or at least that is the word on the streets. There have been quite a few posts online and excitement about Apple getting rid of the headphone jack on the upcoming iPhone 7. This isn’t the first time this rumor has been put out there either. How would it affect things in the smartphone world? Would Apple really do it? These are all things that would need to be considered.
My thoughts on this are also split but I’m leaning towards it not happening this year. Most people have pointed out the fact that Apple changed from the old 30 pin iPod connector to the Lightning connector. Yes, it was painful for some Apple users who had lots of cables and accessories, that were suddenly obsoleted. But there is a difference in this case. While the change in connectors only affected Apple users the headphone change would affect more than just Apple users. The connectors were only used on Apple devices and didn’t affect anything outside of it. Removing the headphone jack however might have far reaching effects. The iPhone has a market of millions. If the iPhone switches from the current headphone jack to the lightning port what happens to other smartphones? The great thing about using the regular headphone jack is there are a gajillion headphones available from the smallest corner store to the largest retailer. Would other smartphone manufacturers follow Apple’s lead out of fear of not looking like they are innovating. If they did what would they use? The lightning port was developed by Apple and if other manufacturers want to use it I’m thinking they would have to license through Apple. Something I don’t see happening at all. If other manufacturers follow suit that change then extends to the headphone universe as those manufacturers start changing their plugs. Which will then obsolete the 3.5mm headphone jack. This is what I meant when I said it would have far reaching implications. I mean, who doesn’t remember rocking headphones in highschool? whether walkman, discman or iPod.
Such a huge change would Apple do it? I don’t think they will on the iPhone 7 personally. The iPhone is what makes Apple the most profit right now. It IS their flagship product. Making such a huge change would crete outrage among existing customers and new customers. People don’t like change we all should know this by now. So wether it’s necessary or not there will be outrage when they change the connector. I just don’t think they want to do that on the iPhone now especially when competitors have great alternatives to the iPhone. Apple is also a very smart company they like to build everything up. When I think about it if Apple were going to make this change. They would have done it to the iPad Pro. It’s an iPad so using it with headphones is not as big of a deal. The iPad Pro also comes with incredible audio and is branded as a Pro device. Plus the Apple Pencil already plugs into the Pro’s lightning port to charge. It would have been a much greater vehicle to introduce this change in my opinion. Then building from that momentum. Once people are over being outraged and more people are rocking lightning connector headphones. The iPhone would get the hardware change. There also aren’t a proliferation of headphones and earphones on the market using the lightning connector. If you see lots of Beats headphones that use the lightning connector I think that would be more of an indication that it’s coming.
The only thing that stuck out to me about a reason people might be glad that the regular headphone jack is removed. Is if the removal makes the iPhone waterproof or water-resistant. The less open ports there are for water to get into the device the more it can stand up to being immersed in water. I can see them using that as the reason to make the change and while some users will still be outraged I think most users will take the water-resistance over the headphone jack, am I right? Anyway I guess we only have a little under a year to find out.