New iPhone Sans Headphone Jack Poses Problem for Mobile Payments

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2016-08-24 Print this article Print
iPhone 7 or SE

If you’ve been at an outdoor market, or ridden in a taxi recently, you may have paid with a credit card that was processed using a small device attached to an iPhone.

That device reads the magnetic stripe on your credit card, converts the data into audio tones that can be passed through the jack, and on to the app that accepts the data and converts it into a transaction.

The company most commonly associated with those card readers is Square, but similar readers are available from other companies including PayPal. These card readers are in very wide use and so far, I haven’t found a similar device that will work through the iPhone’s Lightening port. A change to eliminate the headphone jack will mean that those businesses cannot use the new iPhone.

Of course, those card readers are for magnetic stripes. Other mobile card readers are available for credit cards using EMV chips, and those don’t use the headphone jack, but that would then mean that millions of business users would have to buy new readers if they wanted to use the new iPhones.

Otherwise, the new iPhone will be an improvement over the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. One major difference will be better cameras for both versions with the Plus version apparently getting a dual-lens camera system. What the dual lenses accomplish isn’t clear. But it’s possible that it will be an advantage where highly accurate photography is important.

There’s also a new processor, Apple’s A10, which promises to be really fast, compared to the A9 in the iPhone 6S.

The most noticeable different for the new iPhone is that it will be even thinner than the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. It’s also supposed to have glass that’s harder to break, and it might even have some water resistance—something that eliminating the headphone jack would help.

But I still think the new device will be called the iPhone 7. Apple has a long established pattern in regards to its naming in which the full number alternates with the S. So that means it’s time for the full number upgrade.

Perhaps more important, I’ve looked at all of the leaked photos of the new iPhone, and none of them have the letters “SE” on the back in the place where the current model has the “S.” All it says back there is “iPhone” which is what the rear of iPhones with the full number change also say.

But of course, we’ll know for sure on Sept. 7. But I’m betting on the iPhone 7.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel