So, this pretty crucial feature may be left out of the next iPhone

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were unveiled only a few short months ago, but the tech world is already buzzing about the iPhone 7, as we’re assuming it will be called. Rumors are swirling that the next Apple phone will support wireless charging (the Apple Watch already does) and will be waterproof. Whoa! What a time to be alive. But there’s one rumor that has Apple fans heated: Sources are saying the phone won’t have a headphone jack.

Currently, the iPhone 6 headphone jack is 3.5mm. But when you’re in the business of creating slimmer and slimmer phones, 3.5mm simply won’t do — it must be smaller! Phones get thinner with every major iPhone release, and now, the only way to keep up with that trend is to create a smaller headphone jack — or just eliminate it altogether.

A source close to Fast Company has confirmed that on the new iPhone, the Lightning cable port will double as sound output.

“Apple is working with its longtime audio chip partner Cirrus Logic to adapt the audio chipset in the iPhone to work with the Lightning port,” Fast Company reported. “Numerous third-party headphone makers will use the technology in their own Lightning-compatible headphones, and they’ll have to buy a license to use the audio processing technology.”

People are NOT happy about the news. An online petition is pleading with Apple to keep the jack in the new phone. It argues that not only will we have to buy new compatible headphones, but we’ll also be contributing to electronic waste that most likely won’t be recycled. As of this writing, the petition has over 220,000 signatures.

If the rumor is true, new headphones will take some getting used to. But doesn’t everything? When Apple released the iPhone 5, they switched from a USB port to a Lightning port. At first everyone was like, Can I borrow your phone charger? No, I need the old one. But over time, we adapted and figured it out. And if we’re lucky, a pair of the new headphones will come with the iPhone 7 to get us started.

(Image via Shuterstock.)