On top of Apple being able to decide who can build iPhone-compatible headphones, the price of every pair of headphones would now need to include:
John Gruber Misses the Point Completely About Lightning Headphones
Steve Streza

False premise much?

Do you know what just got released this week?

The specs for Bluetooth 5.0. 4x the range, double the speed, and improved energy efficiency.

The new protocol (and chips that support it) will be released later this year and begin to see wide adoption next year.

Interesting timing if you ask me.

Now, I’m not sure if iPhone 7 will have a Bluetooth 5.0 compatible chipset. I also don’t know if it will have an analog audio port or not. The rumor mill has been going back and forth on it.

Apple is preparing us for a cordless future. Not one time did I see you address that in your entire article. It’s not about analog vs digital, it’s not about proprietary cables, it’s not about DRM (there would be riots!), and it’s not about user lock-in.

It’s about transitioning to cordless via Bluetooth.

Here’s what I know about Apple. They’re usually five steps ahead of everyone. And they never do anything without a long-term plan. for example, some of the latest news they’ve announced, Siri coming to the Mac. A full year ago, they made it so you could do complex search queries using “natural language” instead of specific computer language in Finder. That was the groundwork required to make Siri work on that system. You can look backwards through Apple’s history and see tons of examples like this.

My uneducated guess is that given Beats’ popularity, albeit misguided popularity, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple was planning to make the entire line cordless and Bluetooth 5 compatible as soon as possible.

Then people would be complaining about the audio equipment makers who still use analog jacks instead of having Bluetooth compatibility. Apple is one of the few companies that can flip the script that way. It will drive widespread Bluetooth headphone adoption, and five years from now, nobody will care about jacks or cords.

Oh, and it will open a new industry segment of analog to Bluetooth transmitters for people with older equipment but want to enjoy newer cordless headphones. (Remember, 4x range, 2x speed)

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