Why hasn’t Apple-follower Samsung ditched the headphone jack yet?

“Back in 2016, SamMobile ran a piece headlined ‘Galaxy S8 Is Not Going to Feature a Headphone Jack,'” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “That report was wrong — and not only did the Galaxy S8 retain a standard headphone jack, the new Galaxy S9 does too. (Badly misaligned with the other outputs on the bottom of the phone, natch.)”

“But I was wrong too. I read the SamMobile report and predicted it was correct, simply on the grounds that Samsung inevitably follows Apple’s lead on initially contentious design decisions,” Gruber writes. “Remember removable batteries? Samsung was still touting them as an advantage as recently as 2015.”

“I remain convinced that traditional headphone jacks are going the way of the floppy drive, and that sooner or later, they’ll be gone from all new phones. But maybe that’ll be a bit later rather than sooner,” Gruber writes. “I think there are two factors in Apple’s advantage here: Apple’s W1 chip and Lightning.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Gruber is right that “AirPods get all the attention, but Lightning EarPods are even further ahead of their USB-C competition” and “why Apple doesn’t drop Lightning for USB-C.”


  1. Because the endgame is wireless headphones. Why put the engineering work into a new corded system (and why tick off all the people already whining about losing their headphone jack) when five years from now the people who use corded headphones will be the vast minority?

    1. Bluetooth 5 is here!

      The standard is finished! The hardware is already being released, including earbugs! It’s bandwidth runs rings around puny, lame little Bluetooth 4! It will provide full bandwidth quality audio, unlike puny, lame little Bluetooth 4! Wireless audio will at last be something desirable, instead of an embarrassment! Hardware stuck with Bluetooth 4 will be consigned to the antiques pile! Not kidding!

  2. Once Apple increases the pressure by coming out with even thinner iPhones and tablets, companies like Samsung will be forced to ditch the headphone jack or continue to build devices that feel bulky in comparison to Jony’s svelte wares.

    If you think you’ve seen the thinnest iPhone he can make, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    1. Isn’t that thin design a major reason for Apple’s current battery woes? Samsung may just be using the headphone jack as a side effect of using larger capacity (and also larger physical size) batteries that don’t have the option to easily replace. There are still non-flagship smartphones in Samsung’s lineup that boast user replaceable batteries. The thinner Apple goes with their devices may actually push some iPhone users that prefer longer periods between charges towards Samsung devices that have significantly larger batteries.

      There are also some nice radio Apps that use the headphone cord as an antennae. That might be one (though minor) reason to keep the headphone jack.

      1. “may actually push some iPhone users that prefer longer periods between charges towards Samsung devices”
        Orrrrr, maybe to one of the many battery cases? Jus’ sayin’

        1. Yes, battery cases are an option. But they defeat the ‘advantage’ of iPhone’s thinness R2 comments about. Imagine a bikini model in a godzilla suit. 😛

        1. Most reviewers agree Airpods are the best wireless earbuds you can get for Android devices. Samsung is trailing when it comes to implementation. There were lots of wireless audio options before Apple jumped in and did it better.

  3. Probably because they know that a few diehard, longtime apple fans out there actually considered buying one of their phones because the new generation of iPhones lacked a fundamental feature. My iPhone X is great but I sure do wish it had a headphone jack!

  4. Just wait for the first airpod batteries explode in your ears. The risk is there. I stll prefer wired headphones that use the headphone jack. I’m tired of Apple’s adapter philosophy!

    1. The iFixit teardown of AirPods shows the battery is in the stem that is outside of your ears, so the battery won’t explode “in your ears.” Of course, I do understand if you prefer hardwired headphones as people still do use them. You don’t have to be concerned about charging headphones which can certainly be something else you need to keep track of.

      Apple is always trying to sell more stuff and they do a pretty good job of it. I’ve heard AirPod sales are quite high. However, wired headphones will continue to be in demand for years. I like wired headphones but if they go away completely, there’s nothing much I can do about it.

    2. Have been using AirPods from the git-go multiple times per day, and they are great – easy to sync with iPhone and iPad, 100% secure in my ears (never had one fall out or even come close). Ditching the blasted wires is such a relief and a great convenience.

  5. It’s possible Apple eventually comes back to earphone plugs like they did when they abandoned ‘small’ factor phones for a year or two and then released the SE line.

  6. Because Samsung’s interest is in maximum exploitation of the current market. They really, really don’t care. If the market still feels more comfortable with training wheels, then training wheels will be fitted. There’s less risk to sales staying with the status quo.

    Apple wants to shape a better future, they have a roadmap and work toward that end. It’s more risky but they have the influence to pull it off and eventually profit more from it. The existence of the iPhone itself is a testament to this philosophy and the benefit it brings to everyone.

    The latter is my much preferred approach. Fortunately we have both and everyone can be happy.

  7. Apparently, there are still smartphone users who desire a headphone jack, so Samsung might as well offer consumers a choice Apple doesn’t. I’m always hearing tech reviewers praise Samsung for including a headphone jack on the Galaxy S models, so someone out there must want them.

    I just find it funny how the tech reviewers swore the world was coming to an end when Apple decided to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone. I don’t know why people go overboard with negativity when Apple makes some change. I’ve come to realize that Apple makes changes and there’s little that can be done about it. Moaning and whining isn’t going to change anything. You’ll either buy the Apple product or you won’t. Your choice.

    I believe eventually Samsung will remove the headphone jack from their flagship models, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there are enough consumers who still want headphone jacks on their high-end smartphones. I don’t see anything wrong in either approach of the headphone jack. Keep it or leave it. It doesn’t seem to be anything that critical.

    1. “overboard with negativity when… [anything]”
      Negativity always… ALWAYS gets eyeballs. If you have a blog or even twitter, try this. One post, say how cool the day is going. A week later, go on a completely unsubstantiated tirade about anything at all. You will find that the negativity spreads a LOT faster and wider. Now, consider if your paycheck depended on people seeing your stuff. Not liking it…. just SEEING it. Your posts would trend towards….

  8. Wireless is still awkward, and harder to use then a headphone jack. I used bluetooth for a while and I still sometimes needed wired headphones as a backup. And of course there is no solution in my car but a headphone jack for audio.

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