With each new iPhone release, speculation almost immediately starts to grow over what new features are going to be included on the next iteration of Apple's flagship device.
It feels like the latest model – the iPhone 6s – was only launched yesterday, but already the rumour mill is in full flow regarding what new features will be included in the next version, which is expected to be the iPhone 7 and could launch later this year.
There has already been some speculation that Apple could be set to ditch the 3.5 mm speaker jack.
A few years ago this may have seemed unthinkable, as so many people use their iPhone as an upgrade from the old iPods, using the smartphones to listen to their favourite tunes while out and about.
However, with wireless speaker technology apparently in the ascendency, it is certainly easier to imagine getting by without a headphone jack than it would have been when the very first iPhone launched back in 2007.
A Barclays research memo seen by AppleInsider indicates that the headphone jack will probably be replaced with a second speaker. According to analysts Blayne Curtis and Christopher Hemmelgarn, the new speaker will be powered with a second amp built by supplier Cirrus Logic. It was noted that as the speaker jack is situated alongside the same edge as the device's single speaker, this location could be a natural home for the new feature.
This would mean that the iPhone offers native stereo sound without having to plug in external speakers or headphones for the first time. Many of Apple's major competitors already offer stereo sound on their smartphones, so this would be a case of the computer manufacturing giant playing catch-up. Some stereo speakers are located along the same edge of the device, while others are at opposite ends, allowing for better sound panning when the phone is placed on its side in landscape mode.
Dynamic noise cancellation is unlikely to be used in the new iPhone 7, according to the analyst's report, but instead it will use a basic digital codec. Therefore built-in noise cancellation might not come along until whatever version of the iPhone Apple debuts in 2017.
It remains to be seen whether or not the iPhone 7 will ship with wireless headphones, or if they will be available as a separate accessory. Another possibility is for the earbuds to even lack a connecting wire between each other.