New iPhone sacrifices headphone jack but becomes waterproof

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Apple has launched its latest generation of iPhones, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as the company makes a bold play to claw back valuable smartphone market share.

The new handsets have a renewed focus on photography and waterproofing, and are the first to come in jet black and black finishes, joining rose gold, gold and silver in the colour spectrum.

For the first time, the iPhones are dust- and water-resistant, and will come in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB versions – double the currently available iPhone 6s series.

Improved lens

The iPhone 7 Plus features two 12MP camera lenses to create a 2x zoom effect and composite high-quality images, while the smaller iPhone 7 has a single improved 12MP lens.

Neither phone will feature a headphone jack, meaning traditional wired headphones can’t be used with them.

An adaptor for wired headphones to plug into the lightning charging port will be included with the phone. The decision is a controversial one, given how many of Apple’s millions of customers may be using expensive wired headphones.

Air Pods

A new form of wireless headphones called AirPods will be sold separately. They can be charged within their own small portable case, and aren’t joined together with a wire as are many currently available wireless headphones.

The handsets will go on sale in the UK from 16 September, even though the UK pricing has yet to be announced. Apple will be hoping both phones will breathe life into falling iPhone sales, amid general smartphone market saturation.

Apple has sold more than a billion iPhones in the nine years the device has been on sale, but customer demand has waned in recent months: iPhone sales fell 15 per cent during the second financial quarter of the year.

The Californian company also unveiled a new version of its Apple Watch smartwatch, marketed as Apple Watch Series 2. It is water-resistant to 50 metres and can track swimming laps for the first time.