The iPhone 7 is here!
You know what’s not, though? The 3.5mm headphone jack.
Apple’s design omission was so shocking that everyone probably knows about this feature -- or lack thereof -- of the new iPhone. Instead, Apple has provided a multi-purpose lightning port that is compatible with the Apple-provided charger as well as the new lightning earbuds provided with the purchase of the iPhone 7. Also, Apple is being *considerate* of its customers by providing a complimentary 3.5mm adapter, so your $300 earbuds that you may or may not bought recently won’t be futile. In addition, the company is also promoting another accessory product for added convenience: wireless EarPods for a whopping $160.
Apple thinks the problem is solved. This multi-billion-dollar company has decided to change the game with a mere release of a best-selling product, providing more fees for those who are unwilling to change.
But, do we like the change? No. Some might argue that this change is parallel to Apple’s previous decision to switch to the smaller lightning port in their products; people resisted the change, but they still liked the product nonetheless. But others -- including me -- argue otherwise, and it’s more than the fact that we can’t listen to our phones and charge at the same time.
When Apple switched the wide charging port to the lightning port, everyone was complaining because it was an inconvenience that they couldn’t use their old iPhone chargers anymore, but that was it. That charging cable’s sole function was to charge Apple iPhones and iPods, and the port was unique to only Apple products.
The headphone jack is another story. I think it is safe to say that the 3.5mm headphone jack is a relatively universal port. Every commercial and entertainment-related portable devices you can ever think of from the past twenty years has the 3.5mm headphone jack -- those portable CD players, boomboxes, Nokia phones, iPods, workout machines… Even your current laptop has the headphone jack! One huge investment in an excellent pair of headphones or earbuds suffices the public’s necessity to listen while on the go. It’s very practical. We’ve never even thought about it -- we took the headphone jack for granted.
Now, with Apple’s removal of the headphone jack (and if it hasn’t been obvious, Apple is a MAJOR supplier of today’s phones), we as users have to yield to one of five situations:
1. Bring two headphones… You know one for your MacBook (or PC, or for whatever) and one for your iPhone.
It’s not like it’s super inconvenient to go study and then workout and then run errands with two earbuds or anything. Nope.
2. Insert that 3.5mm adapter, keep it in at all times, and then have to remove it and plug in your charger, wait for it to fully charge, and then re-insert your adapter again.
Major emphasis on not forgetting to re-insert your 3.5mm adapter, or else you’ll cry a little bit on the inside when your friends offer your the aux cord but then realize that you can’t display your great music tastes, because iPhone 7. Oh and you’ll also cry a little bit in your car while running errands when you realize that you can’t play music from your iPhone, because aux cord and iPhone 7.
3. Buy a $49, subjectively ugly, potentially unappealing case for your iPhone 7
All problems solved, except you’ll have an exceptionally bulky case that’s expensive to go along with your also super-expensive headphones that you thought you could show off everywhere you go.
4. Buy the wireless EarPods.
And let this be you.
5. Be aggressive AF and drill a hole in your new iPhone.
Now, the headphone jack can smoothly slide into your iPhone. Beware of potential performance issues of your iPhone after doing so, though (aka, rip @ your iPhone).
All are awkward and not ideal. It’s like Apple is trying to monopolize the wearable/daily-use tech industry, trying to move it in the direction that they want to go. It's fine, except that they made a huge mistake -- they forgot to put the convenience of their users into consideration. Let’s also note that Apple’s rise to becoming a multi-billion-dollar company was due to its user-friendly computer platform as well. Hmm… isn’t that something to think about, Apple?