A shopper views an Apple Inc. iPhone 5SE during the grand opening of the company's new flagship store at Union Square in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Saturday, May 21, 2016. The flagship location boasts 40-foot-tall doors opening onto the square and comprises five departments, or what Apple prefers to call "features."
Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Lisa Eadicicco
June 21, 2016

Apple’s upcoming iPhone will have one major difference that distinguishes it from the current model: the lack of a headphone jack, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

Those buying the newest iPhone model will instead have to connect headphones via the device’s Lightning port or use wireless headphones, the report suggests. The news comes after rumors have been indicating for months that Apple will eliminate the headphone jack from its forthcoming smartphones. The omission will allow Apple to make the next iPhone slimmer and more water-resistant, according to the Journal.

The successor to the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, which is expected to be released this fall, will likely have few other notable changes. While Apple typically redesigns its iPhones every two years, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is planning a bigger change for the 2017 model, which also marks the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.

If true, this would be a departure from the product cycle Apple has established over the past several years, which could effect when iPhone users decide to upgrade. Apple is delaying a more significant upgrade for this year because it will take more time to implement the new technologies, which could include an OLED screen that has a fingerprint sensor built into its display, according to the Journal.

The change would come at a time when the iPhone, which accounts for 65% of Apple’s revenue, is facing tougher times. The company revealed in its April earnings report that iPhone sales had decreased by 16%, marking the product’s first ever year-over-year drop. Apple CEO Tim Cook defended this slowdown when speaking to CNBC’s Jim Cramer in May, saying that customers are upgrading their devices at a slower rate than last year. Cook also teased Apple’s forthcoming devices in the same interview.

“We’ve got great innovation in the pipeline from new iPhones that will incent you and other people that have iPhones today to upgrade to new iPhones,” said Cook. “We’re going to give you things that you can’t live without that you just don’t know that you need today.”

Still, Apple has historically been able to count on big iPhone upgrades every two years to juice sales. It’s unclear if the company would see any sales bump with a new model if it is not a major upgrade over the last model. Apple declined to comment on its upcoming plans for the iPhone.

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