Stop freaking out over the 3.5mm headphone jack

Ever since it was leaked that Apple would be removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from their iPhones, people have been in a tizzy. Now that it’s official, the freak out has turned into a full-blown freak out, but why?

The iPhone 7 in Jet Black

The iPhone 7 in Jet Black

First of all, yes, people are taking sides. The most annoying part of this is that if one takes the side of “anti-mini jack,” they are berated for being an “Apple Fanboy/girl” who¬†will buy anything, just because of the fruit logo on the back. Yes, there are people like that, and yes, that is ignorant, but it is no more ignorant than the people who are freaking out over the loss of the mini jack over the fact that they are scared of change.

So it’s change, and a massive one at that. The iPhone is unquestionably¬†the quintessential smart phone, any time a massive change comes that could hinder a previous functionality, people are going to be upset, whether it is founded or not. Removing a jack that is universal seems like a way to earn more money by forcing people to buy a specific company’s products, but that’s not what is happening here. To understand the removal of the jack, we first need to know a slice of its history.

The “phone” connector was invented in the 19th century in order to provide switchboard operators with a quick and easy way to switch between different lines. It served this purpose well, and into the mid 20th came the rise of what is now called the “mini jack” or, the 3.5mm connector as a earpieces for transistor radios. When this single use is all that is detrimental to the operation of a device, it makes absolute sense to use it. It works well, and that’s a good thing. However, audio transmission can be done in multiple ways, and this single-use is not the only use for a smart phone.

Smartphones are incredibly powerful, and they continue to grow more and more powerful year by year at an increasing rate. Moreover, they continue to get slimmer and slimmer, and space becomes an issue. There is a direct trade-off between the amount of space that can be had, and the amount of power the phone can have. If one wants more power, one needs more space. So, doesn’t it just make sense to get rid of a single-use port that takes up a significant amount of space?

If Apple was just taking away the port and then forcing people to buy the 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter, this level of freak out would be warranted. In fact, even more of a freak out would be warranted, and it would not be surprising to see some government intervention. However, Apple is not doing this. They are losing a lot of money by providing the adapter (which they should do), plus their own lightning headphones. No one should feel sorry for Apple that they are losing any money, but they should be glad that they aren’t requiring any one to buy the adapter, like they did when they switched from the pin connector to lightning.

So yes, this is a big change, but change can be good. Change can mean progress. Out of this, what could be seen is a revolution of how people hear the music (or audio in general) they choose to listen to. This could mean that new ways of transmitting audio can be more easily developed, because developers won’t feel scared to initiate change, and then the sound quality of music will be enhanced, which spurs musicians to enhance the level at which they play, which then advances music. Progress is a good thing.


Also, if anyone’s complaint is that they lose things and will lose their adapter, grow up.

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