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Apple To Unveil 'AirPods' That Use Custom Bluetooth Chip (macrumors.com) 274

It's no secret that Apple is planning to remove the headphone jack in its upcoming flagship smartphones. A new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which confirms rumors that Apple will indeed remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 to improve the device's water resistance, suggests that Apple is developing earbuds called "AirPods" that will employ its own Bluetooth-like communication chip. Mac Rumors reports: "First and foremost, as has been rumored, Kuo suggests Apple is working on its own Bluetooth-like communication chip and its own Bluetooth headphones. Previous information suggests the Bluetooth chip will improve battery performance for longer battery life. The chip may be included in the wireless earbuds Apple has in development, which are said to be Bragi Dash-style wireless Bluetooth earbuds that are entirely wire free. The earbuds will be called "AirPods," based on trademark filings that have been discovered, and the product could be unveiled as early as September 7 alongside the iPhone 7. According to Kuo, Apple will sell its Apple-branded Bluetooth headphones alongside its Beats line of headphones, targeting the high-end market with the "AirPods" and the mid-range market with the Beats headphones. Kuo does not believe the company will package Bluetooth headphones with the iPhone 7. Instead, Apple is likely to ship the iPhone 7 with Lightning-based EarPods that feature a Lightning connector instead of a 3.5mm headphone jack."
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Apple To Unveil 'AirPods' That Use Custom Bluetooth Chip

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  • Basically (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kartu ( 1490911 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:06AM (#52839187)

    "Earlier, everyone could sell headphones for our devices, now we found a way to 'fix' that to 'improve device's water resistance'".

    • Re:horseshit (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:12AM (#52839199)

      'improve device's water resistance'

      Several phones have already been released (eg: Sony Z5) with exposed headphones sockets without compromising water resistance. Poor justification is poor.

      • Re: horseshit (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nosduharabrab>> on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:39AM (#52840189) Journal
        Let's not forget that Apple is no longer driven by the idea of making better products. Nobody is screaming that they want better water resistance - most would probably want them to take a step backwards and offer larger, replaceable batteries. That, of course, would mean more people keeping their phones longer. Seriously, did anyone that that a nonreplaceable battery was an advantage to anyone except Apple? If it's so great, why not do it with their laptops. This should properly be framed as a restraint of trade issue.
        • by 2ms ( 232331 )
          Why do you feel its competitors copying Apple by making unibody phones? The newest Samsungs are virtually indistinguishable from iPhone 6.
        • They may not be screaming they want better water resistance... However water damage and cracked displays are the big killer of cell phones.
          With the phones accidentally getting washed with laundry, falling into the "sink" or "tub" (they probably will never admit that it fell in the toilet)

          Then there is damage on the screen when it falls.

          That is why every generation of phone seems to be getter better glass and better waterproofing. Because if your iPhone dies outside the upgrade period you may not have the m

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          Apple has always been that way. Steve Jobs always wanted to make things into appliances that you didn't dig into the internals of from the beginning. Partly from aesthetics, partly out of making it feel magical, and partly because it makes people need to replace that stuff with new Apple products. Replacing your battery would never have made it into an iPhone. Ever. Not while Steve Jobs was alive, and probably not while Tim Cook is CEO either.

          If you know what you are getting with an Apple device, you w

      • 'improve device's water resistance'

        Several phones have already been released (eg: Sony Z5) with exposed headphones sockets without compromising water resistance. Poor justification is poor.

        My Kyocera HydroVIBE (released in 2014) has an exposed 3.5mm headphone jack is "Certified dust resistant and waterproof for IP57 (IPX5 and IPX7) - protection against dust and water immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to 3.28 feet (1 meter) of water." So, what is Apple trying to achieve?

      • by 2ms ( 232331 )
        Didn't Sony recall the Sony Z5, tell all its customers that it was just kidding about the phone being waterproof, and then get the crap sued out of itself for it? I actually literally have a friend who's Z5 failed just from getting some rain on it while he was hiking. Sony sent him a new one but the whole reason he had boughten it was that he thought it could go underwater, but it turned out to possibly actually be the least water tolerant phone he has ever owned.
    • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:59AM (#52839305)

      "Water resistance" is the most unique spelling of "vendor lock-in" I've ever seen.

      • Lightning cable manufacturers rarely tout their water resistance. And Lightning is a compelling case of lock-in.

        Not that micro-USB isn't also abuse of consumers. USB has always been expensive. Standardization, apparently, is either costly or profitable.

        Or both.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @04:40AM (#52839383)

      What it actually improves is third party accessory resistance.

    • Not only that they're going to cost shitloads if they're aimed at the high end market while beats (already massively overpriced) are the mid range.
    • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

      Just got out of the RDF. Would previously have believed their inevitable implication that this is the only decent way to make it water resistant, and would've believed the "we need the custom chip that we charge manufacturers a licensing fee for so that we can protect your device from being harmed by dodgy Chinese knockoffs" that I recall hearing about Lightning.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Bluetooth is an otherwise relatively available spec. My car speaks BT and I have cheap $2 (incl shipping) headphones that do so as well.

      I'm not sure who actually uses wired headphones still, I have various sets of wired headphones still in their package from a range of devices I've owned over time.

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        I use wired. They came with the phone. They work. They don't lose charge. I use BT in the car.

        • Quality headphones are wired. Bluetooth really sucks for high end audio. For listening to pop music in your Ford Focus, they're fine.

          Do. Not. Want.

          • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:00AM (#52839995)

            Do. Not. Want.

            Then Do. Not. Buy.

            Seriously if you don't like what Apple is doing buy something else that suits you. Apple products aren't supposed to be all things to all people. Personally the 3.5mm port of of little value to me (I'm not a big music listener) but I get why folks appreciate having it built in. What I think will happen is that you'll see a bunch of cases with an integrated 3.5mm jack. Since almost everyone puts a case on their phone anyway it makes reasonable sense. Then you don't have to carry a dongle with you if you use that jack routinely. Perhaps not quite as elegant as having it built in but a better solution than a dongle for many.

          • by jeadly ( 602916 )
            Why you raggin' on my Focus?
          • by guruevi ( 827432 )

            Headphones suck for high-end audio. You don't buy a set of headphones to listen to a concert piece in your car or on the bus. You can't power high-end headphones on the go or with your phone. The point is moot, this is for low-end music on the go, gaming and phone conversations, Bluetooth does just fine for that.

        • I use wired. They came with the phone. They work. They don't lose charge. I use BT in the car.

          This is one of my gripes. It's one more thing for me to have to keep charged. Wired headphones work just fine.

        • And while we're at it, why not throw in a digital TV tuner? TV and radio stations don't track you.
        • 'I use wired'

          'I use BT in the car.'

          This is the schizophrenia that leaves me wondering if you realize you could use one or the other, and be happy.

          Mind you, with the near-demise of manual shift in cars, wired headphones are tolerable, but aside from not hearing horns or the clank of an engine destroying itself, headphones in the car for a driver are a really, really bad idea. And wired phones with a manual shift is a SNL skit come to life.

          • I'm pretty sure he meant that he uses Bluetooth to get his music from the phone to the stereo built into the car, not headphones.

      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        Wireless in-ears have connection issues if, eg, your phone is on the other side of you, compared to the receiving ear-piece.

      • I'm already overwhelmed with devices to charge.. I have an eight port hub full of tablets and phones every night. I DON'T want to have to charge my headphones as well.
      • Re: Basically (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nosduharabrab>> on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:58AM (#52840263) Journal
        I use wired. They double as the FM radio antenna. Why pay for the dubious privilege of streaming music when there's a couple dozen radio stations locally?
      • People that give a shit about sound quality still use wired headphones. Bluetooth audio is lossy as fuck.

  • Brilliant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:07AM (#52839193)
    It's brilliant and simple. Apple customers will buy anything. They buy ridiculous "special" Apple chargers now. Why wouldn't they also buy "special" Apple headphones? Of course they will. By the tens of millions. Apple will make hundreds of millions on just these dumb, superfluous gadgets.
    • I currently have an iPhone 6S Plus for everyone in my family (5 devices). I bought them because my company offered an attractive subsidy for them and I get a discount on the company sponsored wireless plan. However, this is a bridge too far. I'm not buying all new headphones "just because" and I won't be beholden to Apple for something so simple and ubiquitous as ear buds and headphones. If they remove the headphone jack, these will definitely be my last iPhones. I won't run out and sell them, but whe

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        Come back in 5 years and let us know what you picked. Or even if you were able to find a similar-quality phone with a headphone jack.

        • Similar quality phone? Kind of hard. Who else is making shit that bends in your pocket or is too thin to hold properly or can't use earphones that need to be charged? They can't make game-changing stuff any more so now the name of the game is to change stuff just to milk the ever-smaller percentage of fans.
      • by 2ms ( 232331 )
        Have fun not owning a smartphone then. Every other phone on the market now seems to be an almost exact copy of the iPhone 6. Look at the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 -- indistinguishable aside from the pointless wrapping screen that people crack all the time. No way Samsung isn't going to go to USB-C -- the reversible connector that Apple designed and donated to the USB group.
    • It's brilliant and simple. Apple customers will buy anything. They buy ridiculous "special" Apple chargers now. Why wouldn't they also buy "special" Apple headphones? Of course they will. By the tens of millions. Apple will make hundreds of millions on just these dumb, superfluous gadgets.

      This comment becomes really funny if you're aware that its poster is an outspoken Windows Phone fanboy.

    • It's brilliant and simple. Apple customers will buy anything.

      Tell me, which Apple customer peed in your cereal this morning? If you want to critique Apple there are plenty of ways to do it that don't sound idiotic. Apple customers buy Apple products because *gasp* they like Apple products. Nobody buys Apple solely because it is made by Apple. No company can sell hundreds of millions of phones and computers if the product sucks. Much like Harley Davidson, Apple has cultivated a loyal fan base because they find value in what they sell. If it doesn't suit your ne

    • by 2ms ( 232331 )
      Are you saying you think headphone manufacturers will have difficulty making headphones with Lightning connectors?
  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:12AM (#52839197) Journal

    Lightning based headphones are just going to be an unreliable PITA.

    OK, the 3.5mm jack isn't perfect. However they are pretty solid. Actually these days they're really really solid. The lighting connector is pretty well known for reliability issues. Now compare how the two are used. The 3.5mm jack is used while listening to music, often carrying the phone, where it gets knocked. It still works. The lightning connector is not unknown for breaking and that's used for charging where the phone tends to be on the desk.

    Yes, I know neither of those are universals, but the common case for the 3.5mm jack is much harsher than the common case for the lightning connector and yet the former is still much more reliable than the latter.

    Personally I reckon we'll be hearing about lots of broken and unreliable headphones when the go that route.

    Or there's bluetooth ones. They've been around for years and while they're available, they are not currently anything like as popular as analog headphones despite just about any system now supporting both fine. Because among other things, they're more expensive and it's super fun when your headphones run out of charge too.

    • I'll take a slight exception to the "really solid" descriptor of the headphone jack. I recently had an experience where my earbuds plug wasn't "locking in" properly, resulting in occasional channel loss and/or mic loss. I thought I had damaged it when the wire had recently got caught and the resulting tension caused a slight bend - or Si I thought. After doing my own checking, I gave up and went to the Apple Store. They found a tiny piece of fluff jammed right in to the back of the phone socket. The tech sa

      • I'll take a slight exception to the "really solid" descriptor of the headphone jack. I recently had an experience where my earbuds plug wasn't "locking in" properly, resulting in occasional channel loss and/or mic loss. I thought I had damaged it when the wire had recently got caught and the resulting tension caused a slight bend - or Si I thought. After doing my own checking, I gave up and went to the Apple Store. They found a tiny piece of fluff jammed right in to the back of the phone socket. The tech said he had a hard time removing it as the battery lies just beyond that and he didn't want to pierce it with the tool he used. Fluff removed, plug locks in, earbuds working fine.

        None of which is to say that the lightning adapter is robust, it isn't. But it's smaller opening makes it less likely that shit will get jammed in it, that's for sure.

        Since 2007, over one billion iPhones have been sold around the world. And your particular situation likely numbers in the hundreds.

        Needless to say I'll take exception to "fluff" being used as an excuse or justification for removing a 3.5mm headphone standard the world has known for decades.

        • Oh, I don't know about the 'hundreds' part. I've pulled pocket fuzz out of various 3.5 mm jacks on numerous occasions. Not that hard - unclear why Mr. Genius had so much trouble.

          The headphone jack IS a weak link. Lots of torque on the jack, it sticks out and gets snagged. BUT. Bluetooth audio quality sucks (there, I've said it again). I don't have to worry about whether or not the damned headphone has enough power to make it through.

          And Bluetooth audio sucks.

      • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

        I've been there, in the Apple RDF, bought their products for quite a while, just recovering...

        Looking back, it's pretty shocking that we dumb ourselves down (no offence, I did much of the same) to the point that we find ourselves taking a phone to a 'genius' to remove fluff from a headphone port. Re-learn basic electronics like how pieces of metal pushed together conduct electricity, get a few tools and some compressed air and isopropyl alcohol and think for yourself again, you'll be glad you did :)

        • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

          To add, my similar story is when I had one of the older iMacs and eventually a sort of 'cloud' of dust adhered itself to the wrong side of the glass, so I had a slightly murky area between the display and the glass. I booked an appointment, drove 100 miles to my nearest Apple store, and showed the Genius - who promptly removed the glass with a couple of suction cups, wiped it down with a microfiber cloth, put the glass back and handed it back. Problem solved. If only I hadn't seen everything as an excuse

        • You must have missed the bit where I said I checked it myself. I shone a light down the socket but for the life of me couldn't see anything untowards. Even if I had, I doubt I have anything narrow enough to get down there and grab it.
          I'm a bit nonplussed by some of the vehement reactions here though. If you don't see any value in the ecosystem (and that _is_ what you're buying with Apple), then just don't buy it. Personally I kind of like that there's a vendor that is happy to break with the past and champi

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @04:14AM (#52839331) Homepage Journal

      The water resistance thing is bogus, lots of other manufacturers don't have a problem making waterproof 3.5mm jacks. If they cared about thickness they could use a 2.5mm jack, so that at least simple adapters would work.

      This just means more stuff to carry and charge. Presumably the battery will be non-removable too. In a month someone will have reverse engineered the protocol and will sell cheaper accessories, until an Apple software update breaks them deliberately.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        I assume the majority of people here have either worked in a callcenter or are working for a callcenter as IT or have done so.
        Remember when you had to buy a headphone that was available only for that specific brand and what the prices where for those headphones? That is going again to be the case.

        So what are they going to do with all the extra cash they are going to get for the more expensive headphones? They will build a war chest because I forsee now that in the near future Europe will knock on Apples doo

        • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

          Don't get me started on blaming the EU for everything. I'm going to miss all the rights they've been protecting for us when we leave :(

          • I'm going to miss all the rights they've been protecting for us when we leave :(

            And that's the stupid thing really. I mean most of our trade is with the EU, so we're going to have to meet the EU specs if we want to sell there. And other people selling to us are going to have to stick to the EU specs to sell there and are unlikely to make a crappy underspec version just to sell to us.

            So, we'll probably wind up having EU specified stuff most of the time anyway but no chance of influencing the specs for the be

            • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

              I'm glad someone else got started, as you said everything I wanted to say but in far fewer words than I usually churn out!

              But hey, say way too many people, at least we can "send 'em back" - only most of the people they have in mind came from countries outside of the EU, many were actually born here, and those that did come from the EU are (thankfully) probably going to be able to stay via new agreements. So, didn't really help racists much either. There's the immigration concern where I'll not jump to rac

      • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @11:49AM (#52840929) Journal

        If they cared about thickness they could use a 3.5mm jack, so no adapter is needed.

        FTFY. The Huawei Ascend P6 has a 3.5mm jack and is 6.18mm thick. The Vivo X3S has a 3.5mm jack and is 6mm thick. Apple could shave a mm off the current phones and keep the 3.5mm jack.

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      I work with iOS devices for a living. I've dealt with dozens over the past few years. I've seen one that had a problem with the lightning connector, and cleaning it out pretty much fixed it. What problems do people have with it?

      • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @07:36AM (#52839781) Journal

        I guess you've been lucky. There are plenty of reports of it breaking with all sorts of guides as to how to reduce breakage and etc. Secondly, the generaly usage of lightning ports (charging) is not as mechanically abusive as headphone ports (in a pocket).

        Also, finally, 3.5mm jacks are physically larger and have far fewer, larger pins. This makes it mechanically and electrically more sound. On the plus side they can apparently route analogue signals, so the jack will have the same benign temopray failure modes.

        And OK, I'll tell you the real problem I have with it. I am an engineer, and I've been on projects where shitty connectors have been the bane of my existence. I've kind of come to the conclusion that the budget for connectors sould be at least as large as the personel budget. Well OK not really, but you get the idea. Shitty connectors are cheap and hateful, frankly. Part of me wishes basically everything was connected by one of these

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        or these

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        or maybe something by ODU. The lighning connector is not the shittiest connector invented *cough* USB micro *cough* SATA *cough*, but it simply isn't that good. It's pretty cheapass, not that robust, and Apple have a fetish for really tiny cable boots just to make them all the less reliable. 3.5mm connectors aren't the best either, but there are some really pretty solid ones out there. Having a 3.5mm connector on some piece of kit doesn't give me the screaming heebie jeebies and make me want to murderize the vendor.

        What problems do people have with it?

        um gee, replacing a standard, physically robust port for which tens of thousands of commodity options are available for with a proprietary, less robust one for which currently precisely zero options are available for, all to save 0.5mm of thickness which no one cares about.

        No I can't think of any reason why this is a bad idea.

  • 1. Reverse engineer """custom""" bluetooth chip
    2. Make adapter
    3. ???
    4. Profit

    • by mridoni ( 228377 )

      This is basically what Chinese manufacturers have tried (and failed) to do with the Lightning connector. I bought two or three of these "uncertified" cables for EUR 2-3 EUR, that refused to work or stopped working after a week or so. I bought a couple of "certified" cables from Amazon (EUR 8, non the insane EUR 19 Apple is asking) and they work well.

      • So, basically the protocol has been reverse engineered and successfully implemented but that manufacturing quality is sub-par? Because protocols usually don't "break" after a week.
        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I don't know if this is how it works or not, but I seem to remember that lightning connectors used some kind of chip which handshakes with the phone using Apple-provided signed key.

          Knockoff vendor manages to sniff licensed cable and phone handshake, steals the keys used in the exchange and puts them in their cable. Cable then "works" at the time of manufacture. Apple lightning licensing enforcement buys knockoff products, checks keys used, and revokes "stolen" vendor keys and knockoff cable stops working.

          • by vovin ( 12759 )

            Apple works very hard to track down and disable such unlicensed devices. There is usually a few unlicensed accessories knocked off with each each update.
            I suspect one of the reasons for changing to the lightning connector was that the unlicensed accessories had gotten too difficult to defeat.
            YMMV.

  • If this solution of Apple leads to hq audio over wireless earpods I am for it. I really like standards, but current standard bluetooth wireless audio earpods don't deliver.
    • i can tell the difference between 128 Kbps and 320 Kbps mp3 (often even 192 and 320). i cannot tell the difference between 320 Kbps mp3 and FLAC even on high quality speakers. when i blindtested this with other people, nobody could tell the difference between FLAC and 320 Kbps mp3. this is on very expensive speakers and amplifier i bought from a recording studio that closed down. you will never convince me you can tell the difference while wearing tiny plastic earplugs assembled by sleep deprived suicidal f

  • I can't use earbuds. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:55AM (#52839293)
    Using earbuds is not a viable option for me. Putting things in my ears causes medical problems and my ears clog up.

    How long will it be until there are compatible headsets available? And how much will they cost? And will they even work or have acceptable battery life?

    I have a sinking feeling that I'm going to have very few options for my smartphone headset in the future. Not much choice and stupidly high prices.

    Why is this happening? Because the two manufacturers who matter, Apple and Samsung, are having a pissing contest over who's phone is thinner. So Samsung has to recall phones that are catching fire and Apple has phones where the touch interface fails because the case flexes and solder pads disconnect from a chip. Both these engineering failures happen because cramming reliable electronics into such a slim case is nearly impossible.

    Given a choice between a phone as thick as the previous generation that was reliable and had a longer battery life, pretty much any human being on the planet would choose a thicker phone. I bet that a phone twice as thick with really long battery life would sell in vastly greater numbers then any of the current crap. But we don't get that choice. Marketeers and designers who are completely out of touch dictate what choices we have, and they don't give a damn about what we want.

    Just another case of pretend capitalism. Nothing to see here, move along.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Don't they own Beats by Dre now? Hope you like booming bass and looking like a twat.

    • have a sinking feeling that I'm going to have very few options for my smartphone headset in the future. Not much choice and stupidly high prices.
      Why is this happening? Because the two manufacturers who matter, Apple and Samsung,

      Neither Apple nor Samsung matters to me. I don't buy phones with a built-in dick-waving contest. I've managed to go this long without owning an Apple or Samsung phone and seem to be doing just fine. Work on it.

    • Given a choice between a phone as thick as the previous generation that was reliable and had a longer battery life, pretty much any human being on the planet would choose a thicker phone.

      For less than $30 you can buy a phone case with an integrated battery pack that will double the thickness of your phone (++structural integrity) and quadruple your battery capacity. If you're on an iPhone it'll even effectively replace your Lightning charge port with some variant of USB. These things aren't a big secret, and yet the vast majority of smartphone users don't seem to own one.

      Why? Maybe it's because massively profitable consumer electronics companies are actually pretty good at reading th

      • by NotAPK ( 4529127 )

        I get your point, but the problem is one of scale. A lot of the external battery packs that I've seen are pretty much overkill for daily use. They seem to be designed for those that really need extra battery capacity, so the size doesn't matter.

        A lot of the complaints about phone thickness have to do with adding 1-2mm (5-10%) to the phone and getting maybe 1-2 hours (5-10%) of extra use out of the device. That's what a lot of people posting here are after.

    • How long will it be until there are compatible headsets available? And how much will they cost? And will they even work or have acceptable battery life?

      There will undoubtedly be a dongle available from day one so any headset that works with the iPhone 6 will probably work just fine with the iPhone 7. I suspect in short order you'll see cases with built in 3.5mm ports as well. Probably within weeks of release.

  • by dohzer ( 867770 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @04:01AM (#52839309) Homepage

    Oh good, the battery life is going to improve.
    How about not having a battery in the first place?!

    • So basically old-style crank-up mobile phones?

      • No, but maybe one where I can toss the battery when it goes bad instead of having to toss the phone or go to ridiculous lengths just to change the friggin' battery!

        • No, but maybe one where I can toss the battery when it goes bad instead of having to toss the phone or go to ridiculous lengths just to change the friggin' battery!

          Agreed. Quite honestly, non-removable batteries in electronics should be illegal.

          It's asinine and wasteful to throw away functional hardware based on battery life alone.

          • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

            When was the last time someone had to throw away an iPhone due to a bad battery?

          • Agreed. Quite honestly, non-removable batteries in electronics should be illegal.

            I love it when they glue down the internal batteries because FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY!

            I mean it's only completely enclosed and tightly packed anyway. And risking puncturing a delicate lithium cell as you remove it really adds to the excitement.

  • The great innovative Apple. Want to waterproof a phone? No water proof jacks don't exist. Certainly not on every other water proof device. No siree the only way to water proof a phone is to remove the headphone jack. That's why we're doing this. Water proofing and because it's the only way. Not because we are driving vendor lockin, not due to some vain attempt at DRM but waterproofing.

    In completely unrelated news come check out our new proprietary chips and headphones. Only twice as expensive as normal and

  • Right, I've had enough. Why do I need a waterproof phone?

    I have a waterproof watch because it's nice not to have to take the thing off when I shower or go for a swim, but a waterproof phone?

    Apart from not having to worry when I take photos by the hotel pool, I can't realistically see why I'd need it to be waterproof. I guess a lot of people are Snapchatting while in the bath?

    • Right, I've had enough. Why do I need a waterproof phone?

      I have a waterproof watch because it's nice not to have to take the thing off when I shower or go for a swim, but a waterproof phone?

      Apart from not having to worry when I take photos by the hotel pool, I can't realistically see why I'd need it to be waterproof. I guess a lot of people are Snapchatting while in the bath?

      I know this is going to sound strange, but a man will meet you in the bathroom tomorrow right around the time you are standing up from the toilet when your phone falls out of your pocket and makes a nice splashing sound.

      That man will go by the name of Murphy. You might recognize him. He made this one particular Law rather infamous...

      TL; DR - Shit Happens.

    • Hey I remember you from Starfighter! You brought out a new game?! That's frikkin' awesome, I might just buy an Android phone to play this one.

    • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

      Quite useful if you play Pokemon Go or Ingress in the UK. Also a lot of people seem to end up dropping them into puddles.

      I have a Nexus though which is not stated to be water resistant so I just put it in a sandwich bag.

    • Right, I've had enough. Why do I need a waterproof phone?

      You know when you're taking a whizz and you're trying to play a game one handed and then drop it in the bog? That's why. Or if you're there for the long haul and somehow manage to drop it between your legs.

      Not that you can't get waterproof 3.5mm jacks anyway though.

    • Right, I've had enough. Why do I need a waterproof phone?

      Some people leave their basement. Canoe, sailing, swimming, there is a world outside.
      Taking underwater pictures is a nice feature.

    • I have a waterproof watch because it's nice not to have to take the thing off when I shower or go for a swim, but a waterproof phone?

      Same reason. It would be nice to not have to worry about dropping it in a sink or getting caught in a downpour. It would be nice to be able to use the camera at the beach or in the water. How many people have had their phone fail or warranty voided by spilling a drink on their device? If it is waterproof that means it's largely dust proof as well which is pretty nice. You want a waterproof phone for the same reasons you want a waterproof watch.

  • Custom Bluetooth? Bluetooth-Like? Just call a duck a duck---or in this case it's called proprietary.

  • I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but why provide lightning based earbuds instead of a lightning to 3.5mm adapter?

    I'm guessing that an adapter is electrically identical except it has a 3.5mm jack instead of actual tiny speakers.

    I would think it would be cheaper to provide an adapter, but maybe I should dial up my cynicism and presume that an adapter sends the message "keep using your existing headphones" and lightning earbuds says "buy new headphones, your old ones are obsolete."

    It starts to make me wonder

  • So its like bluetooth but incompatible and doesn't make audio sound like crap like bluetooth does?

  • I don't typically buy i-devices because I dislike that their BIOS is locked down. That being said, I'll say this: if water resistance is just an excuse to sell Apple headphones, then yes, people should be upset about it.

    However, if Apple is being honest and the iPhone 7 will actually have better environmental resistance than other phones on the market with the regular 3.5mm jack, then personally I think it should be welcomed. New iPhones are $600-800 depending on the configuration, making them more durab
  • So, thanks to an over-enthusiastic use of headphones in my youth, I now have to boost high frequencies with a pair of hearing aids if I want a hope of understanding conversation and enjoying music. These are not your grandmother's contraptions. They are all-but invisible, they communicate with each other using ultrasound pulses sent through my skull to help to spatialize sound more effectively and to dynamically adjust to ambient sound levels and such. They are pretty nifty devices - and produce really g

  • Another expensive thing that will break. Which means my wife spending even more money

  • Since I usually play music for long periods of time while I am sitting I normally listen to music while my phone is plugged in. Will lightning port headphones allow the phone to be charged while listening with them?

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors

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