Apple could finally remove this ancient technology in iPhone 8

“The removal of the headphone jack, if it happens, is being done with one thing in mind – saving space,” Ian Morris writes for Forbes. “Apple doesn’t particularly want the incoming media storm about such a decision, so it must logically see the advantages as being greater.”

“If such a decision allows them to add battery life and other features then, in the long term, it will probably be viewed as a success. But there’s another thing that takes up space too,” Morris writes. “The SIM tray, and what’s more, it takes up more space than the headphone jack does.”

“Tt takes up as much space as the iPhone’s processor. That’s a huge waste for something that isn’t really necessary,” Morris writes. “Take a look at the Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch, which is Apple’s first device to feature an internal SIM. There’s not a massive amount of information about this online, but it works in the same way as any SIM does, but doesn’t require a user-accessible card slot to work.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last September 15th:

All we need now are Apple SIMs in iPhones. Game, set, match!

SEE ALSO:
Apple invents tamper prevention for Apple SIM – October 8, 2015
Mossberg: It’s time to free the smartphone – September 17, 2015

42 Comments

  1. Stop trying to rationalize the removal of the headphone jack. The only reason for removing it is to make people buy new DAC-eqquiped headphones, most likely Bluetooth-equipped Beats. Apple would benefit from sales of Bluetooth-equipped beats because it bought the company. The removal of the headphone jack could result in huge sales of Apple-owned Beats headphones. The reason for the removal of the headphone jack is greed.

    The other possible result of the removal of the headphone jack is that some people might switch to another phone. I know I’ll switch to an Ubuntu phone in a year or two.

    1. jfb: kind of like the good old days when a machine/cpu had all the nice extras like floppy drives, ADB, USB, F-wire & scsi ports? Just makes me want to see a physical keyboard on iPh 8.

      1. Indeed and do you remember all the drama queens bleating on about buying other products? Not only did any doing so were insignificant to the amazing success of the iMac but low and behold not long after they actually didn’t have that choice anyway as PCs with little to no bleating followed suit.

        It will be the desperate phone producers who will stick longest with the jack going on about custom choice dictating they offer this stone age technology just as the withering Blackberry maid similar claims for the physical keyboard. The rest will after initial mickey taking follow suit as soon as they can so that they too can buy into the potential advantages. To claim this is simply about greed is as usual delusionary, its a technology that should have been replaced years ago.

    2. Don’t know how often I’ve seen a 162-vote rating here on MDN. It’s almost as if someone from a must-have-analog-headphone-jack site sent their supporters here.
      I mean, seriously, people like jfblagden pop up every time Apple removes some old tech from their products (floppies, non-USB serial ports, etc). Usually, everyone else has done the same thing within a few years, and thinks “good riddance!”
      I don’t know that Apple’s making the right call at the right time when it comes to the headphone jack, but it almost certainly isn’t to rip off customers. That’s a pretty stupid opinion, and one I doubt regular MDN readers would rate so highly.

  2. I have no dog in this fight because i have no interest in upgrading my phone this year. But I understand the trauma.

    My 2¢ is that there will be plenty of time to excoriate Apple for a stupid, anti-consumer mis-step AFTER they actually announce an iPhone sans audio jack. And that is also supposing they have no sensational positive offsetting rationale for the decision. The hand wringing over rumors, and with no comment from Apple, is really a waste of energy.

  3. I can’t believe anyone actually thinks that the reason for possible removal of the headphone jack is greed.

    Let’s see: average retail price for a current generation iPhone is some $700. nine out of ten iPhone owners use the included white earbuds (a very conservative estimate). Even if these Bluetooth (or lightning jack) headphones retail for $100, that implies barely $10 of extra revenue on a $700 device, where the profit margin is in the 100s.

    That is absurd.

    1. So you think the iPhone will jump from $700 with wired headphones to $800 with some other digital headphone?

      Do you treat a 15% price increase on other products so casually?

      If you do, then you might as well admit that greed is a part of all business decisions, in this case Apple raping you for an additional $100 while you get no improved functionality.

      This rumor is being called out for being anti-consumer because that’s exactly what it is. It decreases user flexibility and raises costs. You can iCal that.

      Also, good luck finding a lightning headphone that costs only $100.

      1. Exactly! The problem with digital headphones is that they need to have a DAC, which drastically increases the price of headphones. And yeah, there’s also the flexibility aspect. Any audio device from the last 40 years has a headphone jack. Bluetooth is a pain to pair, especially if you’re going to use a pair of Bluetooth headphones with more than one device. There’s also no way to split the audio signal for additional listeners with Bluetooth. And it’s just one more thing to charge. Wired headphones always work. And they cost a lot less for a good pair.

        1. I can’t believe I have to explain this!

          Whatever port iPhone uses for the headphones, a pair of earbuds will always be bundled. I can’t believe anyone actually thinks otherwise.

          Now, at least nine out of ten iPhone owners (again, conservative estimate) will stick with the bundled ones. So, if Apple sells 20 million devices, only about two million of those people will buy additional headphones. And it is unlikely that majority of those would end up buying from Apple / Beats. So, Apple is eliminating a jack on a $700 device in order to get every tenth buyer of it to potentially (but not all that likely) buy another $100 accessory? Or, even worse, $20 adapter?? You could expect Xiaomi, or Huawei to do this. But not even Samsung would do such a cheap move. Anyone who really believes the only reason for Apple eliminating 3.5mm jack (or floppy drive, or optical drive, or modem connector,, or Ethernet connector, etc) has no clue how Apple operates.

          Apple doesn’t care about devices outside its ecosystem. They don’t worry too much about standards either. They do things mercilessly when they think it moves things forward. On this one, I fully agree with MDN.

          1. Actually, with MANY Android phones there is NO included headphones (wired or otherwise). So expecting that Apple to continue bundling headphones with the iPhone is not necessarily a given. But because the iPhone is more “exclusive” (only 18% of smartphone users have an iPhone), they almost certainly will continue to be bundled w/the phone. Just saying it isn’t necessarily a given…

          2. First of all, your 90% use rate for the bundled earpods is ridiculous. I would put it at about 30%, 40% tops.

            Second, if this adapter requires a built-in DAC why in the world do you think it would cost on $20? I think $50 is more realistic.

            Third, other companies that have plans to ditch the headphone jack are replacing it with USB-C, leaving Apple once again with a proprietary solution no one else uses.

            1. I don’t know wher you’re getting your data from. Mine is, admir sly anecdotal, but wife indicative. I count white apple earbuds in the streets of Manhatt on my way to work. Now, this is the crowd that overwhelmingly owns iPhone (rather than android), and can easily afford better headphones, but in the sea of white earbuds you occasionally see some Bose, Sony or Bears. As I said, my numbers were very conservative.

              As for the price of the adapter, even if it were $100, it would still be a negligible addition to ththe Apple bottom line. Do the simplest math: 50 million iPhones sold in quarter; let’s assume five million buy headphones or adapter (avg. extra expenditure about $50), and they all buy Apple brand; that’s $250 million. On $50 billion (with a B) earnings, or $10 billion (again, wig a B) profits. So, nickel-and-dining customers for a whopping 0.5% extra r venue. Does this sound like Apple to anyone here?

      2. Obviously greed is the driver of all business decisions. Obviously… More than forty percent of all stocks are owned by the top one percent, and they don’t need anymore money. Unless a company has no shareholders, long-term profit is number one. Apple had the highest profit margins in the industry.

    2. Well, it’s the best reason I can think of. Sure, it would also make the phone thinner, but that’s also a bad reason to remove the headphone jack. The iPhone is very thin. It doesn’t need to be any thinner.

      1. The phone is not very thin. It is thin, but it could clearly be thinner. And Apple knows this.

        Apple’s strategic philosophy has always been to eliminate, without mercy, ports whose function could be performed by other ports on the device. We have a long line of Mac evolution clearly exhibiting this philosophy, with ports disappearing one by one until we now have only one left — usb3 on the MacBook. That one extra port on the iPhone has been eating away at Jony Ive and the engineers at Apple for almost a decade. It seems that this fall, they may be finally winning that long battle.

  4. I am pretty sure Apple will offer an adapter. Otherwise, the EEU will sue Apple and a lot of loyal Apple users will be POed. As for me I am an old fart with age-related hearing deterioration, so I find the $7.00 bluetooth earbuds from Aliexpress.com quite usable. No more tangled cables. Need rechargings after 3 hours or so, so I have backups handy.

  5. Case A: Wired headphones: Lightening Connector Headphones Forced, Dongles Forced For Analog Headphones.
    – Apple sees some sort of ‘wisdom’ in shoving the digital-to-analog hardware into headphones, or in forcing the use of adapter dongles. Why? What’s the benefit to the iPhone? Water proofing? Saving space? Seriously?

    Case B: Wireless Headphones.
    – We already have them. No change here. We wait for Bluetooth 5 to see if audio compression can be minimized, resulting in maximized audio quality.

    Case C: Apple Forces Wireless Headphones. This would be the only case where the iPhone benefits from lower battery consumption. I do NOT see Apple forcing this case.

    I personally don’t get either the battery life OR the saving space stories. I don’t need a phone as thin as a leaf. Make the iPhone THICKER in order to ADD more space, most specifically for the battery and better battery life! There’s a good idea! (IMHO) 😀

  6. I think we’re all missing the point. Without a headphone jack required to drive headphones, the Apple Watch can now be used as a source for headphones! That puts us further along the road to a stand-alone Apple Watch.

    1. Just like with removable SIMs, the internal ‘SIM’ can be reprogrammed, usually through the Lightning connector or with an app. You download an appropriate app through the App Store, use in-app purchase to purchase minutes, the app adds a profile for the internal ‘SIM’ and now you can swap between services at will. You can add more as needed and download other SIM apps when needed. So what’s the big fuss, ye of little vision?

  7. The idea this is being done so Apple can sell Beats products and adapters is pure BS and demonstrate the incredible lack of business and management knowledge that is so prevalent here. Lots of great tech knowledge here. Business knowledge? Lacking big time.

  8. I say keep both phone jack and sim tray. They weren’t bothering anyone. I mean, have you ever thought, “If only this annoying jack or tray weren’t here my life would be better?”

    Silly talk. Leave them alone.

    1. Actually, that’s not really how Apple sees it. When you look at an Android phone, it is replete with various ports (micro USB, microSD, headphones, SIM), and all these ports add to the general ugliness of the phone.

      Apple’s ultimate goal is to build a phone with ZERO ports. There will be NOTHING breaking up the perfect smooth design lines of the phone. Wireless charging, wireless headphones, soft SIM… And such a phone would be exceptionally beautiful, and ordinary people would likely be simply mesmerised.

      You shouldn’t dismiss the power of pure and pristine industrial design. One of the most significant factors of such a strong emotional bond between Apple users and products is the purity and cleanliness of the design. There is nothing interrupting the purity of lines, curves, surfaces on Apple devices. This is one of the big reasons why iPhone is losing its headphone port. And when the time comes for wireless inductive charging, the lightning port will disappear and Apple will likely even take a loss on bundling some bluetooth headphones, rather than having to leave a port, just so that the headphones could be connected to it.

      Don’ be surprised if the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 ends up with no ports at all.

      1. Given that logic. The camera too would be a blemish. Add to that, it’s not centered.

        I think there is a benefit to some ports. Consumers have begged for an SD port and USB ports etc. however I am willing to live without those, I haven’t experienced a need or loss based on those. I have tried Wi-Fi sync, and frankly I like to do a little clean up on my phone, before syncing and backing up, so I have switched back to wired.

        The SIM is an issue. Having one built in SIM is a problem, because it limits international usage. I don’t want to give up on that. I want to be able to buy a temp SIM, and drop it in my phone. The SIM tray, needs to stay. I suspect even if Apple were to adopt an internal Apple SIM, they will continue to offer an external method for sliding in another.

        Removing the audio port, an ubiquitous connector, for the sake of lines, is a bit shallow. I think the iPhone has gone far enough to address uniformity. I would rather see the home button eliminated, the sleep/wake/power button eliminated, the volume button eliminated, before the audio port. Just saying, there are priorities for cleanliness of design and eliminating the hard buttons is less of a problem than eliminating a physical connector that is compatible with devices that range in cost from free to hundreds of dollars over a period of time closer to a century than half a decade. Granted you are not going to use a 50 year old headset to listen to your music, but there are times when that’s all you have. I am shopping for another Bluetooth headset. I will use that, but I have legacy backups and I don’t want to lose that and I hopefully don’t want to have to use an adaptor.

        I will adapt, regardless, I just don’t have to be happy about it or sit silent.

  9. Hey people, some of you guys ?
    Words like being raped by apple OMG! I The apple mission make a quality easy experience and people will buy our products. I’m sure they’ll succeed again. People line up to bash them because they’re apple. When the lightning connector came out = massive uproar ( by some) lightning is so much better. When the touch ID came out some people shouted rubbish gimmick ( now it’s a standard and apple arguably have the most reliable version) When big screens came out (iPhone 6) some people complained = biggest selling model. When the iPhone 6s came out the haters shouted it’s the same. But in real world speed tests the iPhone 6s out performed the Samsung S7. So lets all chill and see what next ??

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