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This article was published on September 8, 2016

Apple execs defend removal of ‘dinosaur’ headphone jack

Apple execs defend removal of ‘dinosaur’ headphone jack
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

There are a number of reasons why Apple decided to move on from the headphone jack. BuzzFeed today sat down to talk about some of them with a foursome of Apple executives including VP of worldwide marketing Phil Chiller, VP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio, VP iOS, iPad and iPhone marketing Greg Joswiak and head-honcho Tim Cook.

At its core, the Apple execs decided it was time to move away from the 3.5mm jack for a number of reasons: it’s old and antiquated, it takes up too much space and it’s hard to waterproof things with holes in it.

According to Joswiak:

The audio connector is more than 100 years old. It had its last big innovation about 50 years ago. You know what that was? They made it smaller. It hasn’t been touched since then. It’s a dinosaur. It’s time to move on.

Riccio concurred. He described the jack as nothing more than “a hole filled with air” before explaining that its removal lead to some of the really cool features we’re talking about today — like a better camera and water resistance. He told Buzzfeed:

We’ve got this 50-year-old connector — just a hole filled with air — and it’s just sitting there taking up space, really valuable space.

It was holding us back from a number of things we wanted to put into the iPhone. It was fighting for space with camera technologies and processors and battery life. And frankly, when there’s a better, modern solution available, it’s crazy to keep it around.

The group also shot down the notion that the move from the headphone jack was a way to introduce a new DRM platform for audio consumption on the device as “pure, paranoid conspiracy theory.” Good to know.

Not one of the four mentioned price, but you’d have to figure that played into the decision. The proprietary Lightning connection and a new set of $159 wireless earbuds probably didn’t help the headphone jack’s chances. Accessories, like Lightning cables, EarPods (or the new AirPod) and the like account for billions of dollars a year in Apple’s bottom line. We’d be remiss to think this didn’t at least factor into the equation.

via 9 to 5 Mac

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