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Apple EarPods with a Lightning connector spotted

Several photos posted to China’s Weibo show the gear as resembling current EarPods for the iPhone 6s, but with the addition of a large endpiece housing a Lightning connector. It’s not clear why the endpiece would have to be so big, though one possibility is the presence of an authenticator chip.

This is important, because it’s rumoured that Apple plans to drop the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Users will instead be forced to plug in headphones via the Lightning port, rendering the majority of headphones useless without an adapter.

However, don’t forget that Apple has been rumoured to abandon the 3.5mm audio jack for many months. If that turns out to be true, it would be very surprising if Apple chose not to release Lightning-connector EarPods alongside the new iPhone 7.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 at its annual September product launch. The company is keeping a lid on details for now however, so take all pre-launch reports with due caution.

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