Requiem for a Headphone Jack
M.G. Siegler
47865

I agree with the conclusion (not a headphone jack fan), but why do we have to turn this into an “Apple sucks” vs. “Apple knows best” conversation?

Apple can make mistakes and bad product decisions. Removing something just because it’s 19th century technology doesn’t make sense. There are plenty of good reasons to get rid of the headphone jack, so let’s just stick with those:

  • It’s big, so getting rid of it opens up room for more battery, new components, thinner devices, easier waterproofing, etc.
  • Headphone cables are, like you said, a nightmare. Getting rid of them is great news (long term) for consumers.
  • Likewise, no more broken 3.5mm connectors, frayed cords, etc. No more headphone jacks full of lint or dirt.
  • Done right, bluetooth audio (especially with Bluetooth v5 devices coming soon) = better, more consistent sound quality.

Downsides:

  • Small sample size, but most people I’ve talked to see this as Apple’s latest cynical grab for money (“We have to buy new headphones, new components, etc?”).
  • Speaking of, consumers will need to buy new headphones or at least an adaptor.

My concern is that Apple’s done a bad job of selling the change. In my view, there are so many more upsides than downsides that people should be thrilled by this change. They’re not, because they don’t understand it.

Hopefully that doesn’t indicate complacency or hubris on Apple’s part. They’re still answerable to consumers, and just because people will continue to buy tons of iPhones doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have bought more if Apple put some real effort into explaining this change.

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