Why Apple killed the headphone jack in iPhone 7

iphone-7-earphone-jack

Apple is no stranger to criticism, but the iPhone 7 is stoking exceptional level of controversy, all thanks to this one feature, or the absence of it.

As expected, the new iPhone doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The overwhelming reaction for omitting earphone jack is negative including in India when I asked existing iPhone users in Chandigarh, Delhi and Bangalore. Millions of headphones, speakers, and other accessories will now require a Lightning adaptor to work with the iPhone 7.

So what’s Apple’s clarification for doing so? The company actually explained it in one word: “courage.”

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“Now some people have asked why we would remove the analog headphone jack from the iPhone,” Apple executive Phil Schiller said during the iPhone 7’s launch on last Wednesday. “The reason to move on really comes down to one word: courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.”

Why maintain a space-taking single purpose analogue connector (that’s headphone jack for you), which has been used in tech since 1964? You don’t, according to Apple, with the company instead looking towards a wireless future.

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You’ll get a pair of Lightning EarPods in the box of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, similar tothe earlier ones but designed for use with the Lightning port rather than a traditional 3.5mm jack.

That means if you won’t be able to listen to music on your phone and charge it at the same time. This will annoy some people – actually a lot of people.

Each phone will also ship with a Lightning to 3.5mm adaptor, so you can continue using your wired headphones with the handset but an extra cable will be a pain.

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Apple indeed took risk by removing the jack but was this worth it? I don’t think so but we will get to know in a few months.