Have consumer tech websites inadvertently turned into Apple's personal PR agencies?

It's nine months until the release of the iPhone 7, but it is already on top of the tech news cycle.

Headphone jack: Getting jacked in by Apple? (Credit: Ellica_S/Thinkstock)
Headphone jack: Getting jacked in by Apple? (Credit: Ellica_S/Thinkstock)

Despite the fact that the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 is kicking off in Las Vegas this week, there have already been several weeks of articles about Apple's next generation device.

Top of the rumour mill is the report Apple will be ditching the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. All future headphones will be connected through the firm’s own Lightning connector, presumably according to a rumour from someone working on a production line somewhere in China.

This rumour – which has riled a few consumers – initially came to prominence before Christmas from Japanese website Mac Otara and has since been reiterated by other supply chain sources.

What’s interesting is that even through Apple never confirms or denies speculation, this particular rumour will probably turn out to be true. Apple has form for ditching longstanding pieces of technology it deems redundant. The company was the first to phase out floppy disks and optical drives from its products. And in its latest range of MacBook Airs, it even removed the traditional USB port in favour of the smaller USB-Type C connector.

But the question is, do we really need to know about what will the next iPhone will contain nine months before its inevitably much hyped release? Not really.

And by keeping Apple in the news cycle 24/7 via ‘iPhone specs, price and release date’ type articles, have tech titles that perpetuate these rumours prominently morphed from news services to a marcoms role?

For Apple – which subtly fans the flames with that frequent 'no comment' policy – and increasingly other high-profile tech companies, the answer seems to be yes.

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