“As an Apple follower for three decades, I’ve come to understand that everything it does has some strategic goal in mind, and in some cases aims to drive broad industry innovation,” Tim Bajarin writes for PC Magazine. “My sense is that both of these impulses are in play when it comes to the headphone jack.”
“From a historical perspective, Apple has always had a contrarian streak. It started with the design of the Mac, an iconic device that introduced the mouse and GUI. But it was another hardware change that caused the biggest uproar: switching from a 5.25-inch floppy disk to a 3.5-inch rotating storage medium in a hard shell,” Bajarin writes. “That change produced a venomous response from PC insiders at the time. Yet, this one move by Apple drove the entire PC industry to drop floppy drives and move to the 3.5-inch storage format. In 1989, Apple shocked the industry again by creating a Mac with a built-in CD-ROM drive. Apple saw the value of mixed media, and needed a new medium for storage that went well beyond what it could get on a 3.5-inch disk. Again, industry vets mocked Cupertino.”
“These and other lessons from Apple’s past indicate that Apple’s big gambles often pay off and force the rest of the industry in a new direction,” Bajarin writes. “I suspect this is the case with the audio jack. Dropping it could drive the industry closer to the overall vision of wireless headsets, charging, and communications.”
Read more in the full article – recommended, as usual – here.
MacDailyNews Take: If not at launch, then relatively soon after, we expect Lightning headphones to be able do more than just reproduce sound:
For one example, see Apple’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™.
Also, if you’d prefer no wires at all, you can do as we’ve been doing for years now and just go Bluetooth. We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (around $115)). They’re easy to charge, easy to pair, light and comfortable, and work perfectly with our Apple Watches and iPhones.
Apple’s next-gen iPhone will feature all-new non-mechanical Home button, no 3.5mm headphone jack – August 2, 2016
Apple supplier preps for removal of 3.5mm headphone jack in next iPhone – June 30, 2016
Mossberg: New Even earphones tune themselves to each individual’s hearing – June 29, 2016
Alleged iPhone 7 chassis lacks 3.5mm headphone port – June 28, 2016
iPhone 7 rumored to get second speaker, larger camera – June 27, 2016
Apple is known for dumping legacy tech before the rest of the world catches up – June 27, 2016
iOS 9 code reveals Apple’s plans to dump 3.5mm headphone jack in future iPhones – January 20, 2016
Apple’s intention to kill the 3.5mm headphone jack is brilliant – January 13, 2016
iPhone 7 said to be waterproof, replace 3.5mm headphone jack with Apple’s Lightning – January 8, 2016
The fastest Lightning cable is also one of the least expensive – January 8, 2016
Apple will drop headphone jack to make the iPhone 7 super slim, source confirms; wireless charging and waterproof, too – January 7, 2016
Petition demands Apple keep 3.5mm headphone jack in the ‘iPhone 7’ – January 7, 2016
More reports claim Apple has dumped the 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 – January 5, 2016
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