Apple is planning to build support for higher-definition audio into iOS 8, claims Japanese site Macotakara
. At the moment, iOS can't handle 24-bit audio files and hence sampling frequencies beyond 48kHz. While 16-bit files are fine for most listeners, that means that iOS can't load the lossless formats some people prefer.
To accommodate iOS 8's changes, Apple is also allegedly
upgrading its in-ear headphones -- distinct from EarPods -- and its Lightning cables to allow for higher-quality playback. The in-ear headphones haven't been updated since 2008.
iOS 8 should premiere at WWDC 2014
in June. That's also when Apple may make a major announcement related to a buyout of Beats Electronics
. The combination may suggest a renewed emphasis on music at Apple, particularly given rumors from April that Apple will offer 24-bit files for sale at iTunes. That launch, if it happens, is expected to take place in June, spearheaded by a remastering of the Led Zeppelin catalog. Going 24-bit could, however, cost a person an extra $1 per track.