Apple combo microphone/headphone jack patent application spotted

Apple don't like fussy designs, we all know that by now, and they're all about paring down extraneous sockets, so the news that they're trying to patent a 3.5mm headphone jack with an integrated microphone comes as little surprise.  Their plan is to squeeze the microphone into the socket and then use the plug aperture and cavity to work as an acoustic path, so that even though it's not mounted right near the surface it can still pick up audio clearly.

Alternatively, it could cut down the number of holes in a device with a dual-microphone array – usually used for noise reduction – to just one, with the second microphone hiding in the headphone socket.  Now, there's no telling whether Apple actually will use this on any future iPhone – and of course it remains to be seen how it might cope when there's a set of headphones actually plugged in (but you're not using an external microphone).

[via Gizmodo]