Apple cuts headphone jack, will anger everyone or something

“Last year Apple appeared to deliver the death knell to the iPhone jack before going silent, but now it appears to have something far more silly in mind,” Gordon Kelly writes for Forbes. “In its quest to create ever thinner iPhones, iPads and Macs, Apple has obtained a patent to cut the 3.5mm headphone jack and the less common 2.5mm variant down into a slimmer ‘D’ shape.”

“It is totally ludicrous. Let’s look at this rationally for a moment. Where is the real benefit in cutting down the headphone jack?” Kelly writes. “Should Apple introduce the D-shaped port on devices it would gain maybe an extra millimetre (the benefit comes from the proportional decrease to the internal receptor) but it would simultaneously make billions of pairs of headphones incompatible.”

Apple slim headphone plug patent
Source: USPTO

“This gives conspiracy theorists a field day. Apple makes the headphone jack a pain to use in order to ease the path to remove it entirely and transition users to the proprietary (thin and reversible) Lightning port. After all Lightning headphones are already on sale,” Kelly writes. “According to a recent leak, Apple plans to make the iPhone 7 significantly thinner than the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus (which are actually fractionally thicker than their predecessors due to 3D Touch)… Loyalty to the iPhone brand is unprecedented, but if a future model features a D-shape headphone jack I would hope everyone jumps ship.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, puleeze. “Jump ship” to what? Everything else is crap. Over a measly headphone jack? Stick an adapter on your headphone plug.

Hello? It’s 2015. Our earphones don’t even have a cord!

Apple prepares for even thinner iPhones, files patent application for shaved down headphone plug – September 23, 2015
Philips debuts Lightning-powered noise-cancelling headphones, no batteries required – January 8, 2015
Dumping the headphone jack for Lightning and other ways Apple could reinvent headphone tech – June 22, 2014
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may ditch analog 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning to make thinner devices – June 6, 2014
Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, iOS software update to deliver support – June 5, 2014
Apple preps HD audio for iOS 8 plus new Apple In-Ear Headphones and lightning cable – May 13, 2014
Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014
Apple paves way for more affordable iOS accessories with lower MFi and Lightning licensing fees – February 7, 2014


  1. Stop with the thin already! I don’t need a phone that can slice vegetables or be banned on airlines because it can double as a box knife. I want a substantial phone thick enough to hold a battery that can go two or three days on a charge with moderate use. Send Ive to a psychiatrist because this obsession with thin is not healthy.

  2. Every new iPhone comes with headphones anyway. If you have premium headphones, chances are they aren’t hard wired (otherwise they aren’t truly “premium” and probably didn’t cost enough to validate your complaint) and you can replace the cord inexpensively with a compatible wire. I would take advancements forward over sticking with old tech any day. Bring it on Apple. Lead the way.

    My only complaint is that with every upgrade I’ve done I’ve tried to continue using my old headphones as much as possible until they’re unusable, so I can stock up on fresh backup. Now I have like 4 brand new unused headphones that may not work. Oh well, I will sell them on eBay. Clearly the quality in these is really good considering I use them all day every day for work and personal phone calls, and starting over with just one set of the fresh new ones when they’re released will not be a problem. They’ll last far longer than the year they’ll need to last anyway. So just as fast as I raised a valid concern I’ve also thought about it logically and realized it doesn’t matter, something most people are apparently unable to do.

  3. I’ve got about three BT dongles to use with standard headphones, so it won’t bother me at all. However, an adapter would suit me just fine. Why do these people always make mountains out of anthills when it comes to Apple? They always have some damn problem with whatever Apple does. Things change over time and we adapt to them. Weren’t there always 1/4″ jacks and plugs before the smaller ones were put into use. So, did some jackass start complaining that all the current 1/4″ jack headphones were no longer useful. Heck, no. Someone made an adapter or consumers simply got new headphones. A smaller plug could be considered a form of innovation but that’s not the right kind of innovation for whiners and complainers. They want everything to change but yet remain the same.

    I don’t particularly want Apple to build thinner iPhones but that’s not for me to say. If millions of consumers continue to buy them, well then, I’m in the minority. I have never had a say in how technology advances but most humans do eventually adapt or get left behind. There have been whole trades that have disappeared over the centuries as civilization progressed, so I consider a downsized headphone jack a relatively minor change.

  4. “Stick an adapter on your headphone plug.”

    Yes, users can buy adapters. But what a pain in the ass! Apple is getting really good at forcing users to jump through hoops to deal with what in many cases look like gratuitous changes to the products. Who needs an even thinner iPhone? Nobody!

    1. First the credit card is still in the wallet because Apple Pay is so poorly supported nationwide, with seemingly zero marketing and training to spur adoption. Apple is showing very poor commitment on it.

      Second, as most people agree on this forum, there is a point where thinness becomes a detriment. Apple is already at that level. In order to offer what people really want — superior battery life, industry standard audio connectors, durable construction, better camera optics — Apple can’t thin the iPhone any more. That assumes, of course, that Apple listens to its users, which is a questionable assumption given what Apple has done with the Mac hardware lineup in the last 5 years.

      1. The idea isn’t to get rid of the credit card, but to get rid of the wallet and key ring. They’re just starting along this path, but it will be possible sooner than you think. Remember, wallets and keys have been around for a long time, this will partially be a generational change as some people are too set in their ways to change. The toughest part will be working with governments to replace drivers licenses/ID cards. It will happen soon in some places, but widespread adoption may take a while. The phone won’t even be necessary; it’ll be through the watch (or other wearables). Pockets will disappear from most clothing in a few decades.

  5. I thought getting rid of the floppy port was a bad idea, I was wrong.
    I thought getting rid of the CD/DVD port was a bad idea, I was wrong.
    I thought the small earbud jack on the original iPhone was a good idea, I was wrong again.
    I think this D-plug is a bad idea, I’m sticking with this one. 🙂

  6. The roblem with Bluetooth headphones is 1) audio quality and 2) if you’re watching video, BT injects an audio delay causing the sound to go out of sync with the video on your device.

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