Apple again rumored to drop 3.5mm headphone jack from 'iPhone 7' for Lightning, Bluetooth

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  • Reply 181 of 204
    Soli said:
    All these questions and more have been discussed and detailed in this very thread innumerable times.

    With respect, I don't recall reading what the benefit of removing the jack would be. Aside from the various "old is bad" and "let's get digital" comments, all I can recall seeing is suggestions that getting rid of it will make room for something else. But what? And why?

    Getting rid of the radio chips that support older networks would save space. So would reducing the size of the battery. Neither of those completely arbitrary examples is a good idea though, because what is given up is more important than what's gained. How is giving up the headphone jack different?

    As I said, I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea, I just don't yet see the upside to it. Maybe it's relevant that I own a 6 Plus because for me ease-of-use matters more than compact size.
  • Reply 182 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    Soli said:
    All these questions and more have been discussed and detailed in this very thread innumerable times.

    With respect, I don't recall reading what the benefit of removing the jack would be. Aside from the various "old is bad" and "let's get digital" comments, all I can recall seeing is suggestions that getting rid of it will make room for something else. But what? And why?

    Getting rid of the radio chips that support older networks would save space. So would reducing the size of the battery. Neither of those completely arbitrary examples is a good idea though, because what is given up is more important than what's gained. How is giving up the headphone jack different?

    As I said, I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea, I just don't yet see the upside to it. Maybe it's relevant that I own a 6 Plus because for me ease-of-use matters more than compact size.
    In post 112 in this thread I detail my reasoning.


  • Reply 183 of 204
    [...] The headphone jack is outdated technology that has limitations.
    What kind of limitations does a headphone jack impose? How is it outdated? I suspect I disagree with you, but maybe I'm not understanding what you mean.

    The bottom line is that our hearing isn't digital. That means at some point the digital signal has to be converted to analog and amplified to a level that will drive a pair of little speakers. The current way of doing that works fine. Where's the problem?

    If the plan is to move the DAC and amplifier out of the phone and into the headphones, it just adds the need for another power supply and shifts bulk to where it's even less welcome -- on your head. If the plan is to just pass the analog output through the Lightning connector instead of a 3.5mm jack, why bother? It sacrifices the benefit of universal connectivity while adding a small amount of cost and inconvenience.

    How does the user benefit from removal of the 3.5mm jack? Again, I'm not saying there ISN'T a benefit, but if there is one, it isn't immediately apparent (unless one accepts the premise that reducing port count is inherently desirable).
    LOL! The most obvious one is that YOU ARE REQUIRED TO BE TETHERED TO YOUR DEVICE!
  • Reply 184 of 204
    tbh I think most people bleeting on about thinness and waterproofing and trying to find other physical reasons are a little backward thinking, as are those who are moaning about compatibility with older earphones.

    The end game here is surely truly understandable. Apple now owns Beats. They have Apple Music. They have one of the largest catalogues of Music available at their fingertips - both as lossless and 320kbps audio which is only held back by the 3.5mm audio jack. Why stay in the past when the future is already here? Philips and other companies have already utilised the lightning connector's capabilities of playing audio in lossless, and now it's time for it to become mainstream.

    That said, my only hope is that Apple do 1 of 2 things, and honestly either could be possible.

    1) Make lightning open standard meaning Android manufacturers would no doubt quickly adopt it (possible due to the fact that Apple are recently making more and more of their products open source once again - and to eliminate an open standard, they would have to use another or risk a class action lawsuit of angry consumers who cannot use their headphones they bought for their laptop or android on their shiny new apple device).

    2) make switch to USB-C Thunderbolt 3 cables. These cables are capable of 40GB/s bandwidth making them more than capable of streaming lossless audio, and as mentioned in #1, eliminating one open standard would most likely require using another to avoid the class action lawsuits that would result.

    Either way, 3.5mm TRS/TRRS has had it's century of fame, and now it's time to step aside for the future and digital audio - just like Analog TV has died, Analog Internet (dial-up) has died and generally all analog is being phased out.
  • Reply 185 of 204
    Soli said:

    Yes, I read that. You said removing the jack will save space that can be used for something else and reduce the number of ports. I don't see how those outcomes inherently benefit the user. As I described in my battery example, there are lots of ways to save space but space saving is not automatically a "win" all by itself. Depending on what is added and what is removed, the trade off may result in the user experience actually being diminished rather than enhanced.

    I don't think the world will end or Apple will be doomed if the headphone jack goes away, but neither do I think we'll see throngs celebrating its demise because the payoff was worth it. It just doesn't seem like the relatively minor gains removing it will provide justify the inconvenience it will cause, that's all.
  • Reply 186 of 204

    canucklehead said:
    LOL! The most obvious one is that YOU ARE REQUIRED TO BE TETHERED TO YOUR DEVICE!

    You can use wireless headphones now. You don't need to remove the 3.5mm to do that.

    Are you saying there should be no wired option at all? If not, what difference does it make whether the wired connection is Lightning or 3.5mm?
  • Reply 187 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    Soli said:

    Yes, I read that. You said removing the jack will save space that can be used for something else and reduce the number of ports. I don't see how those outcomes inherently benefit the user. As I described in my battery example, there are lots of ways to save space but space saving is not automatically a "win" all by itself. Depending on what is added and what is removed, the trade off may result in the user experience actually being diminished rather than enhanced.

    I don't think the world will end or Apple will be doomed if the headphone jack goes away, but neither do I think we'll see throngs celebrating its demise because the payoff was worth it. It just doesn't seem like the relatively minor gains removing it will provide justify the inconvenience it will cause, that's all.
    How would it not be a win? Do you think Apple would leave a big hole inside their devices where the 3.5mm jack components were? Did they leave a huge empty space after removing the ODD?
  • Reply 188 of 204
    Soli said:
    How would it not be a win? Do you think Apple would leave a big hole inside their devices where the 3.5mm jack components were? Did they leave a huge empty space after removing the ODD?
    Of course not, but without knowing what the new space will be used for, there's no way to know whether it will offer the user a net advantage when weighed against the loss of a convenient connector. For example, if the "payoff" is that device thickness is reduced by another fraction of a millimetre then it may not be worth giving up the jack. If it makes room for a wireless charging inductor it probably would be.

    The part we're talking about dropping has obvious and tangible benefits. There needs to be good reason for removing it. Free space is only an advantage if what goes into that space has more value than what it's replacing.
  • Reply 189 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    Soli said:
    How would it not be a win? Do you think Apple would leave a big hole inside their devices where the 3.5mm jack components were? Did they leave a huge empty space after removing the ODD?
    Of course not, but without knowing what the new space will be used for, there's no way to know whether it will offer the user a net advantage when weighed against the loss of a convenient connector. For example, if the "payoff" is that device thickness is reduced by another fraction of a millimetre then it may not be worth giving up the jack. If it makes room for a wireless charging inductor it probably would be.

    The part we're talking about dropping has obvious and tangible benefits. There needs to be good reason for removing it. Free space is only an advantage if what goes into that space has more value than what it's replacing.
    You want the 3.5mm jack to stay because you can't be 100% of what will be replace the space it takes up? :sigh:
  • Reply 190 of 204

    canucklehead said:
    LOL! The most obvious one is that YOU ARE REQUIRED TO BE TETHERED TO YOUR DEVICE!

    You can use wireless headphones now. You don't need to remove the 3.5mm to do that.

    Are you saying there should be no wired option at all? If not, what difference does it make whether the wired connection is Lightning or 3.5mm?
    Well, if it is considered by Apple to be impeding the advancement of the iPhone, then Apple is right to consider removing it. This is irrespective of whether or not YOU think it's a necessary advancement.
  • Reply 191 of 204
    Well, if it is considered by Apple to be impeding the advancement of the iPhone, then Apple is right to consider removing it. This is irrespective of whether or not YOU think it's a necessary advancement.

    That has nothing to do with what I asked you, which is why the 3.5mm jack needs to go in order for users to enjoy the benefits of wireless?

    I'm not attacking you or Apple, I'm genuinely interested in imagining what the real outcomes might be.
  • Reply 192 of 204

    Soli said:
    You want the 3.5mm jack to stay because you can't be 100% of what will be replace the space it takes up? :sigh:
    Close, but no. I'm saying it's impossible to evaluate the merit of removing a useful component without knowing why. Maybe I want the jack to stay, maybe I'm happy to let it go, but at this point it's a game of "Let's Make A Deal." Do you want to keep the 3.5mm jack, which you know for sure has value, or go for what's behind door number 3, which might be a new car but could also be a donkey wearing a hat?

    You have confidence it will be a positive change because ODD. I'm not as sure because PCIe slots. That's all. We'll see.
  • Reply 193 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member

    Soli said:
    You want the 3.5mm jack to stay because you can't be 100% of what will be replace the space it takes up? :sigh:
    Close, but no. I'm saying it's impossible to evaluate the merit of removing a useful component without knowing why. Maybe I want the jack to stay, maybe I'm happy to let it go, but at this point it's a game of "Let's Make A Deal." Do you want to keep the 3.5mm jack, which you know for sure has value, or go for what's behind door number 3, which might be a new car but could also be a donkey wearing a hat?

    You have confidence it will be a positive change because ODD. I'm not as sure because PCIe slots. That's all. We'll see.
    1) I'm confident that Apple will have removed the port and all components that went with it, and then evaluated all the ways in which they could better their devices by not requiring a large port interface, that requires being placed on the top or bottom from the device, before deciding it's the correct way to go.

    2) This is exactly the rationale I used with the ODD removal. Not once did I think they would remove the ODD to save the cost of the ODD, and then leave a big space in the chassis, and 5" slit in the side of the machine as a result. The rationale is that the Mac can now be be redesigned for more HW, better cooling, better placement of the logic board (like along the entire back edge), and for a larger battery.
  • Reply 194 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    The part we're talking about dropping has obvious and tangible benefits. There needs to be good reason for removing it. Free space is only an advantage if what goes into that space has more value than what it's replacing.
    The reality is, every year Apple squeezes more and more tech and features into the phone, all of which require more and more battery. At some point miniaturization and processor efficiency are not going to offset the need for real space.

    So let's look at this realistically. Apple has four redundant ways to get audio out of the iPhone: 3.5mm, Lightning, Bluetooth, and Wifi. Three of which are standards, one is proprietary. Three are multifunction, one is audio only. Now, let's say you have to choose one to get rid of in order to make room for some "must have" new tech. And let's say for the sake of argument without getting into the merits of each, that you keep the standards, and lose the proprietary Lightning jack. Instead, the 3.5mm jack becomes a multi-function jack like the iPod Shuffle. It offers data transfer and charging though a digital controller, and audio. I'm not sure the iPod Shuffle can charge and be used for audio at the same time, so maybe Apple has to go to a 5 conductor plug adapter for that situation, as they must to maintain universal compatibility with everyone else. Now you don't reclaim as much room as keeping Lightning instead, especially if you have to make it bigger so you can charge and listen at the same time, but you keep everybody happy by keeping the universal audio standard.

    So is that a better solution for everyone who are insisting the 3.5mm jack shouldn't be removed? I'm pretty sure the data transfer is going to be much slower, but there's always wifi right? And Apple is also pushing for the cloud, especially given the relatively small size of typical iPhone storage 16-64GB. Any device that can be used over Lightning should also be able to be adapted to a 4 or 5 conductor pins too, right (does anything actually use all 9)? Am I missing anything here?


    edited January 2016 lorin schultz
  • Reply 195 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    mac_128 said:

    The part we're talking about dropping has obvious and tangible benefits. There needs to be good reason for removing it. Free space is only an advantage if what goes into that space has more value than what it's replacing.
    So is that a better solution for everyone who are insisting the 3.5mm jack shouldn't be removed? I'm pretty sure the data transfer is going to be much slower, but there's always wifi right? And Apple is also pushing for the cloud, especially given the relatively small size of typical iPhone storage 16-64GB. Any device that can be used over Lightning should also be able to be adapted to a 4 or 5 conductor pins too, right (does anything actually use all 9)? Am I missing anything here?

    [image]
    I want USB 3.1 speeds from the headphone jack¡ Anything less than that and Apple is just being greedy¡ Fire Cook¡
  • Reply 196 of 204
    mac_128 said:
    The reality is, every year Apple squeezes more and more tech and features into the phone, all of which require more and more battery. At some point miniaturization and processor efficiency are not going to offset the need for real space.

    So let's look at this realistically. Apple has four redundant ways to get audio out of the iPhone: 3.5mm, Lightning, Bluetooth, and Wifi. Three of which are standards, one is proprietary. Three are multifunction, one is audio only. Now, let's say you have to choose one to get rid of in order to make room for some "must have" new tech. And let's say for the sake of argument without getting into the merits of each, that you keep the standards, and lose the proprietary Lightning jack. Instead, the 3.5mm jack becomes a multi-function jack like the iPod Shuffle. [snip]
    That's an excellent argument based on the premise that something has to go. At first I didn't accept that as a given, but after thinking about it a bit I admit it's a reasonable possibility. Over the years Apple has added motion co-processors, graphics processors and force-touch screens, all of which require space and offer tangible benefits (unlike the quest for ever-thinner designs, which I consider a game of diminishing returns).

    If we really have reached the point you describe where miniaturization and increasing power efficiency can't be stretched far enough to make room for new components, then losing the 3.5mm jack might be a reasonable solution.
  • Reply 197 of 204

    Soli said:
    I want USB 3.1 speeds from the headphone jack¡ Anything less than that and Apple is just being greedy¡ Fire Cook¡
    Joking aside, I really do wish Apple would do something about improving transfer speeds to iDevices.

    Just before Christmas I loaded about 40GB of content onto my wife's iPhone 6 Plus. It took forever.

    Then she unwrapped her shiny new iPad Pro. Loading the same 40GB took only a fraction of the time. I'd forgotten the iPad Pro uses a USB3 interface so I didn't think to time either transfer for comparison, but the iPad was WAY faster.

    So apparently it's possible for transfers to be faster. Let's hope they are in the next iteration of the iPhone.
  • Reply 198 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    Soli said:
    I want USB 3.1 speeds from the headphone jack¡ Anything less than that and Apple is just being greedy¡ Fire Cook¡
    Joking aside, I really do wish Apple would do something about improving transfer speeds to iDevices.

    Just before Christmas I loaded about 40GB of content onto my wife's iPhone 6 Plus. It took forever.

    Then she unwrapped her shiny new iPad Pro. Loading the same 40GB took only a fraction of the time. I'd forgotten the iPad Pro uses a USB3 interface so I didn't think to time either transfer for comparison, but the iPad was WAY faster.

    So apparently it's possible for transfers to be faster. Let's hope they are in the next iteration of the iPhone.

    The iPadPro is capable of USB 3.0 speeds, as it has 17 pins instead of 9. But timing transfers now will do you no good, because there are no devices that will utilize the new connectors, and it's doubtful Apple has even enabled them yet in iOS. But the fact they are there means that all iDevices will have access to it eventually. And this only makes sense as iPhones can now shoot 4K video, and the rumors swirling around the removal of the 3.5mm Jack also bring the prospect of HQ audio, which will also contribute to larger file transfers. Add to that 12mp photos, and Live Photos, as well as Apple's camera kit updated for use with the iPhone, and rumors about a 256GB storage increase, and it all starts making sense. 

    Also, If Lightning is intended as the defectors headphone jack, then it will end up on Macs as well, offering another high speed port option. Putting it on a Mac at current speeds would be silly. Whatever happens with the 3.5mm Jack, I think we can all expect a much faster Lightning bus.

    Soli
  • Reply 199 of 204
    mac_128 said:

    [...] timing transfers now will do you no good, because there are no devices that will utilize the new connectors, and it's doubtful Apple has even enabled them yet in iOS.

    When you say "there are no devices that will utilize the new connectors" I assume you mean "except the iPad Pro." Is that correct?
  • Reply 200 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    mac_128 said:

    [...] timing transfers now will do you no good, because there are no devices that will utilize the new connectors, and it's doubtful Apple has even enabled them yet in iOS.

    When you say "there are no devices that will utilize the new connectors" I assume you mean "except the iPad Pro." Is that correct?
    I believe he means there are no accessories, peripherals, or cables that will utilize the new female Lightning connector pins found in the iPad Pro.
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