Apple Inc. got the tech industry pretty worked up yesterday after it killed the 50 year-old 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of its new lightning port-connected earbuds and Airpod. Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller tried and failed to explain why the iPhone maker decided to ditch the headphone jack. In fact, the firm won’t have irked consumers if Schiller didn’t attempt to play on our intelligence in claiming that ditching the headphone jack “comes down to one word: Courage.”
Apple’s “Courage is simply ARROGANCE
Apple can spin its decision to ditch the 3.5mm jack all it wants but the reality is that the firm is forcing a needless change down the throat of its fans. Over the last couple of months, many experts have opined that the (then rumored) plan to ditch the 3.5mm jack is a pointless effort.
To start with, you don’t need a powered, high-bandwidth, proprietary interface to transmit audio and the 50-year old 3.55 jack does an impressive job of transmitting audio without destroying audio quality.
In fact, Dan Thompson, assistant chair of music production and engineering at the Berkley College of Music in Boston has maintained that “there is nothing necessarily limiting about the 3.5mm jack itself.” More so, Christopher Montgomery, a developer who works on different media formats notes that the 3.5mm jack “certainly isn’t any kind of liability for audio quality, and nearly every headphone on earth supports it.”
The iPhone maker is effectively ditching a technology that has delivered impressive sound quality for 50 years in favor of an untested, unproven, costlier, and more complex ego-fuelled product. Without much ado, the main motivation behind Apple’s decision to ditch the headphone jack is not an act of courage but a show of arrogance.
Here’s the real reason Apple ditched the headphone jack
It has been established above that the new Airpods’s lightning port won’t necessarily deliver superior audio quality over the traditional 3.5mm jack. Hence, the only courageous (read arrogant) act here is that Apple is banking on its cult-like following to force people to give up their $9 earbuds for a $159 Airpod that basically does the same job.
For one, if you are using your iPhone with earbuds, you won’t be able to charge the device at the same time. Hence, listening to music via earbuds while the iPhone is charging is out of the question. The only solution is to buy a $159 Airpod through which you can listen to music on your iPhone wirelessly while the iPhone is charging.
In one deft move, the firm has ensured that buyers of the iPhone 7 won’t be able to use “unlicensed” headphones and they must cough out $159 or buy Bluetooth headphones before they can use the iPhone hands free. Of course, Apple offers a $9 lightning-to-3.5mm adapter that can connect the 3.5mm headphones to the lightning port of the new iPhone.
Lastly, Apple has made another move to strengthen its isolationist resolve not to allow the cross-platform use of its products and services. The prevailing reaction is that consumers are not buzzed by Apple’s decision to ax the headphone jack – October is just around the corner and Apple’s “Courage” will be put to the test.