Apple to use Lightning port for wired headphones, ditch 3.5mm headphone jack in iPhone 7

Tech is always advancing at the speed of light, with new phone rumors emerging after this year’s phones have been introduced. It’s not time for an iPhone 7 announcement or even a rumor here and there, but we’re already seeing iPhone 7 rumors creep up in some small pockets around the Web. The newest rumor concerns Apple’s decision to go back to its old ways in the iPhone experience — this time, with the long-established 3.5mm headphone jack. Tech site Macotakara says that Apple intends to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack for the iPhone 7 and force manufacturers who make wired headphones to utilize the Lightning connector port as the jack slot from here on out.

While some iPhone users interested in the iPhone 7 will likely complain about this, I see it as a wise move on the part of Apple. After all, wired headphones are the wave of the past, Bluetooth wireless headphones are the wave of the future and technology should move in line with cutting-edge trends. The 3.5mm headphone jack is so insignificant to the music experience on smartphones nowadays that I’d started asking as of 2014, “why do we still even have headphone jacks on smartphones in the first place?” Sure, Apple now owns Beats and manufactures Beats headphones with a headphone jack; Samsung makes its own wired headphones and still continues the headphone jack tradition as well, as do so many other Android smartphone makers. And yet, it’s 2015; the reign of headphone jacks should have come to an end about 3-5 years ago. It’s astonishing that we’re still hanging on to wired headphone jacks and wired headphones in a time when Bluetooth, wireless headphones work well and do so for most consumers in most places (even my hometown is surrounded by trees and my Bluetooth headphones still work well).

For me, Apple’s decision regarding the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7 is an easy one: allow manufacturers to conform to its Lightning cable technology or go wireless in headphone production. I don’t see the point behind Apple’s whole “Lightning cable” stance, but I do understand that Apple’s decision here will impact the smartphone industry in a major way. Apple’s decision may likely increase the number of wireless headphones to arrive within the next year (around the time of the iPhone 7 announcement), with many manufacturers weaning their customers off wired headphones. In 2015, it doesn’t make much sense to connect your headphones to your smartphone by way of a wire. Yes, it may be convenient, but the rise of Bluetooth-connected headphones, like Bluetooth-connected smartwatches, should turn consumer focus to Bluetooth technology and affording high-tech devices, not living in a bygone era like the 1990s.

This is all we know about the iPhone 7 for now, but know that the decision to remove the headphone jack will make the iPhone 7 thinner and lighter than ever before — and even smarter than ever before. With the prices of high-end smartphones, it’s time to make the entire experience high-end, not just a few isolated parts of it.


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