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Iphone Cellphones Handhelds

Pursuit of Slenderness May Mean No More Headphone Jack In iPhone 7 (pcmag.com) 412

An intriguing rumor reported by PC Mag (and initially reported in this Japanese blog) holds that Apple may drop the standard headphone jack from the next revision of the iPhone, in favor of Bluetooth and Lightning connectors. From PC Mag's article: The big question is just how such a move might affect all the other headphones one can buy, as well as the other devices Apple makes. While we can envision some manufacturers making iPhone-exclusive variants of their headphones, we doubt that Apple's potential decision to chop out the headphone jack is going to suddenly make for a market full of Lightning-only headphones and earbuds. There are, after all, plenty of non-iPhone devices that still use the 3.5mm connection. And, of course, you could just pair any ol' pair of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds with the iPhone 7.
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Pursuit of Slenderness May Mean No More Headphone Jack In iPhone 7

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  • converter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:06AM (#51020957)

    As with virtually any apple device, there will be a $75 piece manufactured for 85 cents that will be a lightning to headphone jack connection.

    As with the other lightning connectors, if you plug it into your mac it will crash when it wakes on sleep.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... before long Apple will put in an 'identity tag detector' inside their new iPhone and only their own brand headphones have the tag - and without the tag the headphone won't work

      • by kupekhaize ( 220804 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:20AM (#51020971) Homepage

        I hate to say it, but they already have a "Made for iPhone" program where there are special chips the iDevices are looking for, and if they don't find it they will complain the accessory may not work properly:

        http://www.iphonehacks.com/201... [iphonehacks.com]

        Last I heard it never went past fear mongering but was still annoying. I can't remember if there was a way to disable it or not but I'm sure if so it was on by default.

        • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @01:00PM (#51022069)

          I hate to say it, but they already have a "Made for iPhone" program where there are special chips the iDevices are looking for, and if they don't find it they will complain the accessory may not work properly:

          http://www.iphonehacks.com/201... [iphonehacks.com]

          Last I heard it never went past fear mongering but was still annoying. I can't remember if there was a way to disable it or not but I'm sure if so it was on by default.

          That's nothing new. It's been around for a long time. I had a 2nd gen ipod touch. Apple wanted like $50 for their composite A/V cable (with the red/white/yellow connectors) so you could play video back on an old analog TV. Instead I went onto ebay and bought one for $3.50 that worked perfectly. Or at least it did work perfectly, until IOS 4.0 (I think that was the version, but maybe it was 3.0) was released. Then whenever the cable was connected, it would pop up that error message. You could still use the audio out on the cable, but the video portion was useless (I don't remember if it completely stopped working or was just useless because it showed the error message on your TV). The only way to get video out was to buy a new ridiculously priced official cable that had their DRM chip inside.

    • Re:converter (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:45AM (#51021035)

      there will be a $75 piece manufactured for 85 cents that will be a lightning to headphone jack connection.

      The only reason Apple keeps doing this is because people keep purchasing their stuff, whatever the price (well, maybe not you I reckon).

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by melatonin ( 443194 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:08AM (#51020959)

    This would mean a DAC, headphone amp, and batteries in every headphone.

  • funny and sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    Apple is slowly but surely becoming a parody of itself.

  • Real bad news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:24AM (#51020981)

    Really excellent headphones use the standard jacks, and will not be converting over. Grado, Audiotechnica, and many others simply do not have a funny little iphone connector, and likely never will. While I'm sure there will be some dumb converter you can buy, who wants to keep that crap in their pocket, or attached to their headphones (which you will have to track carefully when plugged into a normal outlet).

    It's true that mostly I listen on little crappy remote earbuds, but that's absolutely not the case that this is ALL I want to listen to.

    Moving to this will remove my ability to use real headphones on Apple phones. That's totally shit.

    • Re:Real bad news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sd4f ( 1891894 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:27AM (#51020991)
      I think this is the main thing, the inertia on quality headphones using 3.5mm plugs just makes this a silly decision. Additionally, there's just a point where getting a phone thinner is just being silly. Give me better battery life over a thinner device. Problem is the industry appears to be dead set against progressing beyond a 1 day battery.
      • Re:Real bad news (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:58AM (#51021063) Homepage

        Plenty of Android phones have multiple days of battery life. My rather cheap but rather good OnePlus One can go for three or four days on a charge, for example. It's more than thin enough.

        I'd rather have a slightly thicker (+1mm) phone with:

        - Micro SIM*
        - Micro SD card
        - Headphone jack
        - Strap loop
        - Qi wireless charging
        - >3000mAh battery
        - USB C connector
        - Supports all bands (or at least Europe and Japan)
        - Factory rooted / unlocked with TWRP installed

        • That sounds like a nice phone, but I think that most people just want a phone that looks cool and "just works". Those are the folks who end up buying or financing a new iPhone.

          I'm sure a bunch of Slashdot members want a phone like that, but there probably isn't enough of us to mass producing a phone worthwhile.

        • You must not use the screen much. It's rated around the same as the iPhone 6. [gsmarena.com] I've yet to find a really high-capacity phone, though "phablets" like yours have a lot more room for battery. So, if you don't use the ginormous, power-draining screen then you will get a lot more time on standby or talk.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            I use the screen a fair bit. What benchmarks usually fail to measure is standby time. If they do measure it, the do it wrong.

        • I always add a case that can accept a strap loop. Or I mod it. The wallet cases made of leather can accept a grommet. Punch one in and cut out the hole inside. Then I loop a neck lanyard through it. The lanyard is usually connected to the belt. It is long enough to reach the ear, but not long enough to hit the floor if it is jostled out or if I drop it. Many people laugh at my Dilbert level of dorkiness.

          But once in a while I catch a well dressed young person using a phone with screen cracked like a sun bur

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Forgot the *...

          * Nano SIMs are a pain in the arse. They are slightly thinner than Micro SIMs, so you can't just cut a larger SIM down to size. Well, you can, but it will be a really tight fit and be prone to getting stuck.

      • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

        Apple's move to the larger "plus" option did so very much to help battery life. I also think that there are Androids available with more than a single day, but I'll concede it's rare in general.

        I think it's nuts to swap out the headphone jack for any reason at all. I also really think that the "thin" thing is overdone- I already consider any of the larger breed phones too fragile without a case, so you could make it as thin as a card and I'd still need to wrap it in plastic so it doesn't bend and die.

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          Most of the people I know with the 6s and 6s plus already have cases with an extra battery included. It makes it much thicker than the device itself but then people really seem more interested in survivability and battery life than thinness.

          • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

            This. "I would buy an iPhone if it were only thinner," said no one ever.

            What would make me upgrade my iPhone 6S to the iPhone 7 rather than skipping two generations and buying the iPhone 8? Give me the ability to carry my phone for a two week trip, using it the way I do now, without having to charge it.

            By contrast, there's something bordering on pure insanity about the notion of taking away the headphone jack that many of us use very heavily in our cars while charging the device just so that Apple's engin

      • I think this is the main thing, the inertia of quality keyboards using PS/2|ADB plugs just makes this a silly decision.

        I think this is the main thing, the inertia of quality printers using a Parallel port just makes this a silly decision.

        The 3.5mm jack has had a good run. They figured out how to shoehorn in stereo and a microphone. Let it go.

      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        My iPhone lasts 3 days with moderate e-mail and web surfing use, occasional text and phone calls. I'm sure if you're on the phone all day, it would last only a day but that has been true since the inception of the cell phone. I remember the old bricks that weighed close to a kg, the Nokia's, the SonyEricsson's, the Motorola's lasted only a few days with moderate use (and very tiny screens). You can still buy a 'dumb phone' or 'feature phones' with modern battery technology and those might last a few days to

    • Really excellent headphones use the standard jacks, and will not be converting over. Grado, Audiotechnica, and many others simply do not have a funny little iphone connector, and likely never will. While I'm sure there will be some dumb converter you can buy, who wants to keep that crap in their pocket, or attached to their headphones (which you will have to track carefully when plugged into a normal outlet).

      It's true that mostly I listen on little crappy remote earbuds, but that's absolutely not the case that this is ALL I want to listen to.

      Moving to this will remove my ability to use real headphones on Apple phones. That's totally shit.

      I agree with you on the lightning connector, vendor specific connectors always suck, but then I expect all the high end manufacturers like Sennheiser, Bose and friends to offer a lightning variant of their proper full sized headphones and if you are an Audiophile you'll not be a stranger to paying in pounds of flesh for good quality headphones. I switched to Bluetooth headphones years ago because I kept losing corded ones to metal fatigue. I tried re-soldering the connectors which was a bitch because of the

    • Apple bought Beats. They make good headphones. My guess is that Apple will say, "There's at least one vendor who makes really excellent [opinions may vary, I'm stating this from Apple's perspective] headphones. Buy those." And enough of the market will accept that to make yet another piece of hardware be Apple exclusive.

      • This is precisely correct.

        Apple have made the lightning microcontroller proprietary and directly licensed only from themselves (as anyone who has seen the "this accessory is not supported" error when trying to charge their idevice can tell you). They have now purchased a headphones manufacturer, so the next logical step is to force users to purchase either their own hardware, or hardware which earns them a licensing fee.

        This is about device lock-in; an attempt to create monopolistic conditions legally (if

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      For real audiophiles, it may not be a bad thing. iPhone audio jacks are less than ideal for driving high-end headphones. The reason is that on smartphones, audio jack outputs have plenty of compromises to make : they must be light, cheap, have an impedance that works for both headphones and line output and avoid using too much power.
      A digital connection to a proper headphone amp would be probably be better if you really want high quality.

      I agree that if you just want convenience and decent quality, it sucks

  • Surprised no-one mentioned this:

    http://appleinsider.com/articl... [appleinsider.com]

    • That's ridiculous, especially considering that the 2.5mm stereo jack IS ALREADY A THING. They've been used for ages in phones for headsets too.

    • It isn't forward OR backward compatible with the standard 3.5mm plug or jack, so why try to copy the physical appearance of one?

      If Apple is really stupid/evil enough to discard the only industry standard connector their phones actually use, then why not design something entirely new, like they did with the lightning connector?

  • I remember owning several devices including a Sony Walkman with a dongle style remote control into which you could plug headphones. Though those devices did still have a 3.5mm jack next to their proprietary connectors.

    I think a return of that is far more likely than Apple forcing headphone makers to incorporate the DAC and amplification stages into each of their devices.

    • Apple forcing headphone makers to incorporate the DAC and amplification stages into each of their devices.

      Don't forget the battery.

  • Airplane Mode (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I don't think that the FAA will make an exception for iPhone7 Bluetooth usage on board planes... So no more silly inflight playlists (in the air tonight, jefferson airplane, top gun)... ;)

    • No-one on a plane has ever questioned the small square bluetooth device clipped onto my collar, or the headphone cable coming from it.

      I really hope they don't become mainstream.

    • Don't forget Laurie Anderson - From the Air.

      This was actually available on LAN flights from the in-flight entertainment system years ago. Always wondered if somebody just screwed up, or if somebody shared my sense of humour.

  • They plan plan on using Lightning or Bluetooth as replacements? That's all well and good, but lightning prevents you from charging the device and also listening to anything, while Bluetooth sucks up battery life and works on a crowded spectrum. Is that really worth the extra 0.3mm? Genuinely curious, I would prefer they work on a better battery life or on durability instead, but does anyone want an iPhone thinner than what they currently offer???
  • If 3.5 jack cannot fit, what will the new iphone made of, to prevent another bendgate issue? Maybe a flexible iphone is the solution...
  • by laserhead ( 4279745 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @06:56AM (#51021059)
    We need more battery life!
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2014/06/05/apple-to-abandon-headphone-jack-suddenly-beats-deal-makes-sense/ [forbes.com] - hey just 1.5 years ago, the same was claimed about the iPhone 6.

    And the rumor was totally on point. Not about the dropping of the jack part of course, but that there would be active headphones for the Lightning connector.

    But maybe Apple will finally cut the jack in half? http://apple.slashdot.org/story/11/08/18/1736235/apple-patents-cutting-35mm-jack-in-half [slashdot.org]

  • Wow! People on a diet (Pursuit of Slenderness) won't get no more headphones?

  • by areusche ( 1297613 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @07:35AM (#51021143)

    I miss the good 'ol days of 2004-5 when smartphone innovation was huge. Nowadays what's left to innovate? There isn't much room left for Apple to do anything nifty besides up the memory and processor speed. Smartphones are so boring these days. The last phone I was excited for was the Droid 4 and iPhone 4 and the marginal software updates for each applicable platform. What is a mobile hardware geek to do?

    I'd love it if some phone manufacturer made a device that was truly secure and could detect when it was being connected to a StingRay device used by law enforcement. Now that's an exciting innovation!

    Brb, checking out the Blackberry Priv.

    • by SJ2000 ( 1128057 )
      Improved privacy and reduced attack surface, sadly enough.
    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      I would like to see more tactile feedback. And I am not talking about the iPhone version of the "taptic engine" which is just an oversized vibration motor.
      By tactile feedback I mean actually feeling objects on the screen, like the keys on a virtual keyboard. I want to be able to do basic actions by touch only, without looking at the screen, like with physical buttons.

  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @07:59AM (#51021201) Homepage Journal

    The original goal of the fashion industry and catwalk models was simply to promote slim women - women who were a healthy weight. This was fair enough, and a decent goal - the happy medium. But the fashion industry didn't stop there. They became psychotic about thinness until the point where they now fetishize anorexic women who are very far from attractive and need to see a fucking doctor.

    This seems to be what is happening with smartphones. The first iPhone was somewhat slim and just about right. The boasts about how slim it was were *in relation to* other thicker models at the time; not just about slimness *per se*. It was still a happy medium between slender attractiveness/lack of bulkiness, and utility. But the smartphone industry, led by Apple, is going the way of the fashion industry. It is now led by UX designers with a psychotic obsession with thinness because "that's attractive". Well if some iPhone user comes up to me with a credit card-width phone I'm going to say that my LG G3 is better. Not just because I have a proper headphone jack, replacable SIM card, SD card slot, and replacable battery. But also because the thing actually feels substantial when I hold it. I don't WANT it to be thinner. I don't WANT it to be the anorexic of smartphones.

    All I can say is I hope some smartphone manufacturers break rank and start advertising that they are NOT trying to make their phones thinner than 1cm. If Apple want to do that, it's their funeral. I want a decent thickness phone with a good number of features and a decent battery life.

    • The original goal of the fashion industry and catwalk models was simply to promote slim women - women who were a healthy weight. This was fair enough, and a decent goal - the happy medium. But the fashion industry didn't stop there. They became psychotic about thinness until the point where they now fetishize anorexic women who are very far from attractive and need to see a fucking doctor.

      Yeah, I've heard two competing theories and I think they're both right, albeit more the first one than the second one. The first one is that when women are attractive people look at the women and not the clothes, so they wanted women who are more like a clothes hanger. Second, the influence of the homosexual fashion designer, who doesn't want to look at women anyway. (I know queers who like to look at boobs, so it's not all of them, but I also have met queers who seem to have a problem with women. It's a lumpy world.)

      • The original goal of the fashion industry and catwalk models was simply to promote slim women - women who were a healthy weight. This was fair enough, and a decent goal - the happy medium. But the fashion industry didn't stop there. They became psychotic about thinness until the point where they now fetishize anorexic women who are very far from attractive and need to see a fucking doctor.

        Yeah, I've heard two competing theories and I think they're both right, albeit more the first one than the second one. The first one is that when women are attractive people look at the women and not the clothes, so they wanted women who are more like a clothes hanger. Second, the influence of the homosexual fashion designer, who doesn't want to look at women anyway. (I know queers who like to look at boobs, so it's not all of them, but I also have met queers who seem to have a problem with women. It's a lumpy world.)

        Or it's like the peacocks tail, guys don't like thinness because it's healthy, they like it because it's difficult to achieve. In our society there's a huge excess of calories and the standard person tends to be overweight. If you manage to be thin in that environment it suggests you're a higher quality mate because you've achieved a difficult task.

        Supposedly a bit of fat tends to be attractive in societies with low food security, that would be completely consistent with this mechanism.

        • Thin women are considered more attractive generally, even in countries with low food security.

          https://peerj.com/articles/115... [peerj.com]

          "Participants from three Caucasian populations (Austria, Lithuania and the UK), three Asian populations (China, Iran and Mauritius) and four African populations (Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal) rated attractiveness of a series of female images varying in fatness (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR). There was an inverse linear relationship between physical attractiveness and body

  • Apple wouldn't mind selling you a $200 pair of Beats headphone to fit your iPhone. And they wouldn't mind if these work only with other iStuff. But if your brand new $200 Beats won't plug into your MacBook, that's a problem.
  • by hsa ( 598343 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @08:33AM (#51021297)
    Yeah, right. This has nothing to do with selling overpriced accessories.
  • Typical of Apple: form over function. Throw away one of the very few remaining universal devices/connectors.

    • I can't be the only one who has been disappointed for over 30 years by the 3.5mm headphone connector. I think the failure mode for every set of headphones that I've ever had has been the stupid 3.5mm connector (or worse, the socket in the device). I don't have an iPhone, so I don't really have a dog in this fight - but I'll be thrilled if this leads to better connectors for headphones.

  • Thinner means less sturdy and easier to bend and break. Honestly, how long 'til iPhones crumple when you pocket them?

    Now that would actually be an interesting /. poll for a change: Do people actually WANT slimmer phones?

    • Flexible electronics and screens exist (if only in the lab).

      How about a phone you can fold a few times to have a nice form factor to hold when making a call, then unfold and put on the table for some browsing, after that roll up and stick in your bag.

      Sounds convenient to me.

  • Dear Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grahamtriggs ( 572707 ) on Sunday November 29, 2015 @09:25AM (#51021437)

    If the 3.5mm jack is restricting you from making the device thinner, then use the "unnecessary" space for high battery capacity.

    Hell, just make the device a tiny bit thicker and increase the battery life anyway.

    Just because Jony Ive is a twat that craves how things look over how they function, a substantial part of your user base (and potential user base), actually give a shit about having a device that can be used consistently without dying in under 24 hours, and might even last more than a day without charging.

    To an extent we will trade battery life for increased functionality, but an even thinner device isn't more functional. We want more battery life.

  • The fallout could be really bad. If Apple gives people lightning headphones, most people will just deal. And there will be a market for Lightning-to-minijack adaptors. And those adaptors will cost way more than the headphones themselves, and they'll be as unreliable as Apple's magsafe-to-magsafe2 converter. But where it's really going to go bad is if people have to deal with heavy earphones with crappy battery life. They'll be heavy because of the rechargable battery, but they'll run out of charge in a few

  • Many high-end "mobile" earphones are "IOS"-centric, in that their control buttons or microphone will only work with IOS devices. While the earphones will work with Android, the buttons for volume or skip won't work. I see this so many times on Sennheiser and other high-end products. They don't make Android-compatible controls, only IOS. Thankfully, BlueTooth is, for the most part, OS-agnostic, so the buttons function as they should regardless of device.
  • How many people use these phones in its all original slender splendor? 99% of them add a case. Some of them pay token respect to the slenderness as a concept. Some go the other way and make it conspicuously bulky to invoke a feeling of ruggedness. Some add covers that lets you a few credit cards and driving license, gym membership card or bus passes. Some of the ladies clutch purses have a holder to pack the phone inside along with assorted things that must be carried at all times. You never know when you s
  • Perhaps there is another explanation, the goal of a waterproof phone. I've been following the patents that Apple has been taking out on Liquid Metal, and believe the goal is to create a completely sealed phone. There have been rumors that the lightning port is already waterproof. If so eliminating the other big open port, the mini jack, would make sense.

    http://www.cultofmac.com/20044... [cultofmac.com]

    And yes the buttons are an issue, but Apple has many patents related to liquid metal that have waterproofing implications a

  • The only thing I'm using the USB plug on my phone for is charging (I've used it for file transfer but that was mostly as I was too lazy to pair the Bluetooth instead).

    With wireless charging options available already, the logical next step would be to create a phone with no external connections. Everything wireless. The only thing I don't have a ready solution for is the SIM card (I don't consider the US way of SIM-less, carrier-locked phones a solution). After that making phones waterproof becomes easy as w

  • All it does is make phones suck more. 99% of the buying public if you ask them... "do you want a thinner phone or a phone that will last 2 days on a charge?"
    all of them will say, "give me the longer lasting charge."

    We don't want thinner, we want more battery capacity. The number 1 flaw with the One Plus X is that it's battery life utterly sucks. Well number 2.. Number 1 is that it's a 3G only phone in most of the United states as they were complete retards at OnePlus and did not set it up fo

  • Well, it works for me on the condition that the adaptor is provided in the box.

    I know some people want more battery life and find a thinner phone anathema, but Apple's phones get about the same battery life from model to modelâ"10-14 hoursâ"while being thinner. So they tend not to regress significantly. I only need about that much, so a thinner phone is a bonus for me. For other people, external battery cases let you have the thicker phone you want and provide an enormous battery boost. I've heard

  • So if you have a room, say about the size of a 737, with a few laptops going, using the WiFi and a bunch of people with this new fangled iPhone thingy. Is there enough bandwidth? 25Mbps sounds like a lot, but when shared, is it enough?

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