I have never been entirely loyal to one platform or another. I tend to hop around from year to year depending on my needs and wants. Currently I’m using an iPhone 6, and I haven’t yet felt tempted enough to switch to something else. I’ve gone over my options, and while I’m still considering whether I want to switch phones or not over the holiday season (where the sales are plentiful) I’m also considering whether it’s more worthwhile just to wait until next year at this point.
I am happy with iOS. That isn’t to say it is without flaw – it isn’t perfect – but I feel that it works best for me right now. The iPhone 6 is already over a year old, but I still didn’t feel compelled to upgrade to an iPhone 6s. Almost everything about the 6s was upgraded internally (except its base amount of internal storage), but I don’t feel like the 6 is so far behind it that it doesn’t still have its good qualities in comparison. I think if I had upgraded to the 6s, it would only be to say that I did it and I have the latest and greatest. But I really don’t need it, so I haven’t.
I do wonder what next year’s iPhone 7 will bring. It should be a big year for Apple's iPhone, given that 7 is considered a “lucky” number in many cultures and iOS 10 (iOS X?) will presumably be revealed. Symbolism of numbers aside, though, the fact that the iPhone should be rolling over to a new number instead of an “s” variant means that some big design changes are on the horizon. I had hoped – and I still hope – that these changes are good.
Of course, rumors do what rumors have always done and pop up from time to time, and the most recent rumor regarding the next generation iPhone suggests that there is indeed a big design change on the horizon: Apple may be removing the 3.5mm headphone jack, which would give the iPhone an alleged 1mm thickness reduction.
These allegations don’t surprise me. Whether they end up holding any truth or not is one thing, but it is a completely believable statement. Apple has always put a focus on thinness in their devices. And realistically, what are people going to do if Apple does get rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack? Not buy the iPhone anymore?
Maybe, but probably not.
Removing the standard 3.5mm headphone jack would be a ridiculous move, but it isn’t as if Apple hasn’t already done this same song and dance before with their charging port. I think most of us can look past the 30-pin connector given that every phone had its own special snowflake charger at the time the iPhone was introduced, not to mention it was used in Apple products for years prior. Apple continued to use the 30-pin connector even after everybody else universally switched to the microUSB standard.
But then Apple introduced Lightning, which was both cool and not cool at the same time. The Lightning connector is great because it gives a faster charge and its reversible so there’s no hassle of trying to figure out which way is which when it’s time to plug your iProduct. It’s not great because, in typical Apple fashion, it’s only good for Apple gadgets. Not only that, but the move also put a ton of old Apple accessories into retirement, unless it could still be salvaged with a conveniently available adapter (which you could purchase for a nominal fee).
Now that USB Type-C is allegedly becoming the new standard, there’s nothing that special about Lightning anymore. Apple may have had the benefits first, but now we’re left with another “special snowflake” situation that hardly benefits the consumer. I don’t think any good would come out of forcing Lightning down user’s throats and omitting the standard 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of an Apple-only technology standard.
I don’t think the move would kill the iPhone. I think it will turn a lot of people off from outright supporting the omission in itself, but I think that the worst case scenario from this (should it happen) is that people would have the same response as they did with the introduction of Lightning: “Well, I don’t like it, but it’s whatever.”
I suspect that if this is the case, Apple would include a pair of Lightning-equipped EarPods, or something similar, in the box. For most people, this would likely be sufficient enough; I mean, you have the headset right there. You just pray that you don’t lose it so that you don’t have to go out and buy another pair when you have 10 or 15 decent pairs of headphones with a 3.5mm jack laying around. Or you could always just buy a conveniently available adapter (which you may purchase for a nominal fee)!
I think the only way Apple could make people truly believe that getting rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack is a good idea at this point is if they did what they did with the MacBook and say, “Hey, USB-C is the real future here. Let’s just switch to that.” But on a scale of 1 to 10 of seeing that happen (with 10 being the most likely) I’m going to peg that likelihood somewhere around -20.
This is all just assuming that the rumors are true, which I really hope they’re not (despite the fact that I could easily see this being the case). Readers, what do you think about the rumor? Do you think that it's likely to happen, and if it does would you write the iPhone off because of it? Let us know in the comments below!