Apple Ditching the Headphone Jack in iPhone 7


Apple plans to lose the beloved headphone jack for the new iPhone 7. The alleged move, all but confirmed by Cupertino itself, has become a hot topic and a contentious one as consumers now seek to understand whether their previous investments in quality headphones are now redundant.

As Gordon Kelly here on Forbes reports, “Of course in abandoning something so beloved as the 3.5mm headphone jack (part of a standard which has been around since 1878 – yes really, 1878!), Apple has to offer enough bait for the switch – especially given the iPhone is its most important product line.”

While it’s fair to assume that the new iPhone 7 will be bundled with standard EarPods with a Lightning connector, for the majority of users they will now be forced to either buy a different pair of higher end headphones or go with Bluetooth. It also ties in with the current push by Apple and associated OEMs like Beats, Philips and JBL going to market with Lightning enabled cans which will support higher resolution audio, something Apple is looking to implement with its Music streaming service.

But this is not just about music or consumer lock in. This is a revenue generator for Apple. Consider the worldwide sales figures for headphones in 2015 as an example.

Number of Headphones Sold 2015

The above statistics show the global unit sales of headphones/headsets from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, 290.9 million units of headphones & headsets were sold worldwide. Even a small percentage of those sales will equate to an OEM offering a pair of headphones with a Lightning connector, or an adaptor.

In Sept 2015, Apple announced that it had sold more than 13 million units of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in their first weekend on the market. If the iPhone 7 tracks to sell the same, you can assume that a large percentage of buyers will also look to purchase better headphones with a Lightning connector.

Article courtesy Forbes

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