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Posts tagged with "audio jack"

Bluetooth Headphone Revenue Overtook Non-Bluetooth for the First Time in June

Interesting data from NPD:

According to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service, Bluetooth headphone revenue overtook non-Bluetooth for the first time in June accounting for 54 percent of headphone dollar sales and 17 percent of unit sales in the U.S.

And:

Beats and LG have led the Bluetooth headphone market throughout the first half of the year, accounting for approximately 65 percent of dollar sales.

Not necessarily a direct indication of decline in wired headphones, but a sign that, as average prices of Bluetooth headphones go down, consumers may prefer wireless.

Removing the headphone jack from the next iPhone will be annoying; at the same time, limitations notwithstanding, I can’t deny how nice it is not to deal with wires anymore.

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Petition for Apple to Keep Headphone Jack Reaches 200,000 Signatures

There’s a petition on SumOfUs.org, calling on Apple to keep the standard headphone jack on the iPhone, following more reports that Apple is planning on removing it with the next iPhone.

This is right out of the Apple corporate playbook. A few years ago it swapped out the original iPod-dock connector with a new one, making countless cords, cables and chargers obsolete.

Apple plays up its green credentials, but the truth is that Apple only invested in renewable energy, and began phasing out toxic chemicals when public pressure became too strong to ignore. People power did it before, and we can do it again.

Tell Apple to keep the standard headphone jack and ditch planned obsolescence!

Look, this is a ridiculous and hysterical petition which blows the situation completely out of proportion. But having said that, the fact that this petition (on a website I’ve never heard of before) has exceeded 200,000 signatures in just a single day just goes to show how big a task Apple has if it does decide to remove the headphone jack with this year’s iPhone (remember, these are just rumors for now).

Last month, when these rumors first started circulating, I took the time to document some of my own thoughts about how Apple could minimize the frustration of consumers – as well as explaining why it will be a more painful transition than the 30-pin to Lightning switch, and some other tangential questions that this scenario raises. I don’t want to rehash it all again here, but here’s a snippet:

In essence, I think Apple should do three things. Firstly, acknowledge the trade-off Apple have made and the frustration some customers may feel. Secondly, clearly enunciate the benefits of switching away from the 3.5mm audio jack to the Lightning connector and Bluetooth audio. And thirdly, make the customer’s transition away from the 3.5mm audio jack as painless as possible. I’ll leave the first two up to Apple’s marketing team, but I do have some thoughts on the third.

Who knows if these rumors will even turn out to be true, but there’s an awful lot of smoke already. But even if it doesn’t happen with this year’s iPhone, it will inevitably happen – and when it does, expect an almighty backlash. The real question is how many steps Apple takes to reduce the pain to consumers.

(Via 9to5Mac)

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Thoughts on the Inevitable Demise of the 3.5mm Audio Jack on the iPhone

There are once again rumors that Apple is going to remove the 3.5mm audio jack from the next iPhone, this time courtesy of a report from Japanese website Macotakara. The Macotakara report goes on to suggest that audio output on the iPhone 7 will be handled via the Lightning connector and Bluetooth, and that the EarPod included with every iPhone will be upgraded and use the Lightning connector.

It’s too early to tell whether Apple really will get rid of the 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 next year, but I think the real question is when will they get rid of it, not if they get rid of it. In my eyes, it’s either going to happen in 2016 with the iPhone 7 or 2018 with the iPhone 8. I will be amazed, probably dumbfounded, if we get to 2020 and our phones still have the same 3.5mm audio jack. Although Macotakara implied that the reason for removing the audio jack is to make the iPhone thinner, I think the more likely reason is a combination of making it thinner, but also freeing up the volume of space that is occupied by the audio jack internally. Every extra cubic millimeter that they can stuff a battery into is no doubt important (and one of the reasons the Lightning port is so much smaller than the older 30-pin connector).

Given the premise that I think Apple will (at some point) ditch the audio jack, the next question is how they can possibly achieve that with the smallest adverse impact on customers, which should surely be the top priority. The easiest answer, is of course, not to do it. The iPod touch is already just 6.1mm, compared to the iPhone 6 which is 6.9mm, and the iPhone 6s is 7.1mm (thicker because of the addition of 3D Touch). You’ll note that despite being an entire millimeter thinner than the iPhone 6s, it still has an audio jack — as does the iPod nano which is just 5.4 mm thick. So there’s a question as to whether 2016 is really the year that Apple should remove the audio jack — maybe they can hold out a few more years.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Apple wants to remove the audio jack from the next iPhone and that they’ve already decided to do this. Yes, it will be a painful transition, but I also think that there’s a lot that Apple can do to ease the transition.

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