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

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  • Reply 141 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    jfc1138 said:

    xbit said:
    I believe that Apple's longterm goal is to make an iPhone with zero ports, even ditching the Lightning connector eventually. Wireless charging, synching and audio only.

    No ports means fewer damaged iPhones and a sleeker, thinner design.
    Wouldn't wireless audio mean a battery powered earphone? The earphone receiver would need power from somewhere. Gaining weight on the earphone wouldn't be welcomed by me anyway as I don't use headphones where the weight of a battery might not be significant as an addition.
    He did say "longterm goal," and I agree with him. The battery would cause weight but as this tech gets smaller and lighter it becomes of an obstacle. I don't think we're there yet for BT headphones with every iPhone in terms of cost for the headphone, and speed of the wireless connection for whatever the maximum capacity will be for filling up a new device; but maybe many years from now, although I would rather have them remove including any headphones in the box.
  • Reply 142 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Soli said:
    I don't think it would create a new standard to still keep the DAC in the iPhone. With USB 3.0 they will be adding 8 more pins to female Lightning port, which is more than enough for being able to supply analog audio in/out, digital signals, and power at the same time. 
    Well the phone is still going to have an internal DAC for recording and for the built-in speaker, which can be of much lower quality for at least the speaker, and since it's a relatively low quality microphone to begin with, voice doesn't require that high a quality DAC either. That will also allow Apple to presumably save some money there as well. So you wouldn't necessarily want to pass that signal through to anything.

    However, even though they are adding 8 more pins, this will still have to work with legacy equipment, which doesn't utilize the top pins (is this even an option?). That's not to say they can't move two of the bottom 8 pin's functions to the top and replace them with analogue audio, but it might cause some unnecessary compatibility issues with Legacy equipment. Not that Apple usually cares, but that would be a bad move on top of upsetting your customer base, because at the end of the day, they're still going to need an adapter, regardless of how less expensive than one is with a DAC. And let's face it, anything with a Lightning connector is going to be far more expensive than a cheap DAC. So might as well just eliminate that as an option, and require all audio devices to have an outboard DAC. 
  • Reply 143 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    So Apple goes from iPhone, Inc. to Adapter, Inc. and people just need to buy an adapter and stop complaining.
    That's right, just like Apple goes from Watch, Inc. to Watchband, Inc. -- who says Apple doesn't offer the consumer a choice?
  • Reply 144 of 204
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 754member
    This debate reminds me of that one time when Apple made a phone that didn't have a hardware keyboard, and everyone went nuts.  How'd that work out?  Everyone started making phones without hardware keyboards.

    This will be the same story, only with the headphone jack.
    edited January 2016 Soli
  • Reply 145 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,423member
    Prof_Peabody said:

    it still leaves me buying a new $100 pair of headphones
    No, you'd just need an adapter.
  • Reply 146 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,423member
    icoco3 said:
    tzterri said:
    What about credit card readers and other devices that use the headphone jack?
    That was the reason they didn't have to give Apple 30%.

    If they use the lightning port Apple may ask for the 30% so maybe there is more to the story.... (conspiracy alert on that one)
    That's absurd. Apple charges a modest fee for the MFI certification, not a percentage of revenue.
  • Reply 147 of 204
    Ultimately the headphone etc wire must go.  The only question is when.  6C will keep 3.5.  6 will keep 3.5.  6S will keep 3.5.  If 7 drops it, customers still have options.  A new ecosystem of wireless goodies will quickly appear, pushing innovation into new areas.  No biggy.  Dropped Floppy.  Dropped Serial.  Dropped Optical.  In 18 months we'll hardly remember using the 3.5.  Can't wait not to have the damned wire swinging and catching on stuff.  
  • Reply 148 of 204
    Prof_Peabody said:

    it still leaves me buying a new $100 pair of headphones
    No, you'd just need an adapter.
    a) that ain't my style
    b) when has an Apple adapter cost much less than a hundred anyway?  :)

    They might include an adapter in the box I guess though.  
  • Reply 149 of 204
    mac_128 said:

    Also, read some articles about headphone jacks and phones, and read through all of Apple's patents on this (especially the D jack patent).  You will find that the thinness/thickness of the device is actually the main variable they are trying to solve for, not the internal volume.    
    Of course they are, it's all about volume, because as a device gets thinner, or they squeeze in another component, the existing internal components have to go somewhere, they have to spread out. And just because there's a lot of empty space scattered throughout the iPhone, doesn't mean they can use it, unlike a concentrated 184 cubic mm of space. Of course if the batteries become custom molded into the case like the rMB, then maybe they will be able to use aver single cubic mm of empty space inside the phone.
    Well, I'm not sure what you're saying here exactly.  My point was that some of Apple's patents, like the one for the digital SIM for instance, talk about the internal volume of the phone a lot.  The patents about the headphone jack alternatives, mostly only talk about thinness or thickness and don't mention the internal volume.  Also, as I said, my current belief is that Apple is moving the components around inside (and thus creating some voids) in order to put in a much bigger, lateral camera (unless they've given up on that idea).    
  • Reply 150 of 204

    If you want even a borderline useable device that's well designed, Apple is it.  The only game in town.  If you want integration with your desktop OS, ease of use, reliable designs, and the whole ecosystem, you pretty much have to go Apple.  There is no alternative.  At least no rational, "good" alternative.  

    I think both Apple and the press seriously underestimate how many people there are that think Apple has actually become a kind of shitty company, with very well designed but seriously overpriced products ... but then they still buy them because there's nothing else out there.  I think that lots of folks actually feel trapped in the Apple ecosystem now, but because they keep buying ... Apple is under the impression that all is well and good. 
    total nonsense. they aren't overpriced by nature -- theyre the biggest selling CE devices ever, which means people are more than willing to pay the price being asked. and even still they dont even represent a majority of the market share, so there are indeed viable, useable alternatives. ask any fandroid.
    I know you like to be Mr. Contrary, but technically, considering that Apple's margins are known to be double, triple or even quadruple a lot of their competitors, then by definition they are "overpriced."  In any case, price is subjective and I was just stating my opinion. 

    Edit:  More evidence - the average Android phone in my neighbourhood is $200-$400 and has 32GB of storage.  I buy an iPhone each year instead which is 16GB and costs me roughly $1000 after taxes.  Smaller phone, roughly the same specs otherwise, 3-4 times the price.
    edited January 2016 cnocbui
  • Reply 151 of 204
    kamilton said:
    Ultimately the headphone etc wire must go.  The only question is when.  6C will keep 3.5.  6 will keep 3.5.  6S will keep 3.5.  If 7 drops it, customers still have options.  A new ecosystem of wireless goodies will quickly appear, pushing innovation into new areas.  No biggy.  Dropped Floppy.  Dropped Serial.  Dropped Optical.  In 18 months we'll hardly remember using the 3.5.  Can't wait not to have the damned wire swinging and catching on stuff.  
    I have a choice too. I'm going to be upgrading in September/October of this year. If Apple does this, I'm selling my iPhone and Apple Watch and going with a good Android phone instead. I am not going to be limited to a tiny subset of questionable quality headphones. I'm hearing impaired, I need that analog out for my 350$ Amplified headphones I use as an adaptive device. I use the iPhone as a way to hear better. If Apple can't provide that service I'll move on, just like how I built a gaming PC when Apple decided that providing graphic cards on consumer-level machines was not in their best interest, leading me to buy a 600$ Mac Mini instead of a 1500$ iMac.

    I don't want adapters (they inevitably work less well) and I don't want bluetooth, which is unreliable and has to be recharged separately. 

    Floppy and serial were dying formats that had superior replacements (optical burning, USB flash drives just a year later, internet). Optical is supported on most Apple computers so I don't get that complaint, unless you're talking about the apple TV, which doesn't need it because most people route sound via HDMI into the optical out on the TV, where it is still entirely common. 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 152 of 204
    mac_128 said:
    kmanvan said:. 
    Apples lightning cables are quite possibly the worst quality, most overpriced cables I have used on any device ever.  They break after a few months of light use and at $20+ a pop are a massive cash cow for apple.
    I have never had an Apple brand Lightning cable fail. It's likely the most robust, well designed, easiest to use connector I have ever used. 
    The 1.5 star rating and vast majority of reviews on the apple store would suggest otherwise.  But your blind brand loyalty is impressive.
  • Reply 153 of 204
    This is a gamble and Apple likes to gamble if it means moving technology forward. The headphone jack is outdated technology that has limitations. Also, if you haven't used (decent) wireless earbuds yet, you have no idea how completely backwards it is to have to plug in your earbuds. I like the idea of wireless earbuds that charge via lightning. I also like the idea of an adapter for those who need help with the transition. However, it's time to move forward folks.
  • Reply 154 of 204

    gwydion said: Because it was designed in 1878 (137 years ago!), and is pretty much the last analogue connector that exists in a world that has long since gone digital.  

    Considering the rapid pace of technology, it's a miracle that it still exists really.  

    This argument is based on the premise that "old" automatically equals "bad." I don't think that's a valid argument. ....
    Of course you are right.  I was being a bit facetious there.  :) 

    However, the big trend from analogue to digital, that has been taking place for many decades now is a powerful and ultimately unstoppable force.  If it wasn't for foolish hipsters under the delusion that vinyl produces "better sound" than digital sources, analogue gear might not have survived as long as it has so far.  

    Cool point about the "last mile" being analogue.  :)  
    Humans (and their ears) will indeed always be analogue.  
  • Reply 155 of 204
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member


    This argument is based on the premise that "old" automatically equals "bad." I don't think that's a valid argument. ....
    Of course you are right.  I was being a bit facetious there.  :) 

    However, the big trend from analogue to digital, that has been taking place for many decades now is a powerful and ultimately unstoppable force.  If it wasn't for foolish hipsters under the delusion that vinyl produces "better sound" than digital sources, analogue gear might not have survived as long as it has so far.  

    Cool point about the "last mile" being analogue.  :)  
    Humans (and their ears) will indeed always be analogue.  
      I agree with you about digital sources, but we hear analogue waveforms.   The last chain has to be analogue.  There is nothing outdated about the 3.5mm jack in terms of it's technical capabilities or audio quality.  Making the DAC and OP amp external to a phone and incorporated instead in an adapter, earbuds or headphones confers no technical benefit or improvement in audio quality whatsoever and is more likely to lead to lower sound quality as cost savings are sought.

    Dongles and adapters are not progress, they are regressive.

    lorin schultz
  • Reply 156 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    total nonsense. they aren't overpriced by nature -- theyre the biggest selling CE devices ever, which means people are more than willing to pay the price being asked. and even still they dont even represent a majority of the market share, so there are indeed viable, useable alternatives. ask any fandroid.
    I know you like to be Mr. Contrary, but technically, considering that Apple's margins are known to be double, triple or even quadruple a lot of their competitors, then by definition they are "overpriced."  In any case, price is subjective and I was just stating my opinion. 

    Edit:  More evidence - the average Android phone in my neighbourhood is $200-$400 and has 32GB of storage.  I buy an iPhone each year instead which is 16GB and costs me roughly $1000 after taxes.  Smaller phone, roughly the same specs otherwise, 3-4 times the price.
    Where is there a definition of "overpriced" that measures how much your profit is compared to your competitors? Besides vertical and horizontal integration which helps to reduce cost across the board, thus resulting in lower costs for a giving product, Apple also employees economies of scale to help reduce costs. Because Apple's competitors aren't good at doing either, and usually have CEOs that can't look past the next earnings report or product release, you think Apple needs to artificially reduce their price points so that they are more inline with their competitors, who often have to lower prices soon after launch because they need to increase unit sales to either eek out a small profit or reduce their loss?

    Overpriced is very simple definition: the seller is charging too high a price to attract enough buyers to make the endeavor worthwhile. This is all based on the PoV of the buyer. If you bought an Apple product, then you didn't think it was overpriced through whatever first or second party seller. Apple's competitors are very often selling overpriced HW, which we know because of the aforementioned lowering of the prices soon after going on sale to attract more buyer, yet Apple will keep their prices consistent right up until the day they release the updated version, at which point the flagship from the previous day is now $100 less (when referring to an iPhone—the buyer has 14 to 30 days to return their item for a full refund).

    Lets keep in mind that Apple will sell out immediately with record sales, and still have low volume for many months, and then repeat customers for a brand new device a year later. These things not only prove that Apple's product aren't overpriced, but that they are actually underpriced. By how much? I certainly don't know. $5? $50? $500? If they raised the price by $5 some would complain but they probably wouldn't lose any customers (see recent Germany price increases), which means it's not overpriced. At $50 I'd see some not getting the latest iPhone that otherwise would, but I'd bet that they'd still profit more, at least in the short-term for that particular Apple product as a direct result of that $50 hike. But at $500 I'd think they'd lose far too many customers, which will affect a great many things, which will result in them losing not only revenue, but possibly having a poorer profit margin by a severe cut in economics of scale.
    muppetry
  • Reply 157 of 204
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    icoco3 said:
    That was the reason they didn't have to give Apple 30%.

    If they use the lightning port Apple may ask for the 30% so maybe there is more to the story.... (conspiracy alert on that one)
    That's absurd. Apple charges a modest fee for the MFI certification, not a percentage of revenue.
    And you know this how? There are no official statements about what the cost is. Some say it's $10, or 10% (whichever is higher), and some say it's $4 plus they have to purchase the lightning connecting piece itself from Apple. 
  • Reply 158 of 204
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    That's absurd. Apple charges a modest fee for the MFI certification, not a percentage of revenue.
    And you know this how? There are no official statements about what the cost is. Some say it's $10, or 10% (whichever is higher), and some say it's $4 plus they have to purchase the lightning connecting piece itself from Apple. 
    AI reported on it in 2014. They seem to be quite certain of their numbers.

  • Reply 159 of 204
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Soli said:
    And you know this how? There are no official statements about what the cost is. Some say it's $10, or 10% (whichever is higher), and some say it's $4 plus they have to purchase the lightning connecting piece itself from Apple. 
    AI reported on it in 2014. They seem to be quite certain of their numbers.

    All that's really known I'd that it was reduced. The actual terms have not been released. Plus anyone that wants MFI certification has to buy the lightning connector from Apple, and how much is that, $1, $2, $3, $4? That's at least $5 of any MFI accessory going directly to Apple. 

    Edit: BTW, there were also reports in 2014 that Apple was going to start licensing the female lightning port, and it seems like that's yet to happen considering on how every 3rd party accessory uses micro USB. 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 160 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    cnocbui said:
      I agree with you about digital sources, but we hear analogue waveforms.   The last chain has to be analogue.  There is nothing outdated about the 3.5mm jack in terms of it's technical capabilities or audio quality.  Making the DAC and OP amp external to a phone and incorporated instead in an adapter, earbuds or headphones confers no technical benefit or improvement in audio quality whatsoever and is more likely to lead to lower sound quality as cost savings are sought.

    Dongles and adapters are not progress, they are regressive.

    It is not about 3.5mm analogue vs. Lightning digital.

    This is 100% about the future of mobile audio, which is undisputedly wireless. As long as the 3.5mm connector is around, it gives developers no reason to aggressively pursue and improve more complex and expensive alternatives like wireless and Lightning. While every consumer won't necessarily benefit from innovations in Lightning, and indeed it is a proprietary format, they will benefit from improvements in wireless audio, especially as wider adoption leads to lower prices, and feeds itself. But, Lightning will ultimately better serve most people for anything more than just plugging a set of headphones into a jack and listening to sound. In fact it will likely improve that as well, offering better quality equipment at a lower price, and lower quality equipment at an even lower price, depending on a customer's needs. Think about it, who better to chose the DAC for their headphones than then the manufacturer? In that way, Apple is only responsible for delivering the digital data of a sound file, and cannot be held accountable for the quality of the sound, or how their hardware may affect a third parties audio reproduction. In fact, that's the Apple model. But again, that isn't the main reason for this move.

    Unless of course you believe the future of audio for the rest of eternity is wired analogue connections, with consumers tethered to their equipment, and their equipment tethered to each other.
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