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(Pocket-lint) - Android users may have laughed in the face of Apple when Cupertino announced it was removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but those sniggles may be short-lived.

The USB Implementers Forum, an organisation set up to promote all things USB, has published a new Audio Device 3.0 specification, which would let manufacturers use the USB Type-C port to output audio.

The Forum even says the intentions of the new specification is to do such a thing, saying "device manufacturers can eliminate the need for multiple ports and efficiently deliver data, power and video over a single connector with USB Type-C",

"USB Audio over USB Type-C allows OEMs to remove the 3.5mm analog audio jack, shaving up to a millimeter off product designs and reducing the number of connectors on a device".

Audio could potentially sound better if it's sent through the USB port as it could be passed through dedicated DACs built into headphones, such as the Audeze Sine and iSine. It would also improve water resistance on smartphones and open a "door to innovation" for other features.

But just because the USB Implementers Forum has published this new specification, it doesn't mean Android smartphone manufacturers have to abide by it. Some could stick with the much-loved 3.5mm output, while others, such as Samsung, could introduce their own port instead.

Writing by Max Langridge. Originally published on 3 October 2016.