The question is not if Apple will axe the 3.5mm headphone jack, but when

“There are once again rumors that Apple is going to remove the 3.5mm audio jack from the next iPhone, this time courtesy of a report from Japanese website Macotakara,” Graham Spencer writes for MacStories. “The Macotakara report goes on to suggest that audio output on the iPhone 7 will be handled via the Lightning connector and Bluetooth, and that the EarPod included with every iPhone will be upgraded and use the Lightning connector.”

“It’s too early to tell whether Apple really will get rid of the 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 next year, but I think the real question is when will they get rid of it, not if they get rid of it,” Spencer writes. “In my eyes, it’s either going to happen in 2016 with the iPhone 7 or 2018 with the iPhone 8.”

“I think the removal of the audio jack on an iPhone is a much more significant change than switching from a 30-pin connector to the Lightning port. It is inevitable that the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack will cause pain, frustration, and annoyance amongst virtually all iPhone customers (to varying degrees),” Spencer writes. “Apple is well aware of this, and I think they should be doing everything they can to minimise these adverse effects on customers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Can’t happen soon enough! The standard 3.5mm audio jack is an anachronism and a design limiter that begs to die.

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. — Steve Jobs

SEE ALSO:
Apple rumored to replace 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 with all-in-one Lightning connector – November 30, 2015
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may be poised to kill off the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 7, 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

43 Comments

  1. Let’s count…

    How many popular audio devices (personal audio devices) that do not have a 3.5mm audio jack?

    I recall my Sony Ericsson Walkman phone contained a charging port adaptor for the audio jack. This was he i810w. It was a nice phone for it’s time. However the real issue for me was, I bought a Walkman phone, to listen to music, and it was a pain in the ass to use. Apart from the the difficulty with UI and downloading music, I simply decided to never listen to music on it. It was a waste of money.

    The Nokia E71 had a 2.5mm audio jack… WIN

    I think there is no simple solution. This is going to be a hard nut to crack. Can’t really improve here.

    1. Sure there will be an adapter. An adapter that has to contain a digital to analog converter. An adapter that has to be carried everywhere. An adapter that will probably cost upwards of $50 if Apple’s past history is any indication. An adapter that will be proprietary for at least a year before Apple decides to let other companies make them.

  2. Apparently, this report and MDN have completed missed the bus on the fact that the thinness of the iPhones isn’t really an issue and that users would more likely prefer longer battery life in say, a 4.7″ device, rather than a thinner device that’s unnecessarily thin for the sake of being thin. The relative fragility of the 6 Plus and the resulting improvements in materials would be the best case in point. The interesting thing is that the thing that would allow for super thin phones with longer battery life is the same thing that would allow for a similar form factor in the 6S to get battery life similar to the 6S Plus (currently), new battery technology. It doesn’t make much sense to decrease the volume/size on the phone without that battery technology, just after the size increase that afforded significant increases in battery life with the introduction of the 6 and 6 Plus.

    1. Apple has been a leader in promoting “thinness” in the smartphone industry. They could just as easily pivot and say that now battery life or durability or other factors are their priority and the rest of the industry would follow suit. The driving factor behind losing the 3.5mm jack as with the introduction of usb-c in the macbook seems to be making things thinner, not improving the user experience.

  3. Maybe they’ll drop the headphone jack and add wireless charging… There you go, the biggest issue will be solved. You can charge your phone and listen to music at the same time. Well provided you shell out the money to buy a wireless charging pad/station.

  4. I have yet to see the case made that the positives of eliminating it would outweigh the negatives.

    I like the fact that I can choose from a wide selection of industry-standard headphones/earbuds at a wide range of costs that do not require batteries or pairing.

    I like the fact that by using a simple, small, analog, non-proprietary design it is possible to make most sound systems compatible with the majority of portable music storage systems.

    I love my high-end Sennheiser BT headphones, but they can’t completely replace my phone earbuds.

  5. What’s going to be interesting is how Apple will explain WHY they dump the 3.5 mm stereo jack, especially since there is the 2.5 mm stereo jack alternative and adapters.

    2.5 mm stereo jack
    2.5 mm stereo jack
    2.5 mm stereo jack

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