According to reports, Apple is considering dropping the traditional headphone jack in the next update to the iPhone.
A Japanese blog cites a "reliable source" that Apple will remove the industry-standard 3.5 mm jack in order to make the newest iPhone slimmer. The site also indicates that new Apple earbuds would connect to the phone through a "lightning port," the type of jack which is currently used to charge iPhone.
The blog also reported that the removal of the headphone jack would make the new iPhone 1 mm thinner.
Current iPhones contain only one lightning port. If this holds true on the new iPhone, users would be forced to choose between charging their phones or using headphones. The blog did not indicate whether Apple was planning on adding additional lightning ports to the upcoming iPhone.
The loss of a headphone jack could cause trouble for third-party phone accessory vendors, who would be forced to quickly move away from what has been an industry standard for decades. The newest iPhone would presumably still be compatible with Bluetooth headphones, though most Bluetooth models can cost hundreds of dollars.
This isn't the first time Apple has made a significant change to the headphone jack. The very first iPhone featured a recessed jack that required an adapter in order to use many headphones. Apple began using a traditional jack in 2008 with the release of the iPhone 3G.
Apple also caused a stir with the release of the iPhone 5, which dropped the tradition 30-pin Apple charge port for the lightning port.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.