Apple’s iPhone 7 is largely expected to ship this coming September without the iconic 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom of the device. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the change will happen, which means Apple will have to provide purchasers of the device with a new way of listening to personal audio through the device.
There have been multiple discussions around Apple potentially introducing a Lightning-enabled set of headphones, or even a wireless version using Bluetooth technology. We’ve even seen supposed leaks of the former, and now, after much digging and following of hunches, newly leaked information suggests that a trademarked filing for ‘AirPods‘ on behalf of Entertainment In Flight LLC could very well be Apple trying to hide its true plans.
Incase you don’t keep abreast of the comings and goings of the consumer tech world; last October it emerged that a company had made an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to have a patent granted for a technology it called ‘AirPods’.
It seemed rather innocuous at the time as the company in question was named as Entertainment In Flight LLC, which doesn’t instantly appear to have any connection to Cupertino-based Apple Inc. A set of amended documents listed against the trademark application now lead us to believe that this could be a shell company used by Apple to obfuscate its true plans for the iPhone 7 audio accessory.
A document signed and dated July 7th, 2016, was uploaded in response to a request from the trademark examiner asking for additional information and clarification about the submission. That amended document not only contained more granular information on the type of goods to be covered under the ‘AirPods’ trademark, but was also signed by a Jonathan Brown, who is listed on the document as a “Manager” for Entertainment In Flight LLC. Not only is it the first time that a name has been associated with the mysterious company, but it coincidentally seems that Apple also employs Jonathan Brown as a lawyer with the title “Senior Standards Counsel”.
Of course, this is the digital age where content is king and nothing is particularly secret, so there was a little additional digging to be done. Uncovering a set of documents pertaining to a 2010 civil case containing a pair of signatures belonging to Apple’s Senior Standards Counsel, it can be seen that the signature listed on the ‘AirPods’ trademark filing, and the former, are undeniably similar to suggest that the person is one and the same.
We will have to wait for official confirmation on this, but if Apple is indeed behind the filing, and is using Entertainment In Flight LLC to hide what it’s working on, then it’s highly likely that the iPhone 7 will ship with a set of wireless audio headset called “AirPods”.
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