Removal of iPhone’s antiquated headphone jack means opportunity for Apple’s Beats

“As has been expected, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s iPhone 7 will not have a headphone jack,” L&F Capital Management writes for Seeking Alpha. “Instead, owners will be forced to use either Lightning or Bluetooth connections for audio. [Edited out unnecessary negativity. – MDN Ed.]”

“This will create a hardware revolution in the headphone market that has already started, and the biggest driver should be an expedited shift to wireless headphones,” L&F Capital Management writes. “Perhaps not so coincidentally, the biggest winner of this transition could be AAPL, the owner of Bluetooth market leader Beats.”

“Lightning headphones won’t work on any device with a micro-USB charging port, so alternate cable solutions won’t work across multiple devices. The only cross-device solution, then, is Bluetooth. In our opinion, the ditching of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 will rush a huge Bluetooth upgrade cycle in the back-half of this year,” L&F Capital Management writes. “Perhaps not so coincidentally, the leader of the Bluetooth market is AAPL-owned Beats… As the iPhone 7 sells, so will Beats headphones, and AAPL should be able generate lots of revenue per phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over two years ago back in June 2014:

Another good reason for the Beats buy. If Apple and Beats both change to Lightning headphones, the rest of the world will have to follow.

Of course, there’s such a thing as an adapter. So, you don’t have to chuck your current headphones/earbuds.

The standard 3.5mm jack is an anachronism and a design limiter that begs to die.

Also, don’t discount the ability of Lightning headphones to do more than just reproduce sound. For example: Apple Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”

Apple’s patent abstract: A monitoring system that can be placed proximate to the head or ear of a user is disclosed. According to one embodiment, the monitoring system can be used with headphones, earbuds or headsets. The monitoring system can, for example, be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities. The positioning of the monitoring system can also facilitate sensing of other user characteristics (e.g., biometric data), such as temperature, perspiration and heart rate. The monitoring system can also be used to control a an electronic device. In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures. More info here.

From your ear to your wrist in the blink of an eye™.

We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds for some time now (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones). They work perfectly with our Apple Watch and iPhone 6s Plus units.


  1. “The standard 3.5mm jack is an anachronism and a design limiter that begs to die.”

    Absolute nonsense. The headphone jack works perfectly.

    My years of buying iPhones comes to a close if Apple makes this move.

  2. Typical Apple, if they can’t sell their Beats crap, well they’ll simply force it onto you!!!

    With Apple’s “new” headphone jack you will no longer be able to buy the headphones you like!

    Apple needs to stop FORCING people to buy their crap technology.

  3. I remember when Apple introduced the USB connector on their colorful iMac back in 97-98, they were first. People had the same complaints…

    I sure could use something more reliable, better sounding and way more versatile than an analog 3.5mm headphone jack!

    1. Agreed. Every time Apple does something like this there is an uproar, but historically they have always been right when it comes to replacing these legacy technologies. I don’t see how this will be any different from remov9ng floppy drives, introducing usb, ditching Ethernet on notebooks, ditching optical drives, ℅ creating thunderbolt with Intel, introducing wireless networking to the world with the airport, adopting Sata first, adopting m.2 pcie storage first, pushing wireless n and AC into the mainstream, changing input methods with the mouse, the click wheel and mulrti touch, the first company with 64-bit CPUs in desktop computers (G5), the first with 64-bit CPUs in mobiles, and the usb 3.1 type c connector which they were first to adopt, not to mention WebKit, QuickTime, html 5, and h.264 compression… (the list is much longer, that’s just off the top of my head)…. There is a very long track record of Apple being right on these transitions, and a very long track record of people complaining being wrong. I embrace the removal of the headphone jack.

    2. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Old technology that has a newer more efficient replacement to a technology that humans will always require – analogue signals. The digital signal from the iPhone needs to be converted to analogue and sent to speakers to make them vibrate. There is no replacement for that. The only thing Apple is doing is changing the placement of the DAC/jack from the iPhone to the headphone – but its still there – its not going away. They’re not adding bluetooth – we already have that. They’re removing a very efficient delivery system. That’s the only thing they’re doing. It’s not groundbreaking.

      1. Analog is not a technology.

        The 3.5mm jack is not/ has never been a DAC.

        All the major studios are now processing everything in digital. It is far more efficient than analog transport which degrade over length and time…

        As far as orange, I prefer apple juice!

        1. what do you think the 3.5mm jack is connected to? a DAC. Music files are currently stored on the iphone in a digital format – the DAC converts them to an analogue signal and the 3.5mm jac sends that signal to the headphones. What I was referring to as technology is the DAC/jack. The rumors are that Apple will remove this combo. They are not proposing some new tech that we don’t have already – they’re just removing a nice convenient delivery system and putting the onus on the headphone manufacturers. They’re making us go out and buy DAC’s, if our headphones don’t already have them and making us use the charging port to connect. And no – the current (and next) bluetooth standard doesn’t deliver better quality sound than an analogue wire connected directly to the iphone’s 3.5mm jack . so please tell me how this is an advancement in tech from what we currently have.

        2. Ever tried to play musical instruments through Bluetooth? It doesn’t work. With this change I can’t use my midi korg nano. It uses the Lightning jack to connect unless they greatly decrease latency through a new technology. Bluetooth doesn’t cut it.

      2. So, how does your phone’s loudspeaker and phone speaker work if you remove the DAC? Right, they can’t remove the DAC. The DAC is built into the SoC anyways and is not going anywhere regardless. The reality of the situation is that you’ll now be purchasing a redundant DAC for every set of headphones/earbuds you buy and your cheap earbuds will now include the lowest quality DAC they can find, making them sound worse than they did before at a higher cost. Your high-end cans will now have a “premium” DAC tax added to the top of the cost. You’re all about to get raped and you’re excited about it. Too funny.

  4. This means nothing to me, nor does the removal of the headphone jack. I use a pair of blue tooth bone conducting headphones (AfterShokz) for most activities, but when I am in a loud environment (i.e. mowing the lawn or server data center) – I use blue tooth Bose QC35 Noise Canceling Headphones.

    I tried on a pair of Beats at the Apple store and found them to be uncomfortable (in comparison to Aftershokz and Bose) and they really did not sound all that great to me.

  5. “The standard 3.5mm jack is an anachronism and a design limiter that begs to die.” This is so not true – you could say the DAC that Apple is using is anachronism but you cannot say the port is. Humans, at some point in the delivery system, require analogue – we cannot hear digital. you either put that analogue port(/DAC) in the phone or you put it inn the headphones but it needs to be somewhere. Putting it in the phone makes the most sense because it allows for a lot of versatility. What Apple should do is make a better DAC for the iPhone!!!! Removal of the headphone jack means all headphones require power to run their own DAC’s. And how many manufacturers are going to use a high end DAC in the headphones??? And what happens if their DAC isn’t energy efficient ? It means bad battery life for the iPhone. A better DAC with better headphones = better sound. or the current system with better headphones = better sound.

  6. I do not care if Jesus cones back in a flying Gullwing Meecedes and tells me to, I refuse to buy anything with the ghetto brand beats attached to it.
    Nothing says ghetto like a Samsung Galaxy and an ugly set of shitty Beats headphones. Nothing says hipster like an iPhone and an ugly set of shitty Beats headphones.

  7. Beats was a vanity acquisition. Substandard products at inflated prices.

    Removing a standard port is just hubris.

    If Apple’s design team is so innovative, why does Samsung give you stereo speakers and a 3.5mm input?

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