It is either the lightning or Type-C
The biggest change with the iPhone 7 is neither the improved camera nor the pressure-sensitive home button. It is the removal of the headphone jack. Surprisingly though, Apple was the company that made the headphone jack popular on the mobile phones. Headphone jack started to rise with the iPhone as Steve Jobs described it as “the best iPod we have ever done”. After years, Apple is the first significant company to remove it ( sorry, Motorola and other copycats ).
However, it was not actually a surprising for Apple to eliminate things after making them popular. Do you remember the CD-ROM. MacBook Pro was the first laptop to include it but it was also the first one to remove it. They said the same thing with the CD-ROM. The reason for the removal of the CD was that it was covering so much space within the laptop which could be used for something else such us for bigger battery or faster processors. Again, it is almost the same reason for the removal of the headphone jack as well.
The difference between two of these scenarios is that there was a better solution for CDs. Apple tried to convince people about using USB drivers or even the cloud itself. But right now, Apple doesn’t have a better solution instead of the regular headphone jack. They give you three new ways to listen music but none of them have a potential of replacing the headphone jack, at least, as of now.
First, Apple wants you to buy lightning headphones. When you look at the performance lightning is able to give you, it is actually a good idea. This way, headphones are not only capable of transferring data for music, but also get power from your iPhone’s battery, so you don’t have to put a separate battery for noise-cancelation. However, there are two down sides. First, there is only one lightning port on Apple’s mobile products. This means unless you buy an adapter, you cannot listen music while charging your phone. Besides, who actually loves adapters? Nobody. Second one is actually a bigger problem. Even though there are so many lightning devices in the world ( 140 million according to Apple ), lightning is not present on every Apple device. Yes, iPhone, the most important device among the Apple products, has lightning. Yes, iPad, best selling tablet, has lightning. Yes, Apple accessories like Apple Siri Remote or even new Magic Keyboard have lightning port. However, you cannot find lightning on any of the Macs even on the new MacBook or the new MacBook Pro. This is a major problem for Apple’s ecosystem. If Apple really wants to make lightning the new standard for headphone jack ( at least, within its own product range ), then they should have used lightning over USB Type-C on the new MacBook or at least, keep the Type-C but replace the headphone jack with the lightning as they did with the iPhone 7. Even if they want to add lightning to Macs, it is too late. MacBook is so new that they will need to wait for some years to make major changes.
Anyway, second way is to use a convertor. This is also something that Apple wants you to do so you will be able to use your old headphones no matter which iPhone you use. There is already a convertor from lightning to 3.5 mm headphone jack shipped with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but again, same problem that we talked in the last paragraph continues to exist. You cannot listen a music and charge your phone unless you use non-Apple adaptors or accessories. It is really a shame that Apple doesn’t have a separate adapter which could have include both lightning and headphone jack.
Third one is the best solution so far. It is the wireless. As it was important with the MacBook, it is important with the iPhone 7 as well. They want to have a future where we don’t use cables. That is why Apple has a new wireless AirPods but that is sold separately and you are asked to pay $150. If Apple included wireless headphones in iPhone 7’s box and just didn’t use lightning as their next standard for the headphone jack, then we wouldn’t be talking about most of these problems.
In other words, I don’t criticize Apple because they removed the headphone jack. I can understand that some of the technologies have to die as we want to go beyond, but the problem is that there is no better solution instead of it. You can have lightning headphones but then, you wouldn’t be able to charge your phone and listen music simultaneously and you could only use those headphones with iPhones and iPads; not even with Macs. Or you can have wireless headphones which are still expensive for the sound quality they provide but they have limited battery life. However, we are talking about Apple. This means they can just convince every body including users and the accessory makers to use lightning with their products or just use bluetooth. But we are ready for neither of them. Do every Apple product use lightning? No, then the lightning is not ready yet. Does bluetooth provide the user experience that you could take from the regular headphones. No, not yet.