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Now that Apple has pronounced the end of the headphone jack, the company is aiming to prove that it can do better than the existing wireless options.
At its much-hyped event in San Francisco on Wednesday, the iPhone maker introduced a cordless earbud that it claims is more power efficient than Bluetooth devices. AirPods, as they're called, have their own communications chip, Apple's Senior Vice President Phil Schiller said on stage.
"It makes no sense to tether ourselves with cables to our mobile devices," Schiller said. "Until someone takes on these challenges, that's what we'll do."
The iPhone 7 will be the first smartphone without a headphone jack, marking Apple's latest effort to strip hardware from devices. There are plenty of Bluetooth options on the market, including from Apple's Beats business, but the products have been criticized for their high price and spotty quality.
Apple is betting that improvements in computing power and wireless communications will usher in a new era of cordless gadgetry. Apple's AirPods include double tap access to Siri and five hours of listening on a single charge, the company said.