Apple says it was right to remove "dinosaur" headphone jack from the iPhone 7

By midian182 · 76 replies
Sep 8, 2016
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  1. At yesterday’s Apple event, the company confirmed rumors that have been circulating for months: the iPhone’s headphone jack is no more. Quite a few people are unhappy about this, so in an interview with Buzzfeed, Apple’s VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, VP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio, VP iOS, iPad and iPhone marketing Greg Joswiak, and CEO Tim Cook defended the decision.

    The foursome said there were several reasons why Apple ditched the 3.5mm connection, the main ones being the amount of space it takes up, the way it hinders water resistance, and the fact it’s antiquated.

    “The audio connector is more than 100 years old,” said Joswiak.“It had its last big innovation about 50 years ago. You know what that was? They made it smaller. It hasn’t been touched since then. It’s a dinosaur. It’s time to move on.”

    Riccio, who called the jack a mere “hole filled with air,” said its inclusion had held Apple back when it came to adding new features to previous iPhones.“It was fighting for space with camera technologies and processors and battery life. And frankly, when there’s a better, modern solution available, it’s crazy to keep it around.”

    Some have claimed that Apple removed the connector so it could introduce a new DRM platform for audio consumption, which Schiller called “pure, paranoid conspiracy theory.”

    At the iPhone event, Apple said it was ditching the jack because of “courage,” a term that seems to have annoyed people even more. Maybe the company should have listened to its co-founder, Steve Wozniak, who last month said that the decision would “tick off a lot of people.”

    Intel is another company to have praised the advantages of removing the headphone jack. At its recent Developer Forum in San Francisco, architects Brad Saunders and Rahman Ismail claimed replacing the old connection with USB-C would improve both audio quality and smartphones in general.

    Despite the furor over Apple’s move, it’s unlikely to have much negative effect on iPhone 7 sales. “Remember, we’ve been through this many times before,” says Schiller. “We got rid of parallel ports, the serial bus, floppy drives, physical keyboards on phones — do you miss the physical keyboards on your phone? … At some point — some point soon, I think — we’re all going to look back at the furor over the headphone jack and wonder what the big deal was.”

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  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,645   +404

    "the way it hinders water resistance, and the fact it’s antiquated."
    Funny, my Sony Z3 has a headphone jack without a "plug" and it manages to be waterproof.

    "replacing the old connection with USB-C would improve both audio quality and smartphones in general"
    Fine, but improve the batteries so we don't have to charge the phone when its running out of battery half way through a day OR listen to music on it.

    "Despite the furor over Apple’s move, it’s unlikely to have much negative effect on iPhone 7 sales."

    iSheep will do what Apple tells them and buy a new revolutionary device.
    Audiophile iSheep might think twice before having to use "AirPods".
  3. The Wheel, it's round, it's old. It's had no new innovation. It's been made bigger, been made smaller, but hasn't been touched since then. It's a dinosaur, it's time to move on. And the tire? A mere hole filled with air...
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,157   +1,188

    As much as I hope this forces the industry to make bluetooth better, I also hope this kicks apple squarely in the teeth. they need to be shown that just because something is old fashioned, doesnt make it bad. If people only buy the 6s or the SE, maybe apple will realize they goofed up hard.
    CAYLINGO, SirChocula, m4a4 and 8 others like this.
  5. batsdude

    batsdude TS Member Posts: 52   +17

    I doubt very much that Apple gives a %%%% about people's investment in their headphones.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,938   +2,301

    Damn, and we all waited to hear them honestly saying "Sorry, we f-d up!". Why didn't they say that? What a surprise!
    batsdude likes this.
  7. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Geez. The hate is strong to apple articles as if you own them. They included an adapter so what is the fuzz. Wireless is the future btw with portable sound system.

    I hope you guys would have the same comments once Android cellphones adopts usb-c for headphones.
    Versutus likes this.
  8. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,577   +1,716

    Well this statement simply isn't true, if it was the audiophile industry would have been all over it years ago. There is a reason the 3.5mm is still around today and I don't think any other smartphone manufacture is willing to jump on the bandwagon.
    Hazydave, SirChocula, m4a4 and 5 others like this.
  9. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +806

    No headphone socket = no sale given how often I use my phone as an MP3 player. Or the fact most people do in fact have multiple other devices with the universal standard socket on (TV's, PC's, MP3 players, tablets, hi-fi's / home-theater receivers, etc). I guess we "need" to rebuy all that lot, eh? Or buy two sets of headphones? That's what's it's really about for the "industry".

    It's obvious reading multiple forums that most people like backwards compatibility and simple reliability. I haven't owned a single pair of bluetooth headphones that didn't drop out at some point especially in 2.4GHz congested areas. One socket on a mobile means you can't use headphones whilst charging without buying yet another unnecessary adapter (at a price premium of course).

    I'll take reliable "Dinosaur" technology over gushing "artsyness" where a logo of a piece of fruit somehow 'demands' +$400 price premiums for increasingly nerfed functionality any day...
  10. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,938   +2,301

    You get another adapter for that money, included with each iPhone 7...


    nicolas holao and Versutus like this.
  11. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 644   +378

    Doesn't matter if the adaptor is gold plated, you can't listen and charge the brick at the same time. It is a lack of ports that is an issue here.
    Godel, psycros, Arris and 1 other person like this.
  12. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,938   +2,301

    You can use cable headphones while charging the wireless ones ;)
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,857   +659

    Almost had that right, it's more along the lines of Apple just can't figure out how to make the device waterproof with the 3.5mm jack, not that it hinders water resistance, the competition has been doing so for years...

    "Riccio, who called the jack a mere “hole filled with air,” said its inclusion had held Apple back when it came to adding new features to previous iPhones."

    The only thing "filled with air" is this guys head, saying that a small port such as the 3.5mm jack has been holding them back is the worst excuse ever. "We'd like to make our products better, but we can't because the consumer demands a highly compatible socket that has been around for 50 years" So here's another near identical looking iPhone with barely any note worthy improvements but lacks the port everyone wants... Good job, you convinced me it was worth removing that pesky little jack indeed.
  14. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +806

    And you still can't charge and listen with it at the same time. So you'll need another Y-lead on top. As for that pic, only Apple could design a dongle that will plug into 99% black headphone leads - and paint it white... Seriously that connector looks fragile as hell in terms of being pulled out when in your jeans pocket. (Kinda why many 3.5mm portable headphone connectors are L-shaped in the first place - the "pulling force" goes through the 3.5mm connector laterally not straight. So another design fail if you want that adaptor to actually stay in the phone...)
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
    psycros likes this.
  15. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 158   +125

    The sheer hypocrisy of it. Apple rode that 3.5 mm jack to make their comeback. Remember the original iPod? The one that put them back on the map? The big features there were the availability of large amounts of storage....and a 3.5 mm jack. Ditto for the iPhone. Where Nokia was crippling their phones with a POP port, Apple used a 3.5 mm port.
    I guess things will eventually go full circle...
  16. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Maniac Posts: 276   +182

    Except isn't Apple claiming that the "future" is with their wireless Air Buds? Guess their "solution" isn't as perfect as they make it out to be.
    psycros and BSim500 like this.
  17. batsdude

    batsdude TS Member Posts: 52   +17

    This brings to mind how Microsoft thought (very ignorantly) that Ms users were going rush to the stores to replace their systems just to run the new Windows 8 as it had touch screen as it's basic way to use it. Corporate mindset seems to believe that consumers are sheep that will do anything to run with the herd. Wrong.
    SirChocula, bmw95, failquail and 2 others like this.
  18. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 591   +276

    Or you can buy the upcoming LG V20 which has a 3.5mm jack and a Quad DAC for improved sound quality (according to a recent TechSpot article).
    Reehahs, Arris and psycros like this.
  19. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,131   +1,644

    Some have claimed that Apple removed the connector so it could introduce a new DRM platform for audio consumption, which Schiller called “pure, paranoid conspiracy theory.”

    Right up until they implement it, which will probably be in about 18 months (the amount of time most companies think it takes for people to forget that they've been f**ked yet again).

    “We got rid of parallel ports, the serial bus, floppy drives, physical keyboards on phones — do you miss the physical keyboards on your phone?

    You better believe I do, and so do a lot of other people. That's why I got a Samsung Galaxy S7 with an official keyboard case instead of an iPhone. Had there been a high quality physical QWERTY option for Apple and a way to tether my laptop, I would have probably gone the other way. So that's at least one sale you lost, Apple. Even though Android is not as friendly, its versatility will insure that I keep using it..and its all due to Apple's lack of basic features.
  20. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 845   +38

    The issue is you now have to keep the adapter on you at all times and people can't charge their phones and listen to music at the same time. And no, "go out and buy bluetooth earphones" is not a legit response. People should not HAVE to do this. I shouldn't have to go out and buy new earphones.

    I keep seeing the "would you argue this with Android" thing coming up. Typical iSheep only seeing what they want. Do none of you remember when Samsung and Google got rid of SD card ports? Android users were ticked off and they STILL ARE! And then remember when Samsung and Google with the Nexus 4 axed the removable battery? Android users were ticked off and STILL ARE! A lot of loyal followers jumped ship and moved to other brands of phones. But that's none of my business *sips tea* You iSheep have invalid arguments. Nice try, though.
    Phr3d, SirChocula, m4a4 and 3 others like this.
  21. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,280

    And why should they? It's all about coining as coining as much as possible on their products. As much as I dislike Apple and as much as I'm comfortable with a 3.5mm jack they might be doing something right. Manufacturers will build earphones for Apples devices and other devices which forsake the ubiquitous jack and they get to make money on it because it forces us as consumers to buy them.
    One of these days we will all have moved on and that old tech will have been all but forgotten.
  22. noc81

    noc81 TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +29

    All of this would be fine and dandy.. If Apple was using a USB type-C connector instead of sticking to their proprietary one. Now you can't even use the single type accessory of accessory that didn't need to be licensed from Apple -- their headphones. No matter how much of a fanboy they are, any apple user can now feel the walls closing in around them. They already had to buy new cases with each generation, had to update all accessories for the lightning port 2 generations back, and now they'll need Apple licensed headphones once they lose track of their dongle. Add it on to frustrations such as not being able to use your spotify subscription unless purchased through iTunes, and I'm sure you'll start seeing loads of loyal users abandoning them.

    It may be the right decision from a design perspective, but they should have talked to marketing first.. They need a big win with this generation, and Samsung all but handed a victory to them with the exploding s7's (bet they wish the battery was replaceable now, haha), and this change is only going to make it that much harder.
  23. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,577   +1,716

    As I keep saying, if 3.5mm was so bad it would have been replaced by the audiophile industry many years ago. Not to mention the male end of a USBc or thunderbolt connector are much easier to break than 3.5mm.
    Phr3d and failquail like this.
  24. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 515   +277

    Off the top of my head Motorola already jumped on the bandwagon...

    But that phone is already on the market but I am sure they ripped off Apple somehow.
    Reehahs likes this.
  25. failquail

    failquail TS Member Posts: 23   +8

    "physical keyboards on phones — do you miss the physical keyboards on your phone?"
    Yes, very much so.

    If someone released a modern Android handset with a slide out landscape* hardware keyboard, I'd buy it instantly.

    *Blackberry are so close, but bizarrely only offer portrait ones.
    nicolas holao and Reehahs like this.

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