A series of leaked images appear to show the iPhone 7’s specially designed EarPods, which will connect to Apple’s new smartphone via the device’s Lightning charging port.
The pictures appear to confirm rumours that Apple is ditching the standard 3.5mm headphone jack for its own connector technology.
Until now, it had been assumed that Apple might bundle a special adaptor with the iPhone 7 so that consumers could still use their current, third-party headphones.
That approach now seems unlikely, although Apple could still sell such a connector separately.
Apple’s reasons for ditching the headphone port found on almost all smartphones, laptops and tablets aren't totally clear.
Some say it’s to make the iPhone 7 thinner, others that it will help make it waterproof by getting rid of another port which can let in liquid.
Some Apple-watchers have voiced concern that the switch to the company's own headphones could see the return of digital rights management restrictions on Apple’s music services.
Fears are growing that only Lightning–based headphones will be able to play audio from iTunes and Apple Music.
Consumers have already expressed outrage at the planned changes, with 300,000 signing a petition against the move.
The iPhone 7 is expected to launch in September, with an identical design to last year’s iPhone 6s.