John Gruber has an article outlining the 5 (or 6) most likely options for what headphones Apple should include with the new Lightning-only iPhone. His hope is on wireless:
My hope is that they ship wireless ear buds. When Apple eliminates ports, they tend to do so in favor of wireless technology. Pushing wireless as the default would solve the problem of listening to audio while charging the device, too.
Maybe. I’m not in any hurry to see a Bluetooth-dominated headphone world, and I’m not sure Apple Support is either. Wired headphones work every single time you plug them in.
As Gruber points out, wireless headphones are also an upsell opportunity. While cheap Bluetooth headphones can be found, Apple’s Beats are $100 more expensive for wireless. Seems like this extra cost would unnecessarily eat into their margins.
Of course, I have no idea what Apple will do. I just know what I think they should do.
Apple should include Lightning ear buds in the box, and an adapter for older headphones. I don’t expect they will do this forever — the first year would be enough. But this small gesture of including an adapter would mostly erase the negative reviews and user frustration for Apple’s biggest repeat customers: not me, because I intend to keep my iPhone SE for a while, but for everyone who buys a new iPhone each year.
Removing the 3.5mm headphone jack will be the first time Apple has removed a major feature on the iPhone. They can spin Lightning as an improvement all they want; customers with existing headphones will be annoyed. Including an adapter would minimize the inconvenience at launch, without locking Apple in to any long-term technical compromise.