No, the headphone jack is not the new floppy disk. Or the new CD or DVD, the new 30-pin Dock connector or the new FireWire port.
Excising the headphone jack from its new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus isn’t like those other rounds of enforced obsolescence. Apple (AAPL) killed a technology that’s worked fine for decades and left you with solutions that are costlier or more complex and work no better at the core function of delivering sound to your ears.
The new models are no thinner than last year’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, so it’s not as if Apple had no choice here. The company would like you to think of this deliberate downgrade—to quote marketing vice president Phil Schiller’s facepalm-inducing remark at Thursday’s event—as “courage.”
The correct word is “arrogance.”
Rob Pegoraro sums up the technical reasons for removing the headphone jack. In short, there are none. And he reminds us that, in the end, this is all about money:
Lightning headphones from third parties will also carry the hidden Apple tax of the company’s “MFi” licensing and certification program. The Cupertino, Calif., firm doesn’t disclose how much it collects from the sale of each Lightning device, but past reports have put it at $4 a pop.