This is precisely correct.
Apple have made the lightning microcontroller proprietary and directly licensed only from themselves (as anyone who has seen the "this accessory is not supported" error when trying to charge their idevice can tell you). They have now purchased a headphones manufacturer, so the next logical step is to force users to purchase either their own hardware, or hardware which earns them a licensing fee.
This is about device lock-in; an attempt to create monopolistic conditions legally (if only barely so). I saw this coming as soon as they purchased Beats - I was actually surprised the 6 series hadn't already eliminated the 3.5mm interface.
Personally, I hope the attempt fails miserably. There was a time I loved Apple... but no longer. They have taken Microsoft's entire 2003 playbook and made it even worse for the consumer.