#Courage or #DongleHell: these are the phones that got rid of the 3.5mm headset jack in 2016
Courage. That’s what Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said it took Apple to remove the 3.5mm headset jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Others described it in less flattering terms: it was nothing less than a Dongle Hell.
The 3.5mm jack, a staple feature of every tech gadget in modern history, however, was not obsolete in the way that the disk drive, parallel ports, the stylus, and task manager were. And there does not seem to be a ‘quality’ reason why Apple removed the jack: the company itself is not explicitly saying that audio quality will improve in any revolutionary way if you channel the signal via a different port.
So will the future of phones be one with no 3.5mm headset jack? It’s hard to say. After all, Apple was adamant about not supporting expandable storage via microSD cards on its phones for years, and while at first many Android phone makers agreed with its approach, these days, it seems that the microSD card slot is making a comeback and users are loving and requesting it.
Nonetheless, fact is that we already have the first few phones that ship with no 3.5mm headset jack. Here are the most notable ones and their reasons for removing the 3.5mm headset jack.
There are three main reasons to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack, according to various people at Apple. They boil down to the following: removing the jack made it possible to
1/ include a much larger and better, optically stabilized camera
2/ feature larger battery
3/ water-proof the phone.
“It was holding us back from a number of things we wanted to put into the iPhone,” Apple senior VP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio says.”It was fighting for space with camera technologies and processors and battery life. And frankly, when there’s a better, modern solution available, it’s crazy to keep it around.”
Interestingly, none of these reasons mentions improved audio quality. However, while it’s not explicitly mentioned, we’ve seen new Lightning headphones with their own DAC, which come with granular EQ control and improved quality. Apple is also pushing towards a future with no wires, and that’s certainly convenient.