By Shen Gao
You must have heard of it. The upcoming iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack. What happens now?
Many consumers have been complaining that this move from Apple is far from justified or necessary. All non-wireless headphones for the iPhone 7 now have to use the Lightning port, whether directly or indirectly through an adapter cable that has a headphone jack.
Consumers who will be buying the iPhone 7 and, presumably, future iPhone generations will now either have to buy headphones that come with a lightning cable or buy an adapter.
Many fail to see an advantage to Apple’s sudden change, as it poses many problems and concerns. For one, the question of accessibility arises. Many embrace the functionality and accessibility of the analog headphone jack that is had been compatible with practically all music-playing devices up until now.
For another, many feel that this is another one of Apple’s stunts to take consumers’ money. Many will undoubtedly opt to buy the adapter cable that converts digital audio to analog; or, as an alternative, buy Apple’s newest “AirPods” which are wireless headphones that look exactly like the good old EarPods, but without the wire. Reports have shown that Apple will charge a flat fee for every Lightning headphone device sold, due to using its connector. Any company that makes Lightning headphones will have to license from Apple.
All of that aside, there are definitely benefits to Apple’s move. The conventional headphone jack was always a roadblock for audio quality improvements and headphone design. The Lightning connector allows audio circuitry to be engineered in the headphones themselves, instead of the iPhone, and gives the third party freedom to experiment with new features and designs that are associated with audio quality.
What goes along with that is Apple’s claim to the iPhone 7 being water-resistant, as it has an IP7 (International Protection Marking) water resistance rating without the gaping hole that was the headphone jack. This means it is safe to immerse the phone in liquid up to 1 meter.
In addition, Apple is able to install a bigger battery as well as an upgraded camera system, as well as a home button that is no longer a physical button, but is a static version of the button that is force sensitive.
All in all, it’s up to you decide whether you hate or love the new iPhone 7.