Apple just demonstrated why people hate the tech industry – Yahoo Finance

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.


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11 thoughts on “Apple just demonstrated why people hate the tech industry – Yahoo Finance

  1. The REAL reason we hate the tech industry is not just change, but change for the sake of change, change designed to drive sales, change that leaves perfectly functional devices orphans in the dust. Much like the clothing industry, the tech industry depends on a fashion component to drive sales, the life blood of any industry that manufactures retail goods.

    As irritating as this can be, Apple is probably the least irritating of the bunch with their excellent after sales support via Apple stores and phone support. An Apple customer can make an Apple device last a very long time compared to other similar devices, increasing functionality and lowering total cost over the life of the device. The trick is to not get caught up in the fashion component of tech sales, and focus on your own real needs. Ignore what device The Beb is using today and keep your old iPhone, it probably does everything you need it to do. If you’re still using MS/DOS, time to move up!

  2. I didn’t even watch the event – first time in ages. I will keep my 6 Plus for a 3rd year and see what Apple does for the 10th anny, but while I said I’d NEVER go back to Android, I’m now toying with the idea. Most of what has kept me loyal to the iPhone is vanishing and I already use a 3rd party music app. Apple has destroyed music for me.

    We pay for our phones now in full up front and no longer do the 2-year contract insanity. I wish this phone would last me 10 years, at this point. Really, really miss Jobs and his innovative mind.

    • My iPhone 4 is now 6 years old and still does everything I want it to do. The 6 should last at least that long. I think I’ll ignore fashion and try for 10!

  3. “Rob Pegoraro sums up the technical reasons for removing the headphone jack. In short, there are none.”

    Incorrect. There are logistical and engineering advantages to be had both from the new space as well as one less analog component to interfere with. I know you don’t like the technical reasons but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

    From the article:

    The idea for the removal of the headphone jack was raised during the development of the iPhone 7. In a nutshell, the “driver ledge” for the display and backlight, traditionally placed near the camera, was interfering with the new camera systems in the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, leading Apple to explore other placement options. It was moved near the audio jack, but it also caused interference with various components, including the audio jack itself, so Apple engineers toyed with the elimination of the jack altogether.

    When the headphone jack was removed, Apple realized it was easier to install the new Taptic Engine for the pressure-sensitive Home button, implement a bigger battery, and reach an IP7 water resistance rating, so the elimination of the headphone jack became essential for all of the other features in the iPhone 7.

    Apple executives also believe the headphone jack is outdated technology that needed to go to make room for new advancements. According to Dan Riccio, it was holding Apple back “from a number of things” the company wanted to add to the iPhone, taking up space that could be used for camera improvements, battery, and processors.
    “The audio connector is more than 100 years old,” Joswiak says. “It had its last big innovation about 50 years ago. You know what that was? They made it smaller. It hasn’t been touched since then. It’s a dinosaur. It’s time to move on.” […]

    For Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, the iPhone’s 3.5-millimeter audio jack has felt something like the last months of an ill-fated if amicable relationship: familiar and comfortable, but ultimately an impediment to a better life ahead. “We’ve got this 50-year-old connector — just a hole filled with air — and it’s just sitting there taking up space, really valuable space,” he says.

    According to Apple’s Phil Schiller, there’s no ulterior motive behind the move away from the 3.5mm headphone jack. “We are removing the audio jack because we have developed a better way to deliver audio. It has nothing to do with content management or DRM — that’s pure, paranoid conspiracy theory,” he said.

  4. “just a hole filled with air” says it all… Apple engineers vote with their brains, and they obviously needed the internal space for advanced new features – like dual cameras and an haptic home button. I’m excited by the AirPods, I curse at the headphone wires daily.

    Jacks were adopted as a connection standard back when houses were being built with coal chutes, time to move on.

    P.S. – I don’t “hate” the tech industry, I consider myself fortunate to have such advanced tools; but I do take an occasional break for some deep breaths.

    • I do think Apple isn’t doing itself any favors with the “it’s old so let’s get rid of it” rhetoric.

      Both sides of this debate are flawed – Apple hasn’t produced a good reason to get rid of the jack that consumers will care about or appreciate (and even though I’m fine with the change I cringed when he said “courage”), and I’ve yet to hear an argument against it that was both correct and consisted of anything besides just not wanting changes.

  5. As a consumer I appreciate: Dual cameras, haptic home button, improved speaker function, wireless earbuds (was bluetooth even mentioned during the AirPod presentation?) that auto-switch among multiple devices. These are all New Features for the iPhone. It did take collective courage to ditch the jack and I did not wince when Phil Schilller used the word. I can think of a dozen workarounds most of us use that are far less convenient than a short lightning-to-3.5mm dongle. And they are free with the new phones, not US$39.95.

  6. Tech industry has already entered the era which changes stuff for the sake of changes. There is little to no points for innovation to solve people’s urgent problems as there are already good enough solutions out there with reasonable price.

    iPhone 7 headphone jack removal is just one such example of “change for the sake of change”. Human ear can and only can receive analogue signals regardless, and there must be DAC to covert digital signals to analogue signals. 3.5mm jack provides such a feature and it is just so reliable that there are few issues around it.

    Is there a reason to remove? There must be, but to spare spaces for new stuff is not enough. New iPhone is not thinner, and size remains the same, which hints the interior space is the same. Then, any other reasons? Headphone jack is an “outdated” technology? And yet this technology is used by almost every single device capable of listening to something, and even professional studios and thousands of dollars devices?

    The removal of headphone jack is my only reason to not buy new iPhone because I will need to spend a lot more money to buy wireless devices, or use adapters, to listen to music and recharge the device at the same time. We are solving problems not existed before. We are creating problems by breaking used-to-work things.

    Someone thinks wireless devices are better for environment. I doubt it, although I cannot find compelling reason to support my doubt.

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