After buying Beats and firmly planting its foot in the headphone world, Apple may drastically change the way headphones work on your iPhone.
Recently Apple posted new specifications to its Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod program — which allows manufacturers to create official accessories for Apple products — that would help third parties make headphones that plug directly into the Lightning port, 9to5Mac reports. While current Apple products couldn’t support this sort of functionality right away, a simple firmware update to iOS 7 could fix that.
Headphones or earbuds that plug directly into Lightning could theoretically be smarter than any modern-day audio equipment. Your headphones would be able to control playback and even open apps on your device, 9to5Mac says.
Beats and its products are known for being popular and stylish, though not necessarily high quality or innovative. But with a Lightning plug at the end of their iconic red cords in place of the standard 1/8-inch jack, the company’s headphones could deliver high-quality sound that’s exclusive to Apple users. This all makes the $3 billion sale make a little more sense for Apple.