Its official – the iPhone no longer has a headphone jack.
Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus during a press event in San Francisco Wednesday. Both phones feature a number of internal upgrades, big improvements to both the back and front-facing cameras and protection against water and dust damage.
But the once-loved headphone jack was the biggest story of the Apple keynote.
The removal of the headphone jack allowed Apple to create more space for new components and deliver a better wireless experience, according to the company.
WATCH: New iPhone 7 will be water-resistant
“It’s been with us a really long time,” said Apple’s vice president of marketing Phil Schiller of the headphone jack. “The reason to move on really comes down to one word – courage. Courage to try something new.”
Inside the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus box there will be new Apple earphones that connect through the Lightning charging port. The box will also include an adapter that will allow users to plug in their old analog devices.
Apple also unveiled new wireless headphones called AirPods to replace the traditional ear buds, which offer voice control capabilities. The new iPhones will also feature stereo speakers – one on each side of the phone – along with a display capable of reproducing a wider range of colours.
WATCH: Apple introduces wireless headphones called Air Pods
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus each feature several camera upgrades.
The larger 7 Plus model will come with two digital camera lenses. One will be for regular shots and the other will have telephoto capabilities, giving you a two-fold zoom. Smartphones typically have resorted to software tricks for zooms, resulting in fuzzy images when blown up.
Both lenses will take photos at 12 megapixels.
The two lenses will also sense depth and allow users to blur backgrounds in images, mimicking an effect that typically requires changing the lens aperture in stand-alone cameras.
Other smartphone makers including LG and Motorola are also starting to offer models with dual lenses to improve picture quality. While many consumers likely feel their current phone cameras are “good enough,” analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research says the extra capabilities may appeal to millions of people who like to post photos on social media, in the hope of impressing friends and earning “likes” for their posts.
Apple said the new smartphone cameras still don’t match the capabilities of SLR cameras, but they offer improvements that may appeal to the “vanity” of social media users.
Other camera improvements include a new flash with four rather than two shades of colour to match ambient light. High-end photographers can get images in RAW format, which allows for more versatile editing, matching what many leading cameras now have.
The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available in silver, gold, rose gold and the new black finish in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models starting at $899 (CAD). But that new jet black finish will only be available on the 128GB and 256GB models.
Pre-orders for the new devices start Sept. 9.
– With files from the Associated Press