New pictures of the alleged metal casing for the iPhone 7 have emerged which further show the absence of a 3.5mm heaphone jack this time around.

Apple has long been rumoured to remove the audio output if favour of using the Lightning connection for all purposes, including headphones, and these hands-on images further propagate such a move.

The pics, posted by French website NowhereElse, show that instead of a headphone socket at the bottom of the phone, there will be two speaker grilles. This would likely improve loudspeaker abilities of the forthcoming handset, but is hardly likely to curb the ire of those who are angry that their existing headphones will not be supported natively.

It's worth considering that these images come from an "unknown source" and could be from a prototype model rather than the full consumer release, but there seem to be more rumours that suggest the jack's removal than refute it.

READ: Apple iPhone 7: What's the story so far?

It has also been suggested that Apple will include an adapter with every device sold, so current users can continue to plug in their existing headphones, but when has that been the case in the past?

Did Apple include an adapter with every device when it switched to Lightning in the first place? Nope, it sold one for a fairly hefty price.

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The other element of interest shown in the new leaked pictures concerns the camera. It had previously been widely speculated that the camera unit would be flush to the rear this time around. If these images are genuine, however, there will still be a significant bump.