Apple is an odd company.
Maybe a lot of companies are for a variety of different reasons, but Apple’s a company that has, for all intents and purposes, put itself in the odd zone. It’s a company that has its sights set on the future, at least in one capacity or another, and barrels to it no matter what. But, at the same time, absolutely has a love affair with, in the vast majority of instances, not being first in any of those things it might be looking at with a five-year stare.
It’s a company that will drop technology from its products in favor of something that it believes is better, all the while leaving the consumer in the dust and left to catch up. It’s a strategy that riles up a lot of people, even if, eventually, everything balances out and the outcry eventually peters out. They’ve done it for years, and, if the Rumor Mill is true, it’s a tactic that the Cupertino-based company doesn’t have any fear of resurrecting when it needs to.
It’s also a company that isn’t afraid of adapters.
There are several instances where Apple has dropped a consistent, stable technology for something else entirely. More recently, of course, was the removal of the 30-pin connector, replacing it with the Lightning cable. There was an adapter back then, something that Apple saw as a means to help folks transition if they wanted to stick with the 30-pin connector for a bit after Lightning’s debut, but Apple never gave the consumer a real chance to decide. If you wanted to stick with Apple products, you’d need to switch to the Lightning cable full-time, and forget all about that 30-pin connector.
That was a technology decision that, for the most part, only affected Apple users. Because while Apple was busy with the 30-pin connector, the other players in the smartphone market were using USB — a variation of it, mini, micro, whatever else, but still USB and not a 30-pin connector.
This time around, though, Apple’s rumored to be pushing through to the future but with a feature that’s not just present on its own devices, but just about everywhere: the 3.5mm audio jack. Recently rumors surfaced that suggested Apple would be removing the 3.5mm option in favor of going full Lightning. That could make the iPhone 7 thinner, but that’s not really worth talking about because Apple could make the iPhone 7 thinner than the iPhone 6s without removing the 3.5mm audio jack, too.
This is a conversation about the future. A future that Apple is, if the rumors are true, ready to bring to the present. Like we’ve already talked about, Apple isn’t afraid of this scenario in the slightest, or the backlash that it will (and already has) undoubtedly receive. People are already talking about this like it’s a foregone conclusion (which it could be), and even pointing to the fact that Apple already has wired headphones with a Lightning cable and not a 3.5mm cable. And obviously if Apple did go this route, its packaged EarPods that come with the iPhone would use the Lightning cable, so that really wouldn’t be an issue for someone buying a new iPhone.
I use headphones every day, but I use headphones that Apple supplied me in the box with the iPhone. I do have a pair of over-the-ear cans that I use, and they do use the 3.5mm cable, so I’d have to use an adapter to make any use of them on an iPhone that has ditched the 3.5mm audio jack. But the truth is, I’d probably just not use them, and I’d stick with the Lightning-equipped EarPods until I got around to buying something else, maybe Bluetooth-enabled headphones.
Here’s another thing, though: What about charging the iPhone while you’re listening to music with headphones? It’s not likely that Apple would put two Lightning ports on the iPhone 7 (I saw somewhere someone suggesting that Apple put a Lightning port on the top and bottom of the next iPhone), so unless there’s another adapter to use — and there probably will be — you’d have to, well, not charge your phone and listen to music (or podcasts!) at the same time.
So my question to all of you is: Will you buy an iPhone if it doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio jack? Or if you’ve been an iPhone loyalist for all these years, will that be the variant you jump ship from? Let me know!