Eagle eyed Apple fans irritated by the absence of a 3.5mm headphone socket on the iPhone 7 Plus may have been somewhat appeased by signs of another speaker in its place. The row of holes, giving the base of the phone a pleasing symmetry, hinted at something going on inside.
But a teardown by repair company iFixit has revealed the grille to be nothing more than an aesthetic adornment.
“Closer inspection shows a new, second lower speaker grille that leads … nowhere? Interesting,” wrote iFixit in its documentation of the teardown process.
A larger haptic feedback system, the so-called Taptic Engine, and a slightly larger battery take up the space vacated by the now disavowed phone connector socket. The second speaker in Apple’s stereo pair is simply the earpiece speaker at the top of the phone.
Which just leaves one other question: why you would drill more holes into the bottom of a smartphone you’re trying to waterproof, for no apparent reason? Only Sir Jony Ive knows the answer to that.
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