Apple prepares for thinner iPhones with slim headphone plug patent

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 92
    I'm not sure what the point of this would be. No existing headphones would be compatible with this smaller jack, so why not go 100% different?

    Unless... maybe all new Apple / Beats headphones will have this new plug and the new headphones will be backwards compatible with old phones/laptops, even if the new phones/laptops are not backwards compatible with old headphones.
  • Reply 62 of 92
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,471member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Not exactly something I would want to see in an iPhone. If you are hell bent on going to something non standard you might as well go with a thin flat design similar to Lightening. Further Apple will have to work real hard to make such a connector an industry standard, people are pretty emotional about head phones.

     

    I do not like the supplied Apple headphones so this is a big loser for me.  There might be a backlash if people can't use existing headphones on a new unit.  I do not think this will ever see the light of day.

  • Reply 63 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

     



    That would also require serious negotiation with airlines. There is a reason the QC25 doesn't have bluetooth.


     

    Bose makes bluetooth headphones and many people use them on airplanes, I don't think that's the reason for QC25 not being bluetooth. FYI. you can make QC25 bluetooth with a BTunes plug.

  • Reply 64 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mnbob1 View Post



    This might solve a short term problem in making the connector thinner. I like the idea of a magnetic connection to the phone. My teenage daughter constantly ruins headphones by just grabbing the wire and pulling it.

    ...

    Low power Bluetooth is too expensive and requires charging the headphone battery. Magnetic connected digital headphone connector standard is needed that is available to all vendors to keep costs at a minimum.

     

    It's funny that you observed it. I have the same issue. My teenage daughter does the same thing, and it drove me crazy no matter how many times telling her to grab the plastic part and pull straight out. I don't want to sound sexists, I observed many times that some ladies don't pull the USB or electric outlets out directly, they wiggle them loose and then pull. 

  • Reply 65 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post





    Apple thinks about the environment, and a smaller battery, multiplied by hundreds of millions of iPhones (across all generations) means a smaller impact, less volume of chemicals/metals to eventually need recycling, or that ends up in a landfill. And smaller batteries implies Apple pushes themselves to engineer more efficient phones that provide each unit of performance at lower power, which means that each daily charge requires less electricity than competing phones. That reduces greenhouse gasses and the need, even slightly, for the world to build that next coal-fired power plant. I've mentioned this before and people suggest that reasoning is weak, but I'm here to tell you Apple does think about precisely these aspects and it's a big reason the company doesn't ship phones with larger batteries.

     

    It's plausible. I think an efficient/rewarding recycling program (Apple + all carriers) would be much better to solve that problem.

  • Reply 66 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

     

    Just stick with Lightning. You can have a digital 3.5" dongle  if need be, use Lightning headphones, or just skip the whole thing and go Bluetooth LE.

     

    Also, is it just my wishful thinking, or could Apple easily make a USB-C-Lightning cable?


     

    Bluetooth LE is not meant for audio streaming. It was suggested that future iDevices may not have 3.5mm jack or any audio jack at all, it will all be bluetooth or wifi. That means for all existing wired headphones, you need a Bluetooth adapter to make wired headphones wireless or bluetooth. 

  • Reply 67 of 92
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,946member
    Keep in mind that someday all the hipsters will be old farts with bad eyesight and arthritic fingers and hands. Take your lovely teeny weeny lightning connector equipped device to a nursing home and time how long it takes some of the folks there to connect the cable to the device. Bring Jony Ive along with you. Then substitute the Lightning cable and plug for something even smaller and orientation specific. Record the user feedback. Laugh along with Jony. You or Apple can write off people with limited dexterity for a while in the quest to be the supermodel thin hip product, but the growing numbers of people in this demographic means the Apple and others will have to address the real needs of the "oldster" market segment to stay competitive. Even the Chinese get old so manufacturers will have to tackle these issues. Laugh all you want, unless you're planning an early exit you'll all be in the same club someday. The sooner Apple starts to address the needs of older consumers the more opportunities they'll have to benefit from it.
  • Reply 68 of 92
    I'm not a big fan of this type of redesign. It limits the types of headphones you can use with the device. I guess 3rd-party manufacturers could make adapters available but it's just one more thing to keep a track of. I wonder if eventually they'll remove the port completely and only allow wireless headphones.
  • Reply 69 of 92
    mrmac85 wrote: »
    I'm not a big fan of this type of redesign. It limits the types of headphones you can use with the device. I guess 3rd-party manufacturers could make adapters available but it's just one more thing to keep a track of. I wonder if eventually they'll remove the port completely and only allow wireless headphones.

    1) I'm not a fan of this because if you're going to make a change that isn't compatible with 3.5mm headphone jacks then do something that is better. Examples include, but not limited to: 2.5mm jack, Lightning connector for cabled headphones, or even removing Lightning in favour of USB-C, or an Apple designed mini-USB-C that is identical to USB-C in design but smaller so it works with the future of their iDevices.

    2) The connector in all these cases would mean that no 3.5mm headphone jack would work, but so what? Get an adapter that stays on your headphone cable. You get a couple inches (5cm) of length out of it? Not a deal killer.

    3) I don't expect this to see the light of day. I would think Lightning (or the other aforementioned USB-based connectors) that works for iDevices to be the new standard either for headphones, or for charging your BT headphones. Note these exist already from Apple via Beats or from 3rd-parties via Apple's MFi program. Even the Lighting to 3.5mm jack and 3.5mm jack to 2.5mm jack adapters exist already. Personally, I expect too see Apple move to one of those two options within 1-3 years (meaning, eschewing the 3.5mm jack). Another benefit is the internal HW saved from the 3.5mm jack internally which I (roughly) estimate is about half the volume used by the new haptic engine in the iPhone 6S-series. Let the one USB-capable port deal with it. It's not like charging and listening to your wired headphones is commonplace, and if you do fall into that category, then buy one of the many splitters that will exist for whatever setup you have.
  • Reply 70 of 92
    melgross wrote: »

    My problem is the plastic giving out, then the metal breaking down, and then having to order new ones. I've tried Anker on Amazon last week, I'll see if it's any better than the Apple ones I've been using over the years.

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="63194" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/63194/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 467px">



    This is irritating ;)

    Anker is cheap, and get bad ratings from users. They break easily.

    I don't know about their Lightning cables but the micro USB ones I've gotten are great.
  • Reply 71 of 92

    It's an interesting idea for a patent application, but pretty pointless.  If it's not going to be backward-compatible with existing headphones then why not just go with something completely new?

     

    Mobile phones have used 2.5mm jacks for years with wired headsets.  Smartphones moved from that to 3.5mm in order to be compatible with existing headphones, but if that's no longer a concern, just go back to 2.5mm.  Or invent something new.

     

    The only possible advantage of this D-shaped 3.5mm plug is that it would (theoretically) work with legacy 3.5mm jacks, but that kind of backward compatibility is something that Apple hasn't historically cared about so I don't think it's a concern of theirs.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by amperzand View Post

    What about two lightning ports? Or one lightning port and inductive charging.

     

    Or a Lightening-headphone connector with a pass-through connector...

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

    Because they control the Lightning spec, they could add passive audio output if they wanted. Making it backwards compatible with existing Lightning products would be best. Then they'd just have a Lightning to 3.5mm jack for 3rd party products. This would force iOS device accessory makers to switch to Lightning instead of making 3.5mm jack devices.

     

    No need to change the spec.  There's already support for analog audio in Lightening (for "line out" connections.)  It would be a trivial change (maybe software-only) to allow an analog audio device to identify itself as "headphones" instead of "line out" (and therefore enable support for volume control on the port.)

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

    Well, for one I have experience with the other side of the Atlantic, mostly Europe and Asia, not the Americas, and secondly, It's mostly the take-off and landing sequences where I witness incidents. Indeed, nobody seems to pay attention to wireless once the plane is flying.

     

    Every airline is different, but I agree.  I've seen some weird rules.  The one that still stands out is Alitalia's rule that prohibits computers that have an optical drive, but allows computers that don't have one.  It has never made sense to me, nor does it make sense to any pilots or aviation buffs I've told this to.

     

    It's been a while since I last flew internationally, so I don't know if this rule still exists.  My point is simply that it is unreasonable to expect these rules to make sense.  They're usually based on junk science and political correctness and have little to do with aviation safety.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

    My problem is the plastic giving out, then the metal breaking down, and then having to order new ones. I've tried Anker on Amazon last week, I'll see if it's any better than the Apple ones I've been using over the years.

     


     

    Wow.  The only cables I have that look like that are the ones my cat chewed on.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post

    Anker is cheap, and get bad ratings from users. They break easily.

     

    My experience (and Amazon reviews) says otherwise.  Given the fact that my daughter destroys a lightening cable about every 6 weeks (and no amount of explaining how to handle cables seems to help), I've been buying a lot of Anker cables.  I can't afford to pay Apple's prices when I end up buying that many.

     

    And no, the damage isn't from the cables.  The Anker cables my wide and I use are over a year old and have no problems.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by getvoxoa View Post

    It's funny that you observed it. I have the same issue. My teenage daughter does the same thing, and it drove me crazy no matter how many times telling her to grab the plastic part and pull straight out. I don't want to sound sexists, I observed many times that some ladies don't pull the USB or electric outlets out directly, they wiggle them loose and then pull. 

     

    The problem in my home is that she's got an external battery pack.  When she puts the phone away in her backpack, she wraps the cable (with battery pack attached) tightly around the phone, putting a severe pinch on the connectors on both ends of the cable.  Every cable she uses, whether Apple or any other brand, all end up destroyed fairly quickly because of this abuse.  So I buy the cheapest ones that don't have a reputation for shipping DOA, which, right now, is Anker ($12 for a 2-pack of 1m cables.)

  • Reply 72 of 92

    Apple (hopefully) doesn't want to tick off all the Square users out there by requiring they either upgrade their hardware or buy a new adapter.

     

    Plus, you can't use BT headphones in Airplane Mode.

  • Reply 73 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by london11 View Post



    Can we please get rid of the home button too now??



    No.

  • Reply 74 of 92
    This decision by Apple could impact millions of company and people. First, comapnies making headphones are going to be forced to either license or buy Apple headphone connector plugs or essentially loose out on the apple market share - which has been very influential on the growth of headphone companies as most people use smartphones as their music players. Second, because these companeis are going to be forced to license or buy this Apple headphone plug, they are probably going to be passing along the price increase to the customer becuase of the smaller margins of profit they will now have after taking on this cost.
  • Reply 75 of 92
    Wouldn't plugging in headphones and power in the same port produce line noise? I don't think that would be a good idea.
  • Reply 76 of 92
    imac.usr wrote: »
    Apple (hopefully) doesn't want to tick off all the Square users out there by requiring they either upgrade their hardware or buy a new adapter.

    I think Apple could quickly overtake Square and PayPal with some modifications to ApplePay. Personally I'd love for the iPad to also be able to receive NFC payments and it haunt use the Secure Element.
    Plus, you can't use BT headphones in Airplane Mode.

    Good point, but perhaps solvable (and potentially already solved) with a Lightning-to-Lightning or USB-C-to-USB-C charging cable.

    ericblr wrote: »
    Wouldn't plugging in headphones and power in the same port produce line noise? I don't think that would be a good idea.

    Possibly, but I think that's resolved since you can Lightning headphones and BT headphones that can both charge and play via Lightning.
  • Reply 77 of 92
    misamisa Posts: 827member

    Apple could bypass TRRS designs altogether and introduce a <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/01/08/lightning-connected-headphones-proliferate-with-new-models-from-philips-and-jbl">Lightning-connected headphone</a>, but that would prohibit simultaneous charging. It remains to be seen what Apple has planned, but if its portable device designs get much thinner, the demise of the 3.5mm plug is a near certainty.

    Apple's D-shaped connector patent was first filed for in May 2011 and credits Albert J. Golko and Mathias W. Schmidt as its inventors.

    And we already know from Nokia and Nintendo that one connector for both the charging and headphones is a terrible idea. If Apple wants to go this route, they need to put two lightning connectors or put one usb-c connector with either connector allowing charge or headphones.

    But we shouldn't move away from the TRRS connector. The principal reason we stick to this connector is to prevent breaking the PCB when the headphone connector inevitably rotates (L shaped) or breaks the cables tiny wires at the connector. Like if Apple really wants to innovate with the headphone connector, create a magnetically attached connector (eg the iPad Pro's keyboard) so that when the ipod/iphone/ipad isn't damaged when you forget to take your headphones off when you remove your coat.

    Plus a magnetically attached connector could easily be retroactively attached to any 2.5/3.5mm TRRS headphones even 1/8" guitar and XLR microphones.
  • Reply 78 of 92
    You can use BT headphones in airplane mode. I do that often. Just turn on airplane mode and then turn on bluetooth (and wi-fi if you wish), cellular is still disabled - a great battery saver.
  • Reply 79 of 92
    chick wrote: »
    You can use BT headphones in airplane mode. I do that often. Just turn on airplane mode and then turn on bluetooth (and wi-fi if you wish), cellular is still disabled - a great battery saver.

    Sure, but you're enabling a radio again, which means it's not really Airplane Mode, but some partial system. that said, with the FAA lifting the bans and with the option for a cabled setup via Lightning, is it really a big deal for customers if they did include BT headphones? I wouldn't think so.
  • Reply 80 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Yazolight View Post



    It's time to improve the jack.

    No it's not, the last thing anyone needs is another proprietary jack/cable. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the jack the way it is currently.

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