Steve Wozniak, co-founder of tech giant Apple, has said that many customers will be left frustrated if the company gets rid of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7.

The 3.5 mm headphone jack has been subject to persistent rumors that Apple will remove it from the upcoming flagship smartphone. The new handset is slated for release in early September, and buyers may find that they are missing a key connector, writes John Davidson for AFR.

iPhone 7 Camera Features and Rumors
Image Source: Martin Hajek/Flickr

Strong rumors about loss of 3.5 mm headphone jack

Apple has not confirmed whether or not it will get rid of the 3.5 mm audio port, but it looks likely. It is thought that the company is going to introduce a Bluetooth “EarPod” that will be connected to the iPhone wirelessly.

For those Apple iPhone owners that have already invested in third-party headphones, this would mean buying an adapter that would fit whatever port is included on the next-generation handset. It is rumored that the Lightning port will remain, but could be upgraded to a magnetic port.

However Wozniak is downbeat on the rumored changes. “If it’s missing the 3.5mm earphone jack, that’s going to tick off a lot of people,” Mr Wozniak told The Australian Financial Review. “I would not use Bluetooth … I don’t like wireless. I have cars where you can plug in the music, or go through Bluetooth, and Bluetooth just sounds so flat for the same music.”

Apple co-founder intent on using existing accessories

Wozniak co-founded Apple alongside Steve Jobs, before leaving the company in 1985. However he still has an advisory role and remains on the Apple payroll.

Wozniak said that he likes the accessories that he currently uses, and would likely use an adapter in order to continue using them. “Mine have custom ear implants, they fit in so comfortably, I can sleep on them and everything. And they only come out with one kind of jack, so I’ll have to go through the adaptor,” he said.

“If there’s a Bluetooth 2 that has higher bandwidth and better quality, that sounds like real music, I would use it. But we’ll see. Apple is good at moving towards the future, and I like to follow that.”

The rumored changes to the Lightning port go against moves by other smartphone makers such as Google and Samsung, that are adopting USB Type-C connectors. Wozniak made it clear that he prefers the USB Type-C ports.

“One of my favourite Android phones, the Nexus 5X, uses that connector. It gives it a higher level in my own thinking,” he said. “I think USB-C is going to be the future.”

Wozniak judges Australian innovation competition

Wozniak also had some advice for Australian tech companies during his time in the country as a judge at the annual Talent Unleashed technology innovation awards. Many of the winning entrants had smartphone-based products rather than PC or web apps.

“Mobile [is] a good strategy for a country like Australia. When I’m here, it’s been a long time coming to get decent broadband even on the wired spectrum. Hotels here, they don’t really match up to the rest of the world, especially the United States,” he said.

One winner was ResApp, a company that made a mobile app capable of diagnosing respiratory disorders using the smartphone microphone. Another winner, ODOCS Eye Care, invented a lens that attaches to a smartphone in order to diagnose eye problems.