Do you wish for Apple to ditch the Jack?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited September 2014

In twenty one days from now, Apple will reveal its new design for the iPhone 6. Of course, it will sport a jack connector, as well as the following 6S, as they usually keep the design for two years. The jack is well alive, it is the most common standard of all, but it is also the one thing that keep Apple from making their phone even thinner. Well, it could be thinner while keeping the jack, but not a lot more. It is also a very, very old technology. Apple has never been shy to be the first to get rid of legacy component that nobody use anymore (floppy, CD),  but I don't think we can call the jack "legacy". Nevertheless I really think it would worth it.

 

My idea would be that Apple, with the iPhone 6, keep the jack but start using the lightning connector for the earphone. With Beats, they would also be able push the use of lightning instead of the jack. Since the iPhone would keep the jack connector, all our previous earphone would still work with it. Apple could justify that move by adding a hearth sensor within the buds. It would be a really innovative move, which would fit well with iOS 8 and the new Health application. 

 

After 2 years, there would be enough lightning earphone out there for Apple to ditch the jack with the iPhone 7. People would complain of course, as they complained for the lack of CD with the new macbook. None of Apple competitor could follow them on that path, as none of lightning alternative are good enough to ditch the jack. Apple would then have the thinnest phone on the market, and a phone with only one connector.

 

As soon as they reveal lightning earpiece, it would open the door for ipod redesign (especially the shuffle). Before ditching the jack for the iPhone, they would first proceed with the ipods as they are less important market, to let people get used to the idea.

 

The main issue I see would be with computers. Apple would need to quickly release macbook with lightning port.

 

As for me, it is a change I would welcome without an hesitation. What about you? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

    With Beats, they would also be able push the use of lightning instead of the jack.




    That’s a very good point; I hadn’t thought of that.

     

    I’m actually in favor of going fully wireless with this. HOWEVER, Bluetooth is not acceptable, therefore wired is fine by me. Bluetooth 4 doesn’t have NEARLY enough bandwidth to carry quality audio. Maybe 5 will change that. Maybe it’ll be available by the time the iPhone 7 (you know, the 10th iPhone?) rolls around.

     

    Until then, Lightning audio is fine by me.

  • Reply 2 of 17

    I don't feel the phone needs to be thinner at all (at this point) ... I'd rather keep the same thinness and have a better battery than to make it thinner (and sacrifice space for battery.)

    That being the case, there's no reason to ditch the "standard" headphone port.  The headphones are cheap and ubiquitous... almost disposable... any lightning-based headphones are going to be extremely expensive by comparison. That's not what I'm looking for in headphones... they tend to get ruined on a fairly regular basis, whether from sweat, from pulling on the cord, getting the cord pinched somewhere, dipped in water, etc...

  • Reply 3 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    I am so tired of leaning on a cable or catching it with my arm and having the headphones pulled down that I don't even want Lightning audio. I want good wireless headphones that last a long time on battery. Ideally there would be a portable size smaller than the Beats Solo with 40mm audio drivers.

    There could be an optional Lightning connector that allows you to use the headphones when the battery is done. To get the best audio quality and battery life, it wouldn't have to stream tracks from the device, it can wirelessly buffer songs directly to the headphones. The fastest way would be wifi-direct with 802.11ac and they'd be able to send over about 10 songs in 1 second so they can buffer a playlist and then shut off the wireless or just fill the headphones like you would an iPod Shuffle. The headphones would have controls on the side for play, skip etc. You could take the headphones out running and not have a device with you at all or you could put your device securely in your pocket rather than having to strap it somewhere.

    Sony has managed to get over 40 hours with wireless headphones. As long as it's more than a day or the battery life of a music device, it should be fine and like I say, if they want to add an optional cable for the worst case of no battery, they can.

    If they removed the audio jack, there would have to be adaptors for all the speaker docks but that would probably have to be the case anyway with a new form factor.

    I want to see the analog audio jack removed from everything, even the Macs. We live in a digital, wireless world now and it has no place here. They can put an extra USB port on Macs and have a USB to 3.5mm adaptor for headphones but they'd make a big marketing push for the lightweight, wireless Beats and can even have deals to get them with purchases of Macs. You'd effectively be getting an iPod with it.

    You'd order your Mac + Beats and as soon as you turn both on, you can be listening to music with no wires. While your Beats are connected to your Mac, the Mac can be filling up the headphones with songs. If you need to go out, there's no more syncing needed, you just walk out the door with the headphones on. If you want to listen to what's on your iPhone or iPad instead, just take it out and play some songs from it. Again it can buffer the tracks. You can stream from the likes of Pandora but even it could buffer to save power. It can pre-buffer say 1 minute of audio in 1 second (after the initial minute so there's no waiting) and then turn wireless off for 59 seconds until it needs to buffer again.

    Volume controls would be on the side of the headphones so no need to take the device out to adjust it and it can connect to Siri with a mic on the headphones. While you run just tap somewhere on the side and ask Siri what time it is or where you are and get directions in your ear or just the name of the track/genre/playlist and so on.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,764member
    yazolight wrote: »

    My idea would be that Apple, with the iPhone 6, keep the jack but start using the lightning connector for the earphone. With Beats, they would also be able push the use of lightning instead of the jack. Since the iPhone would keep the jack connector, all our previous earphone would still work with it. Apple could justify that move by adding a hearth sensor within the buds. It would be a really innovative move, which would fit well with iOS 8 and the new Health application.

    Note that 50 Cent has already announced earbuds with a built-in heart sensor. LG is already selling some of their own.
    http://www.lg.com/us/fitness-activity-trackers/lg-FR74-heart-rate-monitor
    http://mobihealthnews.com/35834/intel-partners-with-headphones-maker-to-develop-health-sensing-earbuds/

    Valencell is the common denominator
    http://www.valencell.com/
  • Reply 5 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    I see several problems with your thoughts here.

    First: old technology doesn't make it bad technology! The push button is old technology yet most electronics have at least one button. Sometimes simple and relaible trumps newfangled and quirky.

    Second; you seem to imply that iPhones need less I/O but I'd argue against that. Cell phones in capability and performance are effectively computers. As such they age less than gracefully as technology advances. With a desktop computer, or even a laptop, the general practice is to retask that computer or sell it. At the moment there is a good resell market but it is difficult to retask a cell phone. Actually it is very difficult for iPhone. Generally this requires I/O that Apple cell phones don't support. So I'd like to see Apple trash some aspect of the MiFi program and ship iOS with more standard drivers that apps can leverage. This applies to iPAd too. In general the user to trash cycle is just too fast with cell phones but it is worst with iPhone. In a nutshel MiFi is stifling for the platform and the last thing we need is a proprietary audio connector.

    Third; any cord on earphones or headphones is a pain in the ass. Sadly it appears that Apple has completely forgotten about tall people in this regard. If you carry your iphone in your pants pocket earphones are basically useless as supplied by Apple. So it isn't possible to effectively improve anything at all by going to a different connector as the connector still has wire connecting to the transducers. So really what problem does leaving behind the headphone jack solve?
  • Reply 6 of 17
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    I agree with everyone here, which might be a first. I do think a smaller Jack would be the way to go. The Lighting connector if fine and dandy, but can only be inserted two ways. A Jack can be inserted anyway you like, which is what I prefer. Or wireless, that is probably the best way to go forward.

    OT: how come I don't see any photos, icons, smileys anymore on this site? For the past few days, all I see are square, blue icons with a ? in it.
  • Reply 7 of 17

    I see most of you would like wireless earbud, and I do agree. However I am not so sure if it would work for most people, as it would be too easy to be lost.

    But let say Apple take the wireless route, it doesn't change the fact that the earphone needs cable to be charged, so the question remain: should the jack stay, or should it be ditched?

     

    Even if I do agree that there is nothing wrong with the jack, it do has one major drawback: you can't make the future iphones thinner. I remember long time ago Tallest Skill said I have an obsession with thinness when I asked why for a similar performance the imac was much thicker than a macbook (http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/151588/what-makes-the-imac-thicker-than-a-mbp-with-same-specs#post_2156243), it was long before the imac redesign. TS was right, I do love my product to be as thin and light as possible, but we see that Jony Ive is as much obsessed! Imac, Macbook pro retina, Mac pro, ipods, iphones, they all tend to be thinner and thinner, you might disagree, but I love it and thats the trend we can see since many years.

     

    So since the jack is now setting the limit, it is obvious that they do study the idea of ditching it for the sake of making the iphone (and the ipod line) thinner.

     

    For me, that would be a very bold move, but if there is one company who can afford to do it without collapsing, it's certainly them. But even Apple will need to get their user used to the idea, so I don't see them doing that move without first providing lightning earbud for the next redesign and justifying it with the hearth rate sensor, and checking the water with the ipod line.

  • Reply 8 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    Second; you seem to imply that iPhones need less I/O but I'd argue against that. Cell phones in capability and performance are effectively computers. As such they age less than gracefully as technology advances. With a desktop computer, or even a laptop, the general practice is to retask that computer or sell it. At the moment there is a good resell market but it is difficult to retask a cell phone. Actually it is very difficult for iPhone. Generally this requires I/O that Apple cell phones don't support. So I'd like to see Apple trash some aspect of the MiFi program and ship iOS with more standard drivers that apps can leverage. This applies to iPAd too. In general the user to trash cycle is just too fast with cell phones but it is worst with iPhone. In a nutshel MiFi is stifling for the platform and the last thing we need is a proprietary audio connector.

     

    I don't understand what kind of retasking would you do with, let say, a Galaxy S2? Or any Android? Actually even for a computer, what do you mean by retasking it?

    If anything, iPhones and Apple product are the "greenest" since they have an extremely good resale value (sold 2 months ago my iPhone 4 for 180euros-240USD in less than 12 hours), and they last very well over the years (after 3 years my 1000 euros asus gaming laptop was so slow it was just unusable, it couldn't run any games that it was perfectly running on the beginning even after a complete HDD formatting, my 2011 macbook is working as fine as 3 years ago and I do enjoy games on it). Let's be honest  Apple product are the less "trashable" product of the industry.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    So really what problem does leaving behind the headphone jack solve?

     

    Thinness.

  • Reply 9 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    yazolight wrote: »
    I see most of you would like wireless earbud, and I do agree. However I am not so sure if it would work for most people, as it would be too easy to be lost.
    But let say Apple take the wireless route, it doesn't change the fact that the earphone needs cable to be charged, so the question remain: should the jack stay, or should it be ditched?

    Even if I do agree that there is nothing wrong with the jack, it do has one major drawback: you can't make the future iphones thinner.
    So? Really going too thin can be just as troublesome as being too thick. It is like sizing a handle on a power tool, gun, saw or any manually operated device. If the grip ends up too small it impacts usability for all users. An iphone would be too thin when it imoacts durability and the users ability to handle the phone.
    I remember long time ago Tallest Skill said I have an obsession with thinness when I asked why for a similar performance the imac was much thicker than a macbook (http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/151588/what-makes-the-imac-thicker-than-a-mbp-with-same-specs#post_2156243), it was long before the imac redesign. TS was right, I do love my product to be as thin and light as possible, but we see that Jony Ive is as much obsessed!
    Well on the good side there are far worst things to be mental about.
    Imac, Macbook pro retina, Mac pro, ipods, iphones, they all tend to be thinner and thinner, you might disagree, but I love it and thats the trend we can see since many years.
    Even with a laptop there is a point at which getting thinner will negatively impact the device. Apple has been lucky in that they have a customer base that can justify machines milled out of Aluminum but what happens when the device ends up so thin that you have a machine made out of aluminum foil? Not good.
    So since the jack is now setting the limit, it is obvious that they do study the idea of ditching it for the sake of making the iphone (and the ipod line) thinner.

    Actually I don't see the jack as the problem here, it is just something you have an obsession over. Afraid of small dark holes are we?
    For me, that would be a very bold move, but if there is one company who can afford to do it without collapsing, it's certainly them. But even Apple will need to get their user used to the idea, so I don't see them doing that move without first providing lightning earbud for the next redesign and justifying it with the hearth rate sensor, and checking the water with the ipod line.
    So say Apple pulls the Jack, you still have a case packed with buttons, batteries, cameras and other stuff that takes up more space than the jack. What is the point? Don't say thinner because the camera is already a significant problem in building thinner devices. Frankly Apple would get strung up if they tried to put smaller batteries in iphones. So really what is your problem with the jack?
  • Reply 10 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    yazolight wrote: »
    I don't understand what kind of retasking would you do with, let say, a Galaxy S2? Or any Android? Actually even for a computer, what do you mean by retasking it?
    Write an app to interface to a device to put that device on the net. Write an app to run RepRap or other small CNC machines. Shove the iPhone into some stereo equipment as an iPod replacement. I could go on an on but there are a multitude of potential uses for iPhone if one could easily interface it to the outside world free of the MiFi nonsense.

    What is very sad here is that Apple plays up to the green flakes out there but doesn't seem to realize that the best thing one can do for the environment is not to through things out.
    If anything, iPhones and Apple product are the "greenest" since they have an extremely good resale value (sold 2 months ago my iPhone 4 for 180euros-240USD in less than 12 hours), and they last very well over the years (after 3 years my 1000 euros asus gaming laptop was so slow it was just unusable, it couldn't run any games that it was perfectly running on the beginning even after a complete HDD formatting,
    The point is what happens to them when resale isn't viable anymore.
    my 2011 macbook is working as fine as 3 years ago and I do enjoy games on it). Let's be honest  Apple product are the less "trashable" product of the industry.
    We could debate this on end but in the end both points of view have some validity. However when it comes to iPhones I just think you are not in touch with reality here.
    Thinness.
    I addressed this above but it isn't a gating factor at the moment.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

    Actually I don't see the jack as the problem here, it is just something you have an obsession over. Afraid of small dark holes are we?

     

    Good one! Actually I don't really have a problem with the jack, for once we have something truly universal. It's just a thought I had. But don't you think that from an Apple point of view, ditching the jack can also mean a lot of money by controlling all  the earphone we can plug in (ok, not the chinese knock-off)? As a customer of course it doesn't make me happy, but it could make sense for them. Then they would find some reason and do some marketing to justify, they are very good at it.

  • Reply 12 of 17

    So very exciting!! We are in this exact same stage in life and completely understand the internal struggle. 

  • Reply 13 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

     

    So since the jack is now setting the limit, it is obvious that they do study the idea of ditching it for the sake of making the iphone (and the ipod line) thinner.


     

    I'm not so sure.  It could be that the size of the audio jack doesn't matter... that the battery is what's now controlling size constraints.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

    ...that the battery is whats now controlling size constraints.

     

    That’s both scary and wonderful. If this is the case, the next big thing from Apple will be quantum leaps in battery tech, using some of the new technologies we’re starting to see pop up.

  • Reply 15 of 17

    Lose the audio jack, AND the ironically named Lightning connector.

     

    Audio Jack is 20th century.  Ditch it.  

     

    The USB 2.0 "Lightning" connector is a joke.  There is no need for a wired connection since speeds are limited by the slow ass iPhone NAND.  Wireless charging is more convenient, especially if Apple chooses an existing standard like Qi and pushes it's adoption at public locations.  Imagine going to a cafe and setting your iPhone on the table to charge while you enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend.  

     

    If Apple insists on a proprietary wireless charging tech, then I'm more ambivalent.  I can now charge my iPhone anywhere there's a USB plug, but if Apple goes proprietary wireless, then I'll have to buy a $99 iCharge for every damn location I need to charge my iPhone (or lug around an iCharge, which sort of defeats the point of wireless charging).  But Qi is already showing up in public areas, and if both iDevices AND Android devices use it, then it's adoption will skyrocket.  

  • Reply 16 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post

     

     

    Good one! Actually I don't really have a problem with the jack, for once we have something truly universal. It's just a thought I had. But don't you think that from an Apple point of view, ditching the jack can also mean a lot of money by controlling all  the earphone we can plug in (ok, not the chinese knock-off)? As a customer of course it doesn't make me happy, but it could make sense for them. Then they would find some reason and do some marketing to justify, they are very good at it.


     

    Hmmm, you have me rethinking my desire to see the jack go.  If it's just a way to fill Apple's coffers with more cash, then fu[k it, keep the jack.  Apple doesn't need the cash anyways, they just blow it on trendy headphone companies instead of plowing it into Mac development.  

     

    Edit:  oooohhh, we're not supposed to swear on an Apple discussion forum!  Because when I think of Apple, I think of Steve Jobs, and we all know he never, ever sweared.   

  • Reply 17 of 17
    Hmmm, you have me rethinking my desire to see the jack go.  If it's just a way to fill Apple's coffers with more cash, then fu[k it, keep the jack.  Apple doesn't need the cash anyways, they just blow it on trendy headphone companies instead of plowing it into Mac development.  

    They can also do both, as they are doing right now. Buying companies, expanding products, options, software, you name it.
    Edit:  oooohhh, we're not supposed to swear on an Apple discussion forum!  Because when I think of Apple, I think of Steve Jobs, and we all know he never, ever sweared.   

    What's wrong with you? Sure you can, just don't replace a square bracket with a c; it'll get censored.
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