Apple has patented a smaller type of headphone connector, that seems to hint at future iPhones with lower thicknesses. Apple has reshaped the plug, as shown below and seems to sacrifice quite a bit of it for the sake of a smaller port.
The US Patent and Trademark Office issued the Apple US Patent No. 9,142,925 for a “D-shaped” connector, that replaces the current headphone plug and receptacle standard with a brand new type of design, that’s both thinner and shorter. The new model keeps all the functionality of the modern 3.5 mm TRRS (tip, ring, ring sleeve), but with a slimmer profile, ideal for use in extremely slim devices.
Apple’s plug has one flat side, which means the plug has to be inserted in a certain way. This kind of goes against the current reversible “insert it any way you want” trend, but the Cupertino firm is ready to do anything for the sake of a thin phone. Documents mention a diameter of 2.0 mm from the plug’s flat portion to the opposite edge, much thinner than for other current products.
The patent also mentions a mechanic or magnetic embodiment, or even a spring-based one. Rumors have also talked about a potential replacement of the audio jack with a Lightning one.
via Apple Insider