Apple Event 9/7/16 - iPhones and Pokemons!


Don’t have an iPhone, don’t want one (though I do have a couple of old iPods somewhere, and an iPad). But, I think the issue here is at least partly the lack of anything better being substituted. Something better may come down the pike, but right now, there isn’t anything stepping into the void left by the 3.5mm jack. It doesn’t appear as progress when you take away something on the promise that, eventually, something better will come along to replace it. It seems to be progress if you take whatever it is away, and at the same time, offer an alternative that can be considered better.

In this case, yeah, analog connection technology is eventually going away; the TV I just bought has no analog outputs at all. But for phones–and a lot of people use them as their sole music device as well as their phone–an analog jack has been something people relied on. They have headphones–sometimes expensive ones–that use the technology. It’s possible an adapter will sound the same, but it’s also possible the adapter will muck things up. There are costs to using the same port for different things, such as lack of simultaneous charging and listening. In return, you get the arguably progressive step of moving towards a new paradigm for all connectivity, where wireless isn’t a supplement but the default, but you don’t get any real progress towards that goal. Just the negative step of eliminating the old paradigm.

It might be necessary in the abstract, but by not really offering anything to replace it Apple comes across in a less than appealing fashion to a lot of people apparently.

For me, I’ve never listened to any music on any phone I’ve had, and the only thing I’d connect to my phone would be a Bluetooth headset probably. And I already got my hissy fit about Lightning connectors obsoleting my iPod accessories a long time ago.


Thing is… it’s not USB or DVI. It’s Lightning, which is an Apple-specific bit of hardware. It’s not like we’re going to see other non-Apple electronic with this port.


When the alleged innovation is actually a better audio delivery tool. The standard 1/4" jack from which our current headphone connector is descended has been around since the late 1800s, not because inventors and technologists since the 1800s have been lazy, but because the 1/4" jack and the 3.5mm jack are actually really good connectors. An analog connector is the right choice for sending an analog signal (audio) to an analog electrical device (headphones). Some of it is 50-60 years of inertia (for the 3.5mm jack), true, but there isn’t much to designing a good analog connector, and the work is already done.


Is limited space am issue in Macs? Maybe the MacBook, but I don’t see this being an issue. The phone has a much different use than their other products. If they removing it from the iPad or MacBook Pro, I would be right there with the people upset.

I have a feeling a lot of people upset about this around the net are Android users.


Just an FYI… the AirPods use AAC, according to Apple’s product page. AAC is Apple’s version of Qualcomm’s aptX (found on some Android phones). So theoretically, sound quality should be equal to or very close to wired headphones. I wonder why this wasn’t mentioned in the keynote, it’s certainly a selling point for folks who care about audio quality.

I need to try them out and compare to the wired Sennheisers I use for jogging.


I suspect that the Bluetooth lag also irritates the Apple engineering team and that they’ve done something to try to compensate for it. Perhaps the W1 chip (or whatever it is called) works in conjunction with Bluetooth to reduce lag? I guess we’ll see in a few months, when the wireless headphones are released.


If they combined removing the headphone jack with fast wireless charging, that would have been a much more attractive proposition. As is, they don’t even offer a dongle to charge and listen on wired headphones simultaneously. You simply can’t do it.

Also they could have modified the lightning port to also accept a 1/8" headphone jack-- that would have been an interesting innovation.


I’m honestly not quite sure how this is a response to what I’ve said. I was commenting on the USB or DVI comparison.


I use my iPhone as a white noise machine when I travel so it requires a speaker. I plug my iPhone in at night to recharge while it is producing the White noise. I do not like being forced to have to buy a new speaker or having to carry an extra cable to make the cable I already have work.


When the benefits outweigh the negatives. In this case obviously they do not. Its like changing the electric outlets. It would be a tremendous hassle for no major benefit at this point.

Right now there are zero benefits to me. So why should I find it appealing? Its pure negative, or it would be if I was going to buy another iPhone. This one decision has made my next phone an Android. Whether I am one customer leaving Apple because of them shooting themselves in the foot or there are many of us I cant tell you, but they have cost themselves at least 1 customer.


Sorry, I thought you were saying that the lightning port would replace the headphone jack on other products. I misunderstood.


Well those cases each are unique. Some things cause more of a stir, see the move away from optical drives in many systems. That doesn’t make them bad calls. And changes like VGA to HDMI enable actual large improvements in quality. Aside from hardware there was no loss moving from DVI to HDMI. It was a straight upgrade.

Moving away from COM ports to more universal USB adoption has the same thing. It is an improvement.

But this move forces either a proprietary adapter, or using a new tech that has quite noticable and obvious downsides. Now Bluetooth has been around long enough people know what it is, but is patently obvious that there are trade offs aside from just depreciating existing hardware. The weight, the need to charge, the audio quality all represent real downsides that most people can understand.

The reason these things become more important is the fact this is mobile hardware that you wear. It is something external to a device you carry with you. Now for many things it is probably fine. I wouldn’t care when listening to podcasts. But I do care about music. I already take steps to maximize the audio quality of music. Obviously there is some loss of quality, in theory, but diminishing gains means that by using a high bit rate, properly converted audio file with good quality headphones (not the best, but right at my sweet spot for quality and price) the loss is small enough to not matter to me. I mean I refuse to buy albums digitally because I find most stores have audio files that are of unacceptable quality to me, so I obviously fall in a sharp minority here.

And there may be Bluetooth headphones of comparable audio quality to the ones I use, but they cost more than I am willing to spend on a fundamentally disposable piece of hardware. I run with them, so they live a hard, and short, life. So for Bluetooth headphones they are either of an audio quality that is unacceptable, or a price I am unwilling to pay. With 3.5mm I do meet the quality and price I want.


It is still has a speaker. 2 in fact, it has stereo now.


I don’t use an iPhone, but I’d be pretty bummed about the loss of the headphone jack. There’s no reason Apple couldn’t offer their Lightning or wireless audio solutions the generation BEFORE eliminating the 3.5mm jack. I’d say that music/audio listening is an enormous part of the appeal for any smartphone. To be able to grab any ubiquitous set of headphones and listen on the go, is a huge boon. If you can sell consumers on wireless or Lightning as a better solution, and solutions start to permeate the market, then go ahead and phase out the jack.

Of course, as JD says, it’s also a Lightning interface. So you’re not going to be able to slap that new headset on your PS4 gamepad, your Android phone, your PC audio jack, or plug your existing external speakers into the new phone… It’ll never be anything but an Apple only proprietary interface. Meanwhile, wireless can be great, until your wireless headset is out of juice and you just want to listen to tunes on your commute. Optical drives were phased out AFTER they were largely supplanted by USB/download transfers.


This. And as to LeeAbe’s question

I’m not. I’m listening to FLAC. Which is why bluetooth is unacceptable, given the level of compression it adds.


Yes I have, because it frees up space in the phone for other uses when a phone is meant to be mobile. If my phone has room for things I care about more than a headphone jack, great.

What is the freed up space being used for? You are saying it IS better, not that it may potentially be better. So rather than (again) rambling about the ways it MIGHT be better, state how it is better. I showed how small the actual headphone jack is and as stusser mentioned, other phone manufacturers have managed to waterproof it. How has removing the 3.5mm jack enabled the iphone 7 to be better?

Again, bluetooth headphones sound worse and weigh more. What is the benefit to swapping to bluetooth headphones?

am arguing that if you are concerned about sound quality to the extent that bluetooth is worse than analog (and bluetooth headphones are getting really good), then use a device better suited for it. Otherwise, you are already using added devices such as a high end DAC with your phone while listening in a quiet room. I will wait and see how traditional headphones sound over lightning before I judge.

I can already hear the difference. Why do I need to use a better device? That is completely illogical.

For the average person, who is using his phone in the car, exercising, or in loud places, sound quality is already not the biggest issue. I use bluetooth in my car and some headphones, and both work great for everyday uses. I just don’t think it is a big deal unless you have multiple sets of headphones, or you charge and use the jack while using headphones on a regular basis. I completely understand for some people this be a pain in the ass, I just don’t think it will be a big deal in the long run for most.

That isn’t explaining how it is a positive thing. That’s explaining how it isn’t that much of a negative thing for some people.

If this helps push bluetooth to get better, I think its a good thing, because for mobile uses, I think bluetooth is superior to cables.

How will it help push bluetooth to get better? How is bluetooth superior to cables?

I have asked both those things multiple times and you keep going off on rambling tangents.

You seem to be start off with the assumption that Apple removing the 3.5mm jack is innovation. How is it innovation? All mobile phones currently offer bluetooth audio & the 3.5mm jack. Apple are removing the 3.5mm jack and offering no new features. How is that innovating? What has Apple invented?


I keep seeing “it frees up room for other things” but until you show me those other things, you’re just removing an option that works fine now.

I’m not opposed to innovation. I love the Lightning jack compared to mico-usb or the old Apple 30-pin. Want to get rid of the 3.5mm jack? Go ahead, but give me something in return. Bluetooth isn’t some new innovation. I have a set of Bluetooth buds now. They’r’e okay, but I prefer the wired set for casual use.


Exactly. FLAC, or other lossless formats, are options, and what I use. Though mine is Apple Lossless simply because it is easier that futzing with FLAC for iOS. It’s the intersection between my care for audio demands and my natural inclination towards laziness ;)


For me (an iPhone user), I’m frustrated with the Apple proprietary ecosystem and this might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. There was a time when iPhones were of better quality than Android phones, and I was willing to deal with stuff like expensive storage, expensive lightning cords, and being forced to use clunky iTunes to transfer data. I feel like the quality gap has narrowed enough that I was already on the fence about buying a new iPhone. In addition to all the other stuff, I don’t want to have to buy expensive proprietary headphones to listen to music on my phone, and I don’t feel like the benefit here is enough to warrant being forced to make that change. I’ll still give a good look at the iPhone 7, but I’m leaning more towards the alternatives for the first time in a long time. I DO like how thin this phone is and the extra lens could be a selling point for me as well.


What tiny interest I had in the 7 evaporated with the headphone jack.