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

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  • Reply 61 of 204
    Rumblings out of East Asia again suggest Apple will ditch the industry standard 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a Bluetooth wireless/Lightning audio solution, potentially forcing customers invested in the stalwart format to purchase new gear. 
    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.

    Not hard to understand why apple would want to force more functionality of their phone to this garbage connector/cable.  Now people won't be able to use their own 3rd party, higher quality headphones and will be forced to spend more money in the "Sexy but you get to buy a new one every 90 days" Apple accessories business.

    I have both an iPhone and an Android phone.  Hate to say it but I think my years of spending too much for too little on Apple stuff is coming to an end.  Android is a lot more flexible and I've only once had to buy a replacement microUSB cord... as opposed to the $x00s of dollars I've been forced to spend on their garbage lightning cables over just the last 2-3 years.
  • Reply 62 of 204
    I love Bluetooth for the convenience of no wires, but last time I checked, Bluetooth use is not allowed on aircraft and it is disabled in Airplane mode. Good luck listening to music on some nice Noise Cancelling headphones on a long haul flight.
  • Reply 63 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    rogifan_old said: 

    All of which 1) should make people question this rumor and 2) IF it is true assume a lot of research was done before the decision was made. Something like this could absolutely impact iPhone sales in a negative way. LOTS more people use the headphone jack than used 30-pin accessories. And people that have expensive headphones aren't going to toss those for new lightening or BT ones, they'll either not upgrade their phone or get a different phone.On the flip side though, if most iPhone owners use the included EarPods then they'll just use whatever replacement Apple puts in the box so I don't see how this is a big money maker for Apple.
    The compatibility issue for existing/high-end headphones can be mitigated with a simple adapter. I'm sure Apple will consider carefully whether to include said adapter for free or sell it for the usual $39 as a high-margin accessory. As you noted, most users will just use the included earbuds which will then use a Lightning connector. Nothing about this scenario should turn away a significant number of prospective iPhone buyers, though the usual suspects will be complaining that Apple is doomed.

    It would be nice, though, if Apple made the effort to show some real world benefit from this change, other than some infinitesimal reduction in thickness that nobody cares about except Jony Ive's team. Water resistance would be a huge benefit, but I can't imagine a truly water resistant iPhone until they get rid of the Lightning port as well. 

    It's ludicrous to suggest that we should be stuck with the 3.5mm jack forever, yet that is precisely what's being implied by all the whiners.

    edited January 2016
  • Reply 64 of 204
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,606member

    gwydion said:

    davidw said:
    The iPhone still needs a DAC for the internal speaker. Not everyone uses headphones or earbuds when using an iPhone. No one is required to use an external DAC. Both analog and digital signal will be passed through the lightning connector. The only requirement for older headsets would be a 3.5mm to lightning adapter to capture the analog signal from the internal DAC. And it can be in the form of a short cable, for those that absolutely can't stand having an extra 1/2 inch sticking out of their headphone jack of their iPhone. 


    Lightning connector doesn't pass analog signal, it can't do that because of crosstalk and interference
    I know that there's no analog output on the lightning connector now and that the lightning protocol is digital like USB. But not sure if there's a physical limitation, like you say or that Apple just haven't found a need for it, yet. But I would think that, if Apple wants, make the lightning connector contacts just output analog when using it as a headphone jack. After all, the charging current is analog and it passed through the connection. There would really be no need for any digital signal in the connector if used just for that. That might mean the user must do the switching over to analog on the phone, as the chip communicating between the connectors might interfere with the analog audio signal. Which means charging while using as an analog jack would be out of the question. And I can see a problem with that if some one plugs in a charger when it's in the analog jack mode. And can see Apple not wanting to deal with that.
  • Reply 65 of 204
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,694member
    Comments on this thread are entertaining. Obviously a controversial topic. I expect SOG to show up here shortly to tell us all about why Cook sucks, and anything related to the 3.5" jack is obviously going to hurt shareholder value. These stories are clearly intended to manipulate the stock, and Cook is insane to allow it to happen.

    I rarely use earbuds, and would welcome the change. Making changes in legacy hardware is a very Apple-esque thing to do, so while perhaps not this cycle, I can see it happening. I can also see Apple pointing out "ditching the jack allows for a bigger battery, longer life, and lower power consumption." There is also the real alternative to a converter case with a 3.5" jack, battery, and oh yeah, a built in unicorn.

    There's a lotta nice BT options out there already. I can also see a new life for Beats branded headphones with built in iPod....with Siri controls.

  • Reply 66 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    netmage said:
    I have literally never plugged anything into the 3.5mm jack in any iPhone (since 2007) and doubt if I'm alone. All those that spend hundreds on headphones and think they are more than a negligible minority are deluded themselves. I would easily bet the majority of Jack users use the included phones from Apple and will continue to do so. 
    If there is a negligible market for high end headphones why are there so many of them and why did Apple spend $3 billion on Beats?
  • Reply 67 of 204
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    cnocbui said:
    Meanwhile the Samsung S7 will reportedly include the best portable device DAC ever made with 129dB dynamic range and -120dB (0.0001%) harmonic distortion.


    Samsung Electronics warns of tough 2016 amid fourth-quarter outlook concerns
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-samsung-elec-outlook-idUSKBN0UI06920160104

    I am aware of that.  The significance escapes me.

  • Reply 68 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    The biggest issue I have with a wireless or bluetooth connection vs wired is there is a latency in Bluetooth that makes it impossible to play/hear in realtime musical instruments.
    That's an edge case. For listening to music, playing games, making calls, etc., BT headsets have already minimized latency to the point where it is justified by the convenience of wireless.
  • Reply 69 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    And you assume everyone will just cough up for all of this because I guess we're all a bunch of iSheep that buy whatever Apple sells? The number of people that use the headphone jack every day vastly outweighs those who had 30-pin accessories or Mac users that still needed the Ethernet port or optical drive. This is a very risky move. And if it's just about money as you claim, if you've figured that out everyone else will too which would cause resentment could cause fewer iPhones sales if people choose to keep what they have or switch to something else.
    Your CONCERN TROLLING for Apple is touching.
  • Reply 70 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    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've bought a new iPhone every year since the first model came out in 2007. I've also owned several iPods. I've never had either a 30-pin or Lightning cable wear out or break. Some people are just unnecessarily rough and careless with their electronics.
    jax44pscooter63muppetry
  • Reply 71 of 204
    Can anyone answer this question for me? Why hasn't anyone manufactured a working, fully reversible, usb-c to lightning cable? Or even a fully reversible usb-c to micro usb-c? It seems to be the holy grail at the moment. Currently, usb-c to lightning can be daisy chained with an adapter, but their is no stand alone solution. Thoughts?
  • Reply 72 of 204
    rogifan_old said: 

    All of which 1) should make people question this rumor and 2) IF it is true assume a lot of research was done before the decision was made. Something like this could absolutely impact iPhone sales in a negative way. LOTS more people use the headphone jack than used 30-pin accessories. And people that have expensive headphones aren't going to toss those for new lightening or BT ones, they'll either not upgrade their phone or get a different phone.On the flip side though, if most iPhone owners use the included EarPods then they'll just use whatever replacement Apple puts in the box so I don't see how this is a big money maker for Apple.
    The compatibility issue for existing/high-end headphones can be mitigated with a simple adapter. I'm sure Apple will consider carefully whether to include said adapter for free or sell it for the usual $39 as a high-margin accessory. As you noted, most users will just use the included earbuds which will then use a Lightning connector. Nothing about this scenario should turn away a significant number of prospective iPhone buyers, though the usual suspects will be complaining that Apple is doomed.

    It would be nice, though, if Apple made the effort to show some real world benefit from this change, other than some infinitesimal reduction in thickness that nobody cares about except Jony Ive's team. Water resistance would be a huge benefit, but I can't imagine a truly water resistant iPhone until they get rid of the Lightning port as well. 

    It's ludicrous to suggest that we should be stuck with the 3.5mm jack forever, yet that is precisely what's being implied by all the whiners.

    iPod touch and some Android phones are thinner than iPhone yet use the 3.5mm headphone jack. It's unfortunate that these rumors run with the thinness angle when we have no evidence that's the reason for this change. And of course this completely ignores the camera.
  • Reply 73 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    I love Bluetooth for the convenience of no wires, but last time I checked, Bluetooth use is not allowed on aircraft and it is disabled in Airplane mode. Good luck listening to music on some nice Noise Cancelling headphones on a long haul flight.
    I use BT headphones on flights all the time and have seen plenty of others doing the same. Airplane mode disables cellular, wifi, and bluetooth. However, wifi and bluetooth can be re-enabled without turning off Airplane mode.
  • Reply 74 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    codog24 said:

    To have to either move away from those investments or settle for a kludgy plug-your-headphones-into-a-dongle-that-plugs-into-your-iPhone setup would be a major deterrent to buying a new phone for many users. 

    As a user, I don't want to have to make a choice between my investment in existing headphones and a new iPhone. As an Apple investor, i don't want anything to stand in the way of the sale of as many iOS devices as possible. From every angle that i can currently see, this would be a bad move. 
    Since when has Apple ever offered a "kludgy" solution? Any Lightning to 3.5mm adapter will be virtually invisible to you as a user, and it will prevent you from having to make the choice of sacrifice your existing investment, for likely around $20.

    i don't use a wired headphone at all, except for ocassionally the free one Apple gave me in the box, when my BT headphones are charging and I don't want to use the speaker. And rest assured Apple will give away a new set of Lightning earbuds as well, making the inconvenience for the majority of their customers minimal.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 75 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    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. 
    rogifan_oldmuppetry
  • Reply 76 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    cnocbui said:
    cnocbui said:
    Meanwhile the Samsung S7 will reportedly include the best portable device DAC ever made with 129dB dynamic range and -120dB (0.0001%) harmonic distortion.


    Samsung Electronics warns of tough 2016 amid fourth-quarter outlook concerns
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-samsung-elec-outlook-idUSKBN0UI06920160104

    I am aware of that.  The significance escapes me.

    The significance is that Samsung has a long history of bragging about specs and gimmicks that turn out to be not very useful in real life, and that their ongoing struggles illustrate the failure of this strategy.

    Putting aside Samsung for the moment, hi-fi audio is an ultra-niche market that has no bearing on the sale of iPhones. The vast majority of consumers cannot tell the difference in audio quality between an iPhone and an audiophile-grade player when using the same headphones and listening to the same music file in a double-blind test.

    Neil Young's $400 Pono hi-def music player loses to Apple's iPhone in blind audio test
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/02/02/neil-youngs-400-pono-hi-def-music-player-loses-to-apples-iphone-in-blind-audio-test
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 77 of 204
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,606member
    netmage said:
    I have literally never plugged anything into the 3.5mm jack in any iPhone (since 2007) and doubt if I'm alone. All those that spend hundreds on headphones and think they are more than a negligible minority are deluded themselves. I would easily bet the majority of Jack users use the included phones from Apple and will continue to do so. 
    If there is a negligible market for high end headphones why are there so many of them and why did Apple spend $3 billion on Beat. 



    Apple needed a jump start on their subscription music service. I think the hardware was secondary. 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 78 of 204
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    I'm starting to believe they are actually going to do this but the question I have is ... which headset do they throw in the box?  If they put wireless in there will always be people that aren't happy and want a wired alternative.  If they put lightning headphones in, there will always be people who want the wireless.  

    I'm guessing, like you, that they will put new wireless earbuds in the box and tout the futuristic aspects of that etc., but that still going to leave a lot of angry people who now have to pay hundreds of dollars for wired headphones.  They would be wise to announce new Beats lightning-based headphones on the same day, and have the capability to make that happen, but still ... the last pair of Beats I bought was $500.  

    People are NOT going to like this, whichever way Apple goes. 

    I know that personally I won't wear Bluetooth earbuds just on aesthetic grounds alone.  They look ridiculous with that stupid wire hanging under your chin.  And I'm not the type to walk around with a giant set of cans on my head either.  Neither of these are subtle, attractive or vey "Apple-like" options IMO.   

    No, Apple will NOT put wireless headphones in the box. Nor will they out in an adapter for those who do NOT use wired headphones at all. They will do what they always do, and put a Lightning equipped set of headphones in the box. The only time I use wired headphones, is on ocassion when I plug in the pair Apple gave me because my BT headphones are charging and I don't want to use the speaker. 

    And while this is mostly annectdotal, whenever I walk into a crowded public space and survey the people wearing earphones, they are almost always over 50% Apple's iconic white earbuds they got for free with their iPhone or iPod Touch purchase. I'm sure Apple knows this too. Another large majority are Beats headphones, and an increasing number of wireless headphones. For the majority of Apple's customers this is going to have minimal impact.

    where this is going to be a problem is for Apple customers who also use their Apple headphones with their iPads, and Macs. So legacy customers of those devices will have to buy adapters for the new headphones. Again not a problem generally for the customer who already likely has several pair of free Apple earbuds.
    freediverxmuppetry
  • Reply 79 of 204
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,355member
    kmanvan said:
    Rumblings out of East Asia again suggest Apple will ditch the industry standard 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a Bluetooth wireless/Lightning audio solution, potentially forcing customers invested in the stalwart format to purchase new gear. 
    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.

    Not hard to understand why apple would want to force more functionality of their phone to this garbage connector/cable.  Now people won't be able to use their own 3rd party, higher quality headphones and will be forced to spend more money in the "Sexy but you get to buy a new one every 90 days" Apple accessories business.

    I have both an iPhone and an Android phone.  Hate to say it but I think my years of spending too much for too little on Apple stuff is coming to an end.  Android is a lot more flexible and I've only once had to buy a replacement microUSB cord... as opposed to the $x00s of dollars I've been forced to spend on their garbage lightning cables over just the last 2-3 years.

    Sorry, but you're completely full of shit. I've never damaged or broken a SINGLE lightning cable, and I've had some for years. Sure, it's possible to do so if you're an animal who chooses to twist and stretch them, maintain high pressure at extreme angles, etc. But "light usage"? Sorry, but no. Maybe learn how to take care of your products. Oh, and that being said, The Apple Store will GLADLY replace any 1st party cable you buy from them if damaged. My cat chewed one of my lightning cables once, I took it back to the Apple Store, and they swapped it no Qs asked. This is a well known policy, and I fail to see how this supports your "they want to milk you for all you're worth" theory. 

    Overpriced? No, not really, considering they have authentication circuitry inside, and tend to be much better built than 3rd party cables that are a few bucks cheaper. Just switch to Android (like all the others in this thread "threatening" to do so, every single time Apple moves forward) and spare us your sensationalism and dishonest whining. 
    edited January 2016 freediverxjax44canukstormnolamacguymuppetry
  • Reply 80 of 204
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    davidw said:
    If there is a negligible market for high end headphones why are there so many of them and why did Apple spend $3 billion on Beat. 



    Apple needed a jump start on their subscription music service. I think the hardware was secondary. 
    I tend to agree that the Beats music service was the primary motivation for the acquisition, but I don't think Apple would have paid anywhere near $3 billion if not for the highly profitable line of headphones that came with the deal. In 2013 Beats had over $1 billion in sales, and their margins on headphones is reportedly astronomical. The headphone business alone will likely allow Apple to recoup their acquisition cost within four or five years.
    edited January 2016
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