Yeah, you read that right. Those beautiful memories that began with you desperately trying to untangle the earphones of your trusty iPod have just vanished into thin air. But, you don’t really need to be so dramatic, it’s only a rumour guys. However, this rumour, that the headphone jack will be omitted in next year’s inevitable update to the iPhone in favour of a single all-in-one Lightning connector, is rather compelling.
The rumour has been started by the mostly-reliable Japanese website Mac Otakara (the guys who correctly predicted the 4.7 and 5.5 inch variants of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) which, if right, could be troubling for iPhone fans who are only casual music consumers.
This would be the latest in Apple’s (and many other tech companies’) quest for thinness in their products, the most important, recent example being Apple’s new MacBook range, a computer that looks like it’s been preparing for the mother of all SSBs. In the case of the, as yet officially unnamed, iPhone 7, removing the headphone port would shave off a measly 1 millimetre of depth. Now, who can’t admit to, at least for a moment, having their interest piqued by a thinner version of the tech they already own? However, would losing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 be a step too far?
Well, there are several ways around this problem if you do wish to stick with Apple’s flagship smartphone. You could curtail the issue by investing in an adaptor, which Apple will of course be happy to sell to you for a very ‘reasonable’ price, but then there’ll also be a high chance that third parties will also offer this fix. Also, there’s the bluetooth headset, offered by such brands as Beats by Dre. Interestingly, Apple bought Beats for £3 billion in May last year, so perhaps you see the link. There’s also talk that a ‘100% for iPhone’ Beats range is even in the works.
The key problem here, though, is presented to the casual music listener, the person who might feel the pinch of buying a brand new Apple handset, but is unwilling to invest in the £70 minimum it would cost to buy a pair of Beats bluetooth headphones. Is a 1mm difference in thickness worth these complications? Given the premium Apple charges for its products — that many disparagingly label the ‘Apple Tax’ — the need to pay out even more for an adaptor or posh set of bluetooth headphones might be the last straw that pushes many would-be iPhone 7 buyers into looking elsewhere.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t the only time that Apple products have courted controversy; in fact, many such products have gone on to be incredibly successful. The ‘world’s thinnest notebook’ of its time, the MacBook Air was slammed for its lack of ports and power, only to go on to sell very well as many people’s go-to ultrabook. Likewise, the iPad, otherwise known as the ‘iPhone on steroids’, ended up, arguably, defining the entire tablet computer market. That said, Apple don’t always get everything right: the Apple Watch in its first iteration has been received largely as a failure.
In fact, after being seen by many since its inception in 1976 as the most innovative tech company out there, Apple has been criticised in recent years for their lack on invention. This, alongside the insatiable desire of most tech companies to make their products that but thinner, renders the possibility of the loss of the headphone port in the new iPhone all the more likely.
It is still only a rumour after all, though. But, even if it does come true, consumers and critics alike might complain — which will raise the publicity of the new iPhone even more in the run up to its release — but you’ll buy it anyway. And, after a few years, the headphone port will be a relic you forgot you ever even needed anyway.
Featured Image: www.pcadvisor.co.uk