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 Tinhte.vn 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 Tinhte.vn 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
Tinhte.vn 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.