There is a growing list of alleged leaks that the iPhone 7 is going to drop the headphone connector. Here’s the most recent from Fast Company. We’re still probably nine months out from seeing the iPhone 7 so I’m not going to put much stock in these rumors … yet. Speaking hypothetically if the new iPhone does remove the headphone jack, I expect the Internet will shortly after need clean underwear. People went crazy when Apple replaced the 10-year-old 30-pin connector with the Lightning connector a few years back. The current headphone jack is older. Much older. Nevertheless, the outcry in response to removing the headphone jack will be exponentially louder than it was for replacing the 30-pin connector. People are going to go nuts.
I can sympathize. People who are serious about audio most likely have a fancy-pants set of headphones that they paid hundreds (or thousands) for and finding out that investment will no longer plug into their phone will not please them. I often use my earbuds at the same time my phone is charging and if removing the headphone jack means I can do only one at a time, it will be a problem. I’ve heard rumors of inductive charging but I’ll need to be convinced. I know that inductive technology has improved but I wonder if it has improved enough. Also, how would that work for someone that wants to charge her phone in her car and plug it into her car stereo at the same time? Is there going to be a mobile inductive charger or some wonky, expensive cable?
I am generally pretty willing to roll with Apple’s new products upsetting the status quo. If history is any judge where Apple goes, its competitors soon follow. However, if this were to come true and Apple were going to remove the headphone jack, they’d have to convince me of two things:
1. It’s Worth It
Specifically, what are the benefits to removing the headphone jack that justify the effort and expense that will go into adjusting to this change. For me at least, it would have to be more than making the phone slightly thinner. I’m told the internals of those headphone jacks take quite a bit of room. If I could get 2 hours of extra battery life, it’d probably be worth it.
2. They Are Helping with the Transition
I’d need to feel that this isn’t a money grab. The new phones should be bundled with Lightning adapter headphones. Also, Lightning to traditional headphone jack adapters should be sold at non-ridiculous prices.
Don’t get me wrong about this though. Even if Apple were to convincingly make the above two points, the Internet is still going to blow up with claims of “greedy” Apple. We may have an interesting Fall this year.