With various sources suggesting that Apple is set to do away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7, some outraged critics might find some solace in the fact that a recent patent application suggests that Apple is looking at a serious speaker upgrade for the iPhone 7.
iPhone 7 speakers to benefit from a new patent?
Reporting this month sparked a bit of anger from iPhone fans when it came to light that Apple would do away with its standard headphone jack. That anger was tempered a bit by the understanding that users would be given “complimentary” wireless earbuds or the option of wired headphones via the iPhone’s Lightning jack.
The iPhone 7 will likely be announced in March and be available in September is Apple’s track record stays true to form. Apple always stays true to form in not releasing any details about the phone prior to the March meeting that unveils it. Sure we have rumors, but they usually come in the form of leaks and pictures from the supply chain combined with a good deal of speculation.
While many may be upset about the loss of the 3.5 mm headphone jack, that frees up space, and in theory that space could be used to create a reverberation chamber that could boost the audio output of the iPhone 7.
Let’s have a look at the patent
9to5 Mac was the first site to report on the patent it found in its all things mac fine-toothed comb it uses on the company. Again, I’ve called them reverberation chambers and after you read the patent you may find yourself wishing you had simply stuck with my layperson explanation. But for the audio engineer or those considerably smarter than I, here’s what Apple had to say in its application.
“In one embodiment, an audio element can be mounted on or coupled to an intermediate structure (e.g., a flexible electrical substrate) having an opening therein to allow audio sound to pass there through. In another embodiment, an audio chamber can be formed to assist in directing audio sound between an opening in an outer housing and a flexible electronic substrate to which the audio element is mounted or coupled thereto”
I told you. However, Apple explains it a little better when it employed this idea in the design of the iPad Pro.
“This new architecture gives the speakers 61 percent more back volume compared to previous iPad audio designs,” Apple says of the design. “You’ll hear a wider frequency range and up to three times more output than on any other iPad.”
But do you need that for your phone?
Iphone 7 expectations
The iPhone 7 needs to be special. It needs to compete with some incredible phones by its competitors like Samsung and HTC. But whats more, is that iPhone 7 will need to compete with the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Pro for those that don’t mind a massive phone. They are both fantastic phones.
Apple is generally loathe to make their phones any bigger than they have to and in order to do this certain things must go and in this case it looks as though it will be the headphone jack. However, increased speaker quality without getting bigger would be a big plus to a number of potential customers.
Tis’ the season for taking a guess at what Apple’s up to but this patent may very well have shed some light on what we’ll see come March..