New Patent Suggests iPhone 7 Will Be Thinner But With Bigger Lungs

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Apple’s just been granted a speaker-related patent, which seems to back up rumours suggesting the iPhone 7 will be a super-slinky, 3.5mm headphone jack-less number. The wording of the patent is pretty confusing (see below), but some gobbledegook-translators believe it signals the introduction of enlarged audio chambers, which should mean improved speaker performance.

Here’s the fluff on the patent page:

The invention pertains to a portable electronic device that provides compact configurations for audio elements. The audio elements can be drivers (e.g., speakers) or receivers (e.g., microphones). In one embodiment, an audio element can be mounted on or coupled to an intermediate structure (e.g., a flexible electrical substrate) having an opening therein to allow audio sound to pass there through. In another embodiment, an audio chamber can be formed to assist in directing audio sound between an opening an outer housing and a flexible electronic substrate to which the audio element is mounted or coupled thereto.

Told you. As pointed out by Apple, smaller devices tend to struggle in the audio stakes. However, the company hopes that, by incorporating other internal components, such as the iPhone's circuit board, into the speaker system, a larger volume of air can be pumped out, theoretically increasing both volume and audio quality.

Lots of people are unhappy about Apple’s apparent iPhone-steam-rollering plans. The main complaint is that it sounds like the Lightning port will have to double up as the headphone socket, meaning users won’t be able to listen to music while charging up. You know what else they say about a small chassis? Tiny battery. [9to5Mac]


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