Apple has, yet again, sparked relentless controversy on the Internet with their recent announcement of the iPhone 7. The new iPhone will not have the standard headphone jack. You would swear Apple is trying to abolish Twitter. Everyone lost their minds. The ironic thing is Apple isn’t even the first company to do it! Many are going to accuse me of being a fanboy because I support Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack. My reason is very simple: USB.
Folks are clamoring that removing the headphone jack is absurd. The 3.5 mm jack has roots that extend all the way back to 1878 when switchboard operators used 6.35 mm jacks. It is a technology that has withstood the test of time remarkably well. However, I pose this question for all those folks: do they still use the stereo jack for their headphones on your computer? I am willing to bet most people plug their headphones into their computer using a USB port instead of the 100-year-old 3.5 mm stereo jack.
USB Headphones Are OK but Lightning Headphones Are Not??
So this is what I don’t get. When the PC industry converted everyone over to USB headphones, nobody batted an eye. In fact I was rather pleased with the transition. It’s technological progress. The same can be said for using the Lightning Adapter for your headphones. What is the difference between using a USB for sound and using the Lightning Adapter for sound? Technically there isn’t. Sound waves are a form of data and both transmit data, ergo the headphone jack is superfluous.
There is one particular scenario I am curious about. What if you need to charge your phone but wish to listen music on your headphones at the same time? I find myself in this specific situation quite often, especially at work. The only solution I have seen Apple provide so far are wireless ear buds with Bluetooth. I’m not a fan of ear buds, they never stay in my ear so they aren’t a viable solution for me. So that issue remains unresolved and may just be a victim of progress.
in·no·vate(ˈinəˌvāt/) – verb –
make changes in
especially by introducing
ideas, or products.
“Times change and you have to adapt” – Jerry Cantrell
Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack isn’t completely leaving 3.5 mm headphones out in the cold. Apple has promised to include an adapter with all the new iPhone 7’s. I don’t know what that means for future iPhone versions but headphone companies have a year to engineer new lightning adapter capable headphones.
I think people just like to target Apple, especially the Android community. The soliloquy on “courage” may have been overly dramatic but it has merit. You can call it crazy. You can call it “courage”. You can call it “user-hostile and stupid”. It was bound to happen eventually and I think you are going to see more companies doing the same thing. Removing the headphone jack may not have been revolutionary but it’s certainly evolutionary.
However, I don’t know about those wireless ear buds …