Will.i.am in a 2012 ad for Beats by Dr. Dre.
By Don Reisinger
September 2, 2016

Apple might have accidentally leaked confirmation that its iPhone 7 won’t come with a headphone jack.

Apple’s Beats public relations team reportedly sent out an email this week to press that included both an invite to Apple’s September 7 event in San Francisco as well as mention of new Beats by Dre headphones that would be unveiled on the same day. While Apple quickly retracted the email, it was caught by some reporters and posted online by French Apple-tracking site igen.fr, according to 9to5Mac.

The email is by no means a smoking gun, but it suggests that Apple might follow what earlier rumors had suggested and launch an iPhone this year that wouldn’t come with a headphone jack. A slew of rumors have surfaced over the last several months suggesting that Apple will offer a new iPhone, believed to be known as the iPhone 7, that would come with dual speaker grills at the bottom. The feature would require Apple to remove the headphone jack as its existing iPhones only come with one speaker grill, leaving room for a headphone jack on the other side.

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The move would be a major departure for Apple, which has historically offered a headphone jack in all of its devices. It would also mean that in order for users to listen to audio on the iPhone, they would either need headphones that could wirelessly connect to the handset via Bluetooth or with help from an adapter that would connect tethered headphones through the iPhone’s Lightning port.

Until now, Apple has sold tethered earbuds under its own brand. But Beats, which it acquired in 2014 for $3 billion, has been selling Bluetooth headphones for years. It has been long believed by analysts and Apple followers that the company acquired Beats to gain access to its streaming-music technology that now acts as the foundation for its Apple Music. Judging by the latest rumors, however, Apple might also have been interested in Beats to gain access to its hardware.

Still, reports abound that Apple is working on its own wireless earbuds. Those reports say they would be known as “AirPods” and connect wirelessly to devices via Bluetooth.

iPhone 7 Rumor Roundup: Release Date, Features, and More

The Apple PR leak, therefore, leaves yet another possibility on the table for what Apple has planned. However, the company hasn’t said what it’ll actually announce at the event, and hasn’t even confirmed that a new iPhone is coming.

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Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Beats report.

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