The biggest question about the next iPhone: What’s in the box? – Macworld

Few products exert the kind of gravity on rumors and speculation as Apple’s iPhone. Every year, the process repeats itself: websites and tweets full of conjecture, hypotheses, and more about what the latest version of Apple’s smartphone might look like, what new features it might add, how it will compare to last year’s model.

Though we’re still a ways off from any formal announcement of this year’s iPhone, there is a bit of a different spin on the theorizing this year. The most intense speculation isn’t about the aesthetics or functionality of Apple’s upcoming device, but something arguably a little more mundane: what’s included with the phone?

Let’s take a moment to cogitate on what might actually be in that box this fall—aside from a brand new iPhone, naturally— and then delve a little bit into why this seems to be changing right now.

Cutting the cords

Since its earliest days, the iPhone has come packaged with a set of Apple’s earbuds. At first, they were more or less the same as those included with the iPod that preceded it, albeit with a built-in microphone for making calls and a clicker for control. (One major advantage of Apple’s own headphones in those earliest of days? The plug was one of the few thin enough to fit in the original iPhone’s recessed headphone jack. Boy, was that annoying.)

apple airpods review adam with earpods Adam Patrick Murray

Raise you hand if you wouldn’t miss having EarPods in the box because you already have a set of AirPods.

Over the years, the design of those headphones has been refined, most recently into the EarPods that Apple has now been shipping since 2012. The most significant change since then has probably been the switch from the tradition 3.5mm jack to a Lightning connector when Apple removed the iPhone’s headphone jack in 2016.

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But, if rumors prove true, the EarPods may lose their vaunted “in box” status this fall, as Apple removes them and replaces them with…well, possibly nothing? While this is sure to engender some controversy, the truth is that many people already have headphones they like—including, potentially, old pairs of iPhone and iPod headphones that they still use. And, of course, more and more people are moving to wireless headphones, whether they be from a third-party or Apple, and further rumor has it that the company may expand its line of audio earphones to include an over-the-head model.

Put a plug in it

Another long standby of the iPhone box has been the inclusion of a power adapter, the old trusty wall wart. Apple’s 5-watt USB power adapter has gone through its own changes over the year, including getting smaller and losing its modular head (à la the MacBook adapter).

Last year, for the first time, Apple included a more powerful charger with the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max: an 18-watt adapter with a USB-C port. But every other model of the phone still relies on the same 5-watt charger with a USB-A port that Apple’s been shipping since the iPhone 5.



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