New iPhone 7 Leak Shows Apple May Cut More Features

It's not just the headphone jack that could get the chop.

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The next iPhone may prove even more disappointing than originally anticipated. A new leak from published Tuesday shows that, alongside the previously-rumored disappearance of the headphone jack, Apple could also drop the mute switch from the side of the device.

The phone is expected to launch in the fall, but so far rumors have told us more about what’s not going to be in the new release, rather than what’s new. Alongside the mute switch, Apple is said to be dropping the headphone jack, expecting users to either use Lightning-powered earphones or wireless Bluetooth connections. The iPhone 7 is also rumored to drop the antenna lines that cut across the back of the phone, a cosmetic change that may please some who can’t stand their sight.

The leak is said to come from the same source as a previous leak from Monday, one that showed the iPhone 7 case in gold.

There is precedent for dropping the mute switch. Apple dropped the side switch on the iPad Air 2, instead asking users to slide up from the Control Center if they wanted to mute immediately, or to hold the volume down button on the side.

The iPad’s side switch was always rather curious, though: it started off life in the original iPad as a rotation lock switch, which was useful for the large tablet design but different to how the iPhone works. Later iOS versions added the option to change how the side switch behaved: as a mute switch like the iPhone, or a rotation lock like older iPads.

Dropping the switch on an iPhone would be a bold statement. It’s a convenient way of making sure your phone isn’t about to disrupt a meeting. Apple could ask users to check their device’s settings instead, but would it really be a step forward?

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