The iPhone 7's release in September 2016 confirmed the rumor that it wouldn't have a conventional headphone jack. This move is par for the course at Apple, who are considered by their obsessive fans as the "King of Cool", and whose ideas are fervently copied by others wishing to cash in on some of that coolness.

Of course, whenever this topic comes up, the fluffers and the Flavor-Aid-guzzling True Believers® come out in full force, comparing the 3.5mm jack to floppy disks, Flash, and other relics. But unlike the fairly unreliable floppy disk (of which you needed 45 to install the base version of Office 97), or the Goatse gaping security hole called Flash, the old reliable 3.5mm jack isn't all that bad, and the alternatives aren't all that great.


The Alternatives (don't sound so great)

Lightning headphones are just another way to be locked into Apple's walled garden. The adapter dongle included with the iPhone 7 partially solves this problem, but now you have an extra thing to lose or break, and it doesn't work with headsets with microphones.

Then you have Bluetooth. If you have a good pair of Bluetooth headphones that support A2DP, you'll get reasonable sound quality without having to deal with any wires. The main downside is that it means yet another battery to charge. The other problems are that Bluetooth headsets don't work very well in crowded spaces like buses and subway cars, and the latency makes watching videos a less-than-pleasant experience. And they cost more than their wired equivalents.

Why Do They Even Bother‽

So, with the alternatives to the old headphone plug not sounding all that great, why is Apple pushing this line of idiocy? One word: "courage".

In all likelihood, I think it's Tim Cook "betending" to be Steve Jobs and removing stuff because "it's old". And sure, 3.5mm jacks are more than 50 years old, but for what they do, they do it pretty well compared to the purported alternatives.


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