iPhone and iPad users will soon have the option of connecting headphones via Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.
Why would one wish to do this? Apple Insider reports that Apple’s new Lightning module “promises to provide deeper system controls, direct analog audio out and power to compatible accessories” according to a WWDC session entitled Designing Accessories for iOS and OS X.
Said Apple's manager of platform accessories Robert Walsh: "If your headphones support, for example, noise cancellation, you can offer an app on your device that communicates with your headphones that controls how it operates."
The cynic may then deduce that Apple could in time ditch the near ubiquitous 3.5mm audio jack in favour of a Lighting-only solution, this boosting sales of such licensed accessories – providing users are willing to take the additional cost hit and not just seek out an alternative less choosy platform instead.
There’s not yet a timescale on when Lightning-enabled headphones could make their way to market, nor that Apple has plans to switch its own Earpods to Lightning.