R.I.P. Apple’s headphone jack

R.I.P. Apple's headphone jack

Grant Campbell

Christopher Walker, Editor-in-Chief

One week ago, Apple unveiled the new iteration of its flagship product, the iPhone 7. If there is one defining characteristic of this new phone, it is Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack.

From here on out, if you want to listen to wired headphones with your iPhone, you need to plug in an adapter that goes into the phone’s charging port. Otherwise, it’s time to buy a pair of wireless, Bluetooth headphones.

Although Apple includes an adapter in every phone, the intention is clear: Apple is attempting to bring the world one step closer to its vision of the future, a future apparently without wires.  

Although the California-based company came off as at least a little full of themselves (they called the decision to remove the headphone jack “courageous”), Apple has a proven track record of killing obsolete technology.

When Apple discontinued their old chargers and brought in the lightning port, people revolted. They swore to never buy another Apple product again and that the company was greedy for making their customers buy all new chargers. Then, in time, people forgot the old charger ever existed.

When Apple killed the optical drive (DVD/CD) in their laptops, people were outraged. Now, it’s almost universally accepted that the decision was the right one. People prefer their laptops to be lighter and thinner.

Now, with Apple’s latest decision to kill off the headphone jack, people are once again up in arms, kicking and screaming and vowing that they will go Android before they go wireless.

Whether you like the company or not, the changes Apple makes to its hardware oftentimes become the industry standard. That’s the nature of technology: it changes. Its intention is to progress. To get mad at this company for making changes to their product is a fundamental misunderstanding of what a technology company needs to do to stay relevant.
There’s a legitimate argument to be made that perhaps a totally wireless world isn’t the future, Apple’s vision isn’t the correct one by default. However, it’s far more likely that, given time, this will be regarded as a good decision, albeit one that will take some getting used to. More often than not, Apple’s vision of the future has become our present.