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Apple removes 3.5mm headphone port
The analog connection of the headphone jack was originally designed in the early 20th century for old telephone exchanges. As a digital link, it can’t transfer as much data as Bluetooth and Lightning. Also, the headphone jack can only send information one way: from the power source to the speakers.
When Apple introduced the iPhone 7 in 2016, it eliminated the headphone port on the iPhone. Like most technologies that Apple kills, the move was initially criticized and ridiculed by consumers, industry watchers and other companies.
Since the iPhone 7, subsequent models have also lacked a 3.5mm headphone jack. At first, Apple included adapters in the box so users could still plug wired headphones or other accessories into their devices.Soon, Apple will no longer offer
Starting in 2018, Apple eliminated the headphone jack on its other products. That year’s redesigned iPad Pro was the first Apple tablet to lack a headphone jack. Right now, the only iPad with a 3.5mm port is the entry model.
According to recent reports, this may change soon. Current rumors suggest that Apple’s upcoming 10th-generation iPads will eventually lose the aging jack, forcing users to rely on other ways to listen to content on the device (or simply use an adapter).
Response from Apple’s competitors
Although Apple’s approach was ridiculed by competitors when it just cancelled the 3.5mm headphone port. Samsung is a frequent mocker of Apple, posting multiple ads criticizing the iPhone’s move to eliminate the headphone jack. However, Samsung eventually followed suit, and — starting with the Galaxy S20 — did away with the 3.5mm jack on its own flagship devices. Not only that, but Samsung also tried to rewrite history, surreptitiously removing ads that mocked Apple’s design choices.
Google also mocked the iPhone’s removal of the headphone jack. Modeled after Jony Ive’s design video, touted that the Google Pixel 5a still has a headphone jack. A year later, Google finally jumped on the bandwagon and did away with the headphone jack on its Google Pixel 6a.
It’s a similar situation across the Android landscape. While not all companies have publicly mocked Apple for eliminating the headphone jack, most major smartphone brands have since followed suit.
Reason for cancellation
The official reason given by Apple at the time was that Lightning could provide a better audio standard, and the elimination of the single-use port freed up internal space to accommodate more and larger components.
The more cynical among tech industry watchers may argue that Apple is doing away with the headphone jack to make money. After all, Apple’s Beats by Dre brand accounted for nearly half of Bluetooth headphone sales at the time of the device’s launch.
It might be easy to forget that Apple didn’t sneakily do away with the headphone jack to sell wireless headphones — it did so overtly. During its September 2016 keynote, Apple announced the removal of the headphone jack, followed by the AirPods.
Alternatives to Apple
In the vast majority of cases, wired headphones aren’t the only audio solution.
True wireless devices like AirPods are convenient, simple, and don’t get tangled up in your pocket like standard headphones. Even though AirPods are too expensive for some, there are plenty of Bluetooth options on the market that are more affordable.
Obviously, it makes sense to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack as an easy and inexpensive solution for companies and consumers alike. For audio or video workflows, the 3.5mm headphone jack and high-impedance headphones also provide low latency and clearer audio.
However, for Apple — and most consumers, those positives don’t outweigh the benefits of ditching the jack. Looking at the industry, it’s clear that most other companies feel the same way as Apple — they just spent more time getting consumers to embrace the idea.