Apple on Monday acknowledged consumer complaints that a glitch in the gratis iPhone 7 Lightning EarPods causes the attached multifunction remote control to intermittently stop functioning, saying a fix is in the works.
According to numerous social media reports, the new Lightning EarPods found in every iPhone 7 box suffer from a glitch that renders the multifunction remote control module useless. The issue appears to be sporadic, but its reproducible nature suggests a flaw is present in Apple's software.
In most cases, users claim the EarPods' volume and call answer/end buttons become unresponsive after a few minutes of inactivity. Audio continues to play, and the microphone remains active, but users are unable to adjust volume settings, start or stop calls, or invoke Siri with the embedded remote.
A fix is in development and should roll out in the near future as a software update, an Apple representative confirmed to Business Insider.
The initial troubles are unfortunate for Apple, which bet big on the future — or lack thereof — of the 3.5mm headphone jack by removing the component from its flagship iPhone 7 smartphone. Unveiling the phone onstage at a special event earlier this month, SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said it took "courage" to move away from the legacy port.
With iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple ships a pair of EarPods terminated in a Lightning plug and, to allay perceived upgrade pains, a Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone jack adapter.
Amidst an outcry from consumers, Apple defended its decision, saying the headphone jack's deletion made space for an advanced Taptic Engine, bigger battery and better cameras. In addition, by removing the 3.5mm port, Apple was able to rid iPhone of a key point of liquid ingress, allowing engineers to design a water resistance chassis.