iPhone 7 May Mark the End of Headphone Jacks

Photo courtesy of Kãrlis Dambrãns, Wikipedia

Moments after Apple released the specifications of the latest iPhone model, unveiled at its annual event earlier this month, news feeds on all types of platforms were buzzing over the company’s decision to remove the beloved headphone jack.

As one of the first companies to eliminate the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, Apple is unwilling to compromise its high quality technology for a consumer favorite. Greg Joswiak, vice president of Apple, explained the reasoning behind the decision at the event in September.

“The audio connector is more than 100 years old. It had its last big innovation about 50 years ago,” said Joswiak. “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.”

To appease its consumers, Apple will be providing them with a pair of Lightning EarPods similar to those shipped with older versions of the device but with the added adaptability to the lightning port. iPhone users will be excited, or at least somewhat relieved, to learn that Apple will be supplying a lightning adaptor that enables them to use standard headphones with the new model – in essence, just another extra cable to remember to carry around.

Fans of all Apple products might also be interested in AirPods, wireless headphones that connect via Bluetooth. This is a strategic way to prompt customers into buying the costly AirPods, valued at $159, when they upgrade to the latest model.

Apple is a serious technology company, aware of how its decisions will affect the consumers, its reputation, as well as its profits. The decision to say farewell to the headphone jack enabled the company to pack more technology into the device.

“It was holding us back from a number of things we wanted to put into the iPhone. 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,” said Dan Riccio, vice president of hardware engineering.

Headphones are a source of comfort to many, with the ability to block out the rest of the world as we zero in on what we’re doing at the moment. Whether that’s on the elliptical at the gym, dining in the cafeteria or studying in the library, a pair of headphones is a college student’s best friend. But with the existence of a variety of wireless headphones, whether they are the extremely expensive or relatively cheap versions, the absence of headphones doesn’t seem to be as large of an issue as people have painted it to be.

The company is undoubtedly facing severe backlash for its decision to change the way we listen to audio from our phones. The consumer market is still experiencing the initial shock and can barely imagine functioning without the tiny headphone jack at the bottom of their iPhones. However, this trend will fade and soon become the norm. Plus, with a majority of users already making the transition to wireless headphones, it won’t affect us all that much.

As an owner of the iPhone 6s, there is no immediate need for me to upgrade to the latest model. But once the excitement fades, I’ll find myself at the Apple store on an early Saturday morning handing over my credit card to the sales representative and reveling over the new device. If that means not having a headphone jack, then that’s just fine by me.