Information spread quickly when rumors first surfaced claiming that Apple would be discontinuing standard 3.5 MM headphone support with their next generation of iPhone. It’s worth noting that this theory is still just a rumor, but the internet seems quite upset at even the idea of further investment into wireless audio technology. There’s obviously two sides to this argument. An online petition has actually received about 250,000 votes in support of Apple maintaining their headphone jack on the upcoming iPhone 7. We asked our team to discuss both sides of the issue.
People like their stuff; people don’t want to have to spend money on new stuff – got it (insert thumbs-up emoji here), BUT, we’re willing to drop $700+ on a new phone. That’s a crazy double standard to consider. As a consumer, I want to own the latest and greatest cell phone tech, but refuse to upgrade my peripherals? Did we complain when companies stopped making 2-in-1 DVD/VCRs? No, at least I didn’t. Blockbuster and your local video store went out of business because streaming services transitioned to be the standard. Cassette players were quickly discarded and replaced with CD players and time promptly defeated the Walkman. Since we’re on the topic of phones, where were the critics rallying against the manufacturing of mobile devices which obviously would result in the throwing away of hard-line home phones?
A company like Apple has always been on the forefront of innovation. They set industry standards. Part of Apple’s survival guide has included being the first to make changes. The bottom line is that people don’t like change of any kind. Get over it. Technology changes faster than Presidents, and if you don’t want to update your accessories, don’t update your phone.
We’ve seen Apple do this before, and they do it because they know you won’t abandon them. They force a technology into obsolescence and tell you its for your own good, that lightning is going to give you high-fidelity audio and other important sounding jargon. The thing is, your 3.5 AUX cable can already provide the exact same thing with the added benefit of being the universal standard for decades. In this new Apple utopia you will have to buy finicky Bluetooth headphones that require charging, and this severely limits your choices to those who work with Apple or make bluetooth headphones. You can also get special lightning connector headphones, but since Apple will be the only product supporting this technology the OEMs will know they can jack up the price to ridiculous amounts (think Beats in general). Want to keep your headphones as is? You’ll need an adapter, and Apple would love to sell you one for $40. Some of you might be thinking, “well I already use wireless headphones so I wont miss the 3.5mm plug”. Have you ever taken over the AUX cord in somebody’s car or at a party? Say goodbye to those days because you won’t be able to. Sure if your friends are lucky enough to have a new model car you can connect to Bluetooth, but that means they have to pull over and stop so you can setup your phone to pair with their system. The future sure sounds complicated!
Others say this is ok because it’ll push people into the future with more advanced standard plugs that do more than a basic AUX. The thing is that technology is not Lightning, it’s actually USB Type C. You might know USB-C because Apple put it as the only plug in its newest Macbook. USB-C is the industry’s latest universal standard and soon every single gadget will use it for power, display connections, and more. Android and Windows flagship phones already use it and rumors even point to Apple joining the party eventually, since you could conceivably use the same cords for your laptop, iPhone, and iPad. So buying into this Lightning standard will leave you betrayed again in a few years time, after you finally spend all the money to adjust. This change is nothing more than a cash grab disguised as a product feature, and if you vote with your wallet maybe Apple will change their ways.
Whatever you think about the situation, it all remains in Apple’s hands. Stayed tuned over the coming months to see what develops.