iPhone 7: Shifting The Audio Jack Paradigm

“The iPhone is the industry gold standard,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company’s recent fall product launch event. “The phone by which all other phones are compared.”

It’s beyond doubt that Apple’s iPhone releases are always highly anticipated, with even the smallest design changes being highly praised by Apple’s exceedingly loyal consumers. However, their latest change has even their most loyal hesitant to hop on the hype train. The removal of the 3.5 mm audio jack.

It was no surprise, for months rumors had been circulating that Apple had put the jack on the chopping block that is technological obsolescence. In fact, MacOtakara had accurately weighed in on this topic back in November of 2015, along with some other features as well. Up until this point, it was a question of whether Apple was bold enough to do it. Their answer, the iPhone 7.

Upon confirmation of this feature, or lack thereof, Apple was faced under heavy scrutiny for their outlandish decision, especially because of how they justified it: “courage”. Many took their criticisms to Twitter,  from reactions ranging from comedic to genuine anger.

However, there was some support from long-time Apple fans, commending them for their innovation, in a similar comedic fashion.

The mass majority of the public’s reaction was somewhat reasonable, as the removal of a component as common as the headphone jack was a move that was too early for its time. Many complaining about the practicality of relying on bluetooth headphones, and that the need for an adapter is a step backwards for Apple. I spoke with Junior Michael Wan, who recently purchased an iPhone 7, on how the changes were affecting him; his response was somewhat surprising.

“The headphone jack thing didn’t really impact anything in my life significantly; I usually just carry the converter with me just in case”, he said, after stating that the iPhone 7 came with a pair of headphones with the appropriate earbuds. His rather nonchalant response is one that will most likely be a common trend all throughout Apple’s consumers, described best by late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an old interview: “We’re trying to make great products for people, and so we have at least the courage of our convictions to say ‘we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product, we’re going to leave it out”.

Jobs has always made it a point that the consumer never knows what they want, and that the reason for Apple’s success is due to its courageousness to innovate. And in an attempt to uphold Jobs’ formidable reputation, Cook is on the right path.    

Cover image: Flickr/Fe Ilya