When iPhone 7 was launched a lot of questions were raised for the Apple’s move on removing the historic 3.5mm jack for its new device. To address this issue Apple’s marketing chief had stated that “It really comes down to one word: courage. The courage to move on to do something new that betters all of us.” But if one digs deeper, ‘courage’ doesn’t seem to be the right word for this new step.
Apple claims the main reasons to be; courage to advance into wireless technology. The jack was said to be removed to create more space on the phone so that new features can be added .And lastly, Schiller described the Air Pods as small, lightweight and easy to connect and stated “vision of how audio can be”.
But the benefits for the consumer do not seem that promising. The connection is now made through a lightning port which makes most of the headphones incompatible and one requires a small adapter to connect other wired headphones. Also one cannot connect the wired earpiece while charging. The removal of 3.5mm jack doesn’t look overwhelming to the users. Apple has not introduced a wireless charging which has become a common affair in flagship phones today but removed its 3.5 mm jack. The big WHY still exists?
I phone 7 doesn’t come with any wireless headphone .The AirPods have to be bought separately and it sells at a whopping $159.And Apple currently owns Beats,the number one Bluetooth headphone company. Beats announced three new wireless headphones; the Solo 3 Wireless ($299.95), the Powerbeats 3 sports earbuds ($199.95), and a neck-wraparound called the Beats X ($149.95).Both Airpods and Beats will certainly make the most out of this situation.
More to that, any company that manufactures Lightning headphones has to pay a royalty fee for the Apple’s licensing to make the product. Apple gets a cut on Lightning headphones no matter who makes and sells them.
The reasons are speculative yet factual. So to explain the reason behind the current scenario, ‘Courage’ doesn’t seem to fit the case but ‘strategic business decision’ may be more accurate. At present, the removal of 3.5 mm jack does imply a win but the win appears to be more inclined towards the Bluetooth headphone companies rather than the consumers.