The entire internet is throwing a tantrum right now about the headphone jack removal on the iPhone 7… kind of like when your nephew found out Santa Claus was actually his beardless father.
People are genuinely freaking out about this change (even though it’s been in the rumor mill for months), and it’s all very silly. Let us explain why.
Let’s admit the obvious
This was a super aggressive decision by Apple. We get that. It’s your classic “we know you’ll hate this initially but fall in line eventually” move and consumers don’t tend to appreciate that vibe.
But they probably made the right call. And just like Jobs removing the floppy drive in 1997 and the CD-ROM drive in ‘08, Apple is once again leading the pack, fully aware that society will hate it … then accept it … then forget what life was like before it happened.
The transition away from traditional headphones is in full-swing right now. In fact, sales of wireless headphones overtook wired ones for the first time ever this year.
In other words, wires are soon going to be a thing of the past and Apple is painfully aware of that.
Like they’ve done so many times before in the name of simplification, Apple jumped off the cliff first to test the water, and will now rely on first adopters to embrace the change and other businesses to accept the fact.
That said, Senior VP Phil Schiller calling the decision “courageous” was a bitttt much. Relax, Phil, you removed a hole. Let’s call it “strategic.”
And you can’t ignore the huge benefits
Turns out the conventional headphone jack was a serious bottleneck for improvements in audio quality and headphone design. That jack’s freakin’ old, people, and the technology is antiquated.
So by shifting to the Lightning connector, audio circuitry can now be in the headphones themselves, not the iPhone, giving third parties the power to experiment with new features and designs (like cheap noise cancellation that uses the phone’s batteries instead of triple a’s) … and significantly improve audio quality as a whole.
Also, Apple can now claim the iPhone 7 is water-resistant as removal of the gaping hole gave them an IP7 water resistance rating (actually what it’s called, no relation to the iPhone 7). That means it’s safe for immersion in liquid up to 1m and Apple can compete with the champagne showers from Lil’ Wayne.
And finally, Apple gained a prime piece of real estate back, which directly resulted in them being able to install the upgraded camera system, the “taptic engine” for the home button, and bigger battery.
Space is limited under the hood… and none of those improvements would have been possible without the jack getting the boot.
Long story short, everyone should take a deep breath, count to 10, and get ready to shell out a few hundred extra bucks to the most valuable company in the world.