Apple confirms that the left bottom speaker grill on the iPhone 7 is a barometric vent

The removal of 3.5mm headphone jack from the newly launched iPhones – the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has annoyed a lot to Apple fan users and they have taken a lot of flak for it. The need to remove the headphone jack from the new iPhones was explained by the Apple CEO Tim Cook as “that jack takes up a lot of space in the phone, a lot of space. And there’s a lot of more important things we can provide for the consumer than that jack.” His colleague Phil Schiller cited “courage” for the same.

However, gadget repair community iFixit discovered that Apple isn’t really using that “extra space” it got after getting rid of the headphone jack. In their teardown of iPhone 7, they found how Apple uses a lot of adhesive, which is supposed to assist in waterproofing, in addition to a larger 2900 mAh battery. In addition, they discovered a piece of plastic that sits behind the ingress protection (waterproofing), right where the headphone jack would have been.

Apple told The Verge that the space formerly occupied by the 3.5mm headphone jack helps the handset’s barometer function correctly:

“According to Apple it’s a “barometric vent. Apparently adding all the waterproofing to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus meant that it was more of a sealed box, and so to be able to have an accurate and working barometer, Apple used that space. The barometer is the thing that allows a phone to measure altitude, and Apple points out that on the iPhone 7 it can measure even minor changes like climbing a flight of stairs”.

The iFixit team described it as “a component that seems to channel sound from outside the phone into the microphone… or from the Taptic Engine out.” While the Taptic Engine was part of the reason for Apple to remove the headphone jack as it was taking up the majority of the space where the connectivity was housed, the ability to make the iPhone water resistant was likely equally important.

You can read more about iFixit’s teardown here.

Source: The Verge