Listen up: Apple redesigns iconic white headphones for the first time since 2006

The iPhone 5 is expected to be unveiled next  week – and rumours claim Apple has completely redesigned its iconic headphones  for the first time since 2006.

Vietnamese blogsite posted a video  of what it claims are newly-designed headphones for the next iPhone, which is  expected to launch on September 12.

If confirmed, it is the first major redesign  of the distinctive white headphones since the iPhone launched, other than the  addition of an in-line microphone and remote control in 2008.

The headphones, which come bundled with iPods and iPhones,  are one of the most iconic parts of Apple’s product line-up, and are perhaps  most famous for appearing in the famous ‘dancing silhouettes’ adverts for the  iPod.

Are these the next iPhone headphones? Vietnamese site said Apple's distinctive 'buds are being produced at the Vietnamese Foxconn factory

Are these the next iPhone headphones? Vietnamese site said Apple’s distinctive ‘buds are being produced at the Vietnamese  Foxconn factory

Old versus new: The newer model (on the left) have a smaller, one-piece design

Old versus new: The newer model (on the left) have a  smaller, one-piece design has sources from within Apple  suppliers’ Vietnamese-based factories, such as the parts-based Foxconn  company.

Mac Rumours translated the video commentary,  which states: ‘In my hands are the new earphones for the iPhone 5 that is about  to come  out.

‘These will replace the current earphones  that are on the market.

‘They have the appearance of a horse’s head,  not like earbuds. When they are worn,  they have a much smaller profile. They  have the appearance of a fully  integrated, single unit – there’s no part that  looks like it would come  apart – not like earbuds; the integrated design is  characteristic of  Apple products.

‘All factors such as design, quality  finishing materials fabricated wire, plastic body headphones are led to  the  conclusion this is genuine and not counterfeit headphones.’

The iPhone is also expected to come with a  built-in chip which can serve as your credit or debit card for small  payments.

Eagle-eyed fans looking at leaked images of  the internals of the device have spotted what they believe is an NFC chip within  the phone.

NFC is seen as the successor to the  chip-and-pin, serving as a small contactless card which can be waved against  scanners at tills to automate a payment.

Some debit cards already have this feature  installed, and certain retailers such as Pret a Manger already use the  technology.

Other phones have come with in-built NFC,  with Google making a big play for  the market with its ‘Wallet’ accounts in the  United States.

But recent history shows that Apple needs to  embrace a technology before it sees widespread adoption among the public, and it  could take an  ‘iWallet’ feature to spark a new payment system into  life.

9to5Mac, which has credible sources within  the notoriously-secret Apple, has  found references to NFC code within iPhone  prototypes, and they have  spotted ‘NFC connectors’ within purported images of  the phone’s  hardware.

9to5 speculates that ‘Apple could tie in with  a payment processor like Citibank’s PayPass system for credit  card transactions – or it could become a payment processor of sorts with its hundreds of millions  of credit cards already on file at iTunes.’

NFC has other useful benefits to users,  such  as instantly transferring documents or images between phones simply by tapping  them together, as demonstrated by rival Samsung’s ‘Beam’  feature on the recent  Galaxy 3.

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