After it was revealed that Apple's upcoming MFi (Made for iDevices) specifications would include digital audio output (48kHz stereo) and digital audio input (48kHz mono), Forbes reported that the iPhone 6 would abandon the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. (Forbes later added a question mark to the headline, acknowledging that the article was more an informed an opinion that a fact.) And Forbes was certainly not alone in at least suggesting that the iPhone 6 might not include a standard headphone jack.
I don't think too many of us Head-Fi'ers were convinced that Apple would be abandoning the 3.5mm headphone jack any time soon, and it looks like we were right.
Apparent iPhone 6 shell leaks revealed today clearly show a 3.5mm headphone jack. Here's one of the photos below:
(Photo by feldvolk.com)
Here's a video of the leaked shell:
It does look like the shell is unfinished, and certainly not in final form (if indeed this is a real iPhone 6 case leak, which it does seem to me to be). Some of the cutouts haven't been made yet (like the camera cutout), but a hole for the headphone jack is certainly there.
I think if Apple ever does get rid of the standard headphone jack, it won't be for a long time still.
Will they use Lightning for headphones? Yes, I think so. I think they'll use it for specially equipped headphones with any number of advanced functions (DSP, additional sensors, etc.), but alongside the standard headphone jack for a long time still.
Anyway, long story short, if Apple is going to one day get rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack, it doesn't look like it'll start with the upcoming iPhone 6.