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Leaked case prototype: could the iPhone 7 have four speakers?

Another one to add to the growing iPhone 7 rumor pile: leaked photos allegedly showing a prototype case suggest Apple’s next device may come with four speakers, much like the iPad Pro.

The pictures show part of a 4.7-inch iPhone case, with openings for four speakers: two along the bottom edge and two on the top. This of course leaves no room for a headphone port, seeming to confirm previous rumors that the 3.5mm jack will be removed. However, another recent leak shows that perhaps the headphone jack will stay after all. It’s hard to know which of these alleged leaks to trust, but this one comes from a fairly reliable source.

So what would be the benefit of four speakers, besides the obvious increase in volume they could provide? Well, the iPad Pro uses a set of a four high-fidelity speakers to simulate “3D stereo sound output” that automatically adjusts as you tilt the device. Whether or not such a feat would be as effective on a much smaller device is unclear, but at the very least we can expect vastly improved sound quality if Apple does add four speakers to the iPhone 7. It would be a big improvement on the single speaker currently found on the bottom right of the device, which is easily blocked when holding the device in landscape orientation.

We won’t know for sure if this is true until Apple announce the new iPhones in September. Much sooner, though, we have WWDC to look forward to, with its own set of product and software announcements. Here’s what to expect from the developer conference.