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'iPhone 7' might replace 3.5mm headphone jack with second speaker, analysts say

Apple's next-generation iPhone — expected to abandon a 3.5mm headphone jack — will probably replace the part with a second speaker, according to a Barclays research memo obtained by AppleInsider.

To power the speaker, Apple will use a second amp built by supplier Cirrus Logic, said analysts Blayne Curtis and Christopher Hemmelgarn. The headphone jack on the iPhone 6s is located along the same edge as its single speaker, which might make it a natural location to expand into stereo.

A number of competing smartphones already offer stereo speakers. Sometimes these are located along the same edge, but in other cases they're on opposite ends of a device, enabling better panning when in landscape mode.

In contrast with a recent report, Curtis and Hemmelgarn argued that the next iPhone will not employ dynamic noise cancellation, but instead use a basic digital codec. Built-in noise cancellation might instead have to wait for an "iPhone 7s" in 2017.

The analysts added that the "iPhone 7" should, however, ship with its own Lightning-equipped headphones. In January a rumor indicated that Apple might also offer truly wireless Bluetooth headphones as an optional accessory, ditching not just a 3.5mm cable, but even a connecting wire between earpieces.