKED IMAGES]

Leaked photos could show iPhone 7, with headphone jack

Photographs have been found by the French website NWE, showing what commentators think could be the chassis of the iPhone 7. As always it pays to take leaked photos with a pinch of salt, but if they do turn out to show the real handset it could end the speculation over Apple’s plans for the headphone jack.

The chassis in the photos includes an audio jack, and the photos also suggest that the phone may come in a different size to the previous edition. According to the leakers, a screen size of 5.2ins could be available in addition to the 4.7ins iPhone 6s and the 5.5ins iPhone 6s Plus.

“While a 5.2-inch version might not make sense at first, it could actually be the next logical step for the company should it decide to revamp the iPhone lineup and create more consistency into the entire Apple lineup,” says Softpedia.

Could Apple be about to introduce an iPhone Pro?

Softpedia also believes that the chassis could be used for a new version of the handset, to be known as the iPhone Pro. This would fit with the Pro models currently available for the iPad and MacBook. One way of introducing this spec would be to limit the Plus handset to 5.2ins and use the 5.5ins screen for the top of the range Pro.

The headphone jack looks to have received a stay of execution after rumors swirled that Apple would replace the 3.5mm audio connector with a Lightning port. The thinking was that the change would make the handset thinner.

Should the headphone jack stay, it will mean that audiophiles don’t have to buy a new pair of headphones. However before you get too excited, remember that even if these images are legitimate they are probably a prototype that could still be changed before the new handset is released. It is thought that the iPhone 7 will make its debut in September.

Images could show Huawei P9 handset

The leakers themselves acknowledge the fact that the images may not show the Apple iPhone 7. Instead they say that they could show the Huawei P9, which is expected to have a largely similar chassis to the iPhone 7.

Apple is currently locked in battle with the FBI over its commitment to protecting user privacy. The FBI wants Apple to install a backdoor on its smartphones which will allow authorities to access user data if there is a perceived threat to national security.

So far Apple has held its ground and refused to do so, but the issue is not going to go away. Rumors are swirling that Apple may in fact make the iPhone 7 completely unhackable. Such a move would mark a major departure in the debate over privacy versus security and would surely enrage the FBI.

The debate has divided key figures in the tech community, and it looks set to rumble on for the considerable future.