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Was it a good idea to remove the headphone jack? | BrightTitan
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It is either the lightning or Type-C

Apple iPhone 7 Adaptor

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.

 

 

Apple iPhone 7 Adaptor

 

 

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.

 

Jack Goodman

Founder & CEO of BrightTitan

7 Comments
  • OmegaApex

    So many people posting about tech have no clue about correct works or what things are called. CD Driver? There’s no such thing. A driver is something that allows hardware to communicate with software. Like the driver of a car makes it go forwards. A CD —> DRIVE <— allows discs to be read / burned, etc.

    And Apple are stupid for removing it. People will be giving up (assuming they're stupid enough to stick with iPhone) headphones they paid £100s for, and an adapter is like the very definition of "what the fuck is this shit"… Which Apple will no doubt flog for a ridiculous price.

    The headphones socket was never on phones, really, originally, because they were basically just that… Phones. The smaller one that existed was for headsets. Apple may have had a hand in popularising it, but also so has the growth or cheaper storage, larger capacities, and so on.

    The headphone socket is about as synonymous as the light bulb. Next people will be saying Apple are removing cameras from phones to save space, after they popularised it with the iPhone which couldn't even record videos at the time.

    11. Sep 2016 at 2:43 pm Reply
    • Cenk Gokturk

      Yes, it is a stupid choice but eventually, we will see more and more companies removing the headphone jack ( first the Chinese companies and then the bigger ones such as HTC, LG, Sony or even Samsung ) because they are ready to copy Apple’s every single action even if it is bad.

      What I am saying was that Apple could find a better solution than the headphone jack before removing it. For example, with the iPhone 6, they could launch a new standard for Bluetooth and wait for few years for other companies to adapt this technology. Then, it would make sense if they decided not to include headphone jack with iPhone 7.

      By the way, thank you for pointing out my mistake.

      11. Sep 2016 at 7:03 pm Reply
      • Narg

        I’d like to believe Apple could find a better solution, but 1. you are right, they didn’t. and 2. do we seriously need a better solution? The other phones that have removed the jack have only done it on their smaller phones. The plus size phones retain the jack, as there is plenty of room for it on 5.5″ and higher phones. Plus Samsung has shown us that a jack AND waterproofing is possible too. Apple had no reason to remove it from the plus.

        11. Sep 2016 at 9:06 pm Reply
        • Cenk Gokturk

          Let’s be honest. Apple removed the jack because this way, you are limited to their products. In any case, you will be paying them. I mean if you use lightning headphones, Apple wins. Even if you use adaptors, still, it is good for them because those adaptors have to be Apple verified. I don’t think the “real” reason is the water proofing or even the space inside the phone.

          Until last week, we didn’t need a better solution but now, we need to have because the best selling phone removed it and this action will be followed by others.

          12. Sep 2016 at 4:27 am Reply
  • Narg

    Not all “technologies” need to die. That is a poor excuse. There is nothing wrong with the 3.5″ jack. Those that applaud it’s demise are bullies. Hating those that still use that as a viable source of music and other devices that make it very useful.

    11. Sep 2016 at 9:05 pm Reply

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