Grumbling about Apple's removal of the 3.5mm jack is selfish and backwards
This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
What's the fuss all about?
So, Apple decided to get rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack, starting with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus - a move that, for some unknown reason, made a lot of people freak out. We saw posts, articles, rants, (not funny) parody videos, and more - all of which built around the news of the absent 3.5mm jack. However, I honestly fail to see what the fuss is all about.
This is coming from someone who cares deeply about audio and music: the consumer's experience will in no way suffer as a result of the iPhone 7 not having an audio jack... and that's for a number of reasons. It's a well known fact that the overwhelming majority of users sticks with the earphones that come with the phone. And with the iPhone 7, there will be the EarPods, which have been redesigned so they can now work through the iPhone's Lightning port. And let me tell you the EarPods are fantastic earphones with very good sound quality and excellent comfort (for most people's ears) - those who tell you otherwise are simply ignorant. It's evident that nothing will change for most users out there, aside from the shape of the whole they'll be plugging their earphones in.
But, what happens if you do want to plug in your own wired earphones, a model that makes use of the universal 3.5mm jack? Well, if you have headphones that you really love and want to keep using... the truth is there's absolutely nothing to stop you from doing so. Each and every iPhone 7 or 7 Plus ships with a Lightning port to 3.5mm jack adapter, which allows you to connect whatever 3.5mm gear you wish. If you happen to misplace the adapter, Apple will sell you a new one, at the very reasonable price of $9. So, once again: what's the fuss all about?
Misinforming the audience
The thing about most people is that we are very good at adapting to new stuff, stuff being added, but we hate the thought of losing something we've gotten used to; something like the 3.5mm jack. This makes us uncomfortable, frustrated even, which is also true for consumers who aren't necessarily tech-savvy.
I have to say here that the media did a spectacular job these last few weeks at misinforming the general consumer. In an incredibly selfish manner, tech bloggers and the like blew the whole thing out of proportion, misleading people into believing that the iPhone 7, you see, will not have an audio jack to connect earphones to! Just this weekend, I had to explain to a couple of people (of the general user type) that there's nothing to worry about, and that there will still be earphones coming with the iPhone 7, which will work as they always have. So, congrats, fellow bloggers, you managed to misinform your audience.
'Backward!' said no great leader in history
Do you recall a decisive leader who ever cried "Backward!", as their army started trudging towards their goal? Nope, they all say "Forward!"... and moving forward means there's always something that you need to leave behind. Apple's aim is to stay ahead in the technology game, it wants to be on the borderline of what's possible (and useful, at the same time). Being there in a consistent and reliable manner means the company has to think ahead; it means it cannot afford to hang onto stuff indefinitely. It means that every once in a while, space needs to be freed up for the new tech and ideas to come in.
Clearly, wireless is the way to go, and the technology is now mature enough to deliver a reliable and delightful user experience. Just take a look at what Apple's doing with its new AirPods, as well as the upcoming new Beats models: pairing and connecting them is easier than it is with wired headphones! You take those out of their case and have them paired in mere seconds, without having to first go through the nostalgic process of untangling wires. You can also use them seamlessly across multiple devices, and you can take advantage of advanced features otherwise not possible through a 3.5mm jack... Being at the forefront of tech is exciting, but it also means sacrifices need to be made. True, advanced wireless headphones like those sold by Apple won't come cheap at first, but as the market for wireless audio starts growing, more affordable solutions are bound to pop up.
Critics are rushing to declare how this time, Apple doesn't have a convincing enough reason to drop the old standard, suggesting the company is so reckless, it's willing to kill standards for the hell of it. I have no inside information, but I'd rather assume there's some pretty solid reasoning behind the removal of the audio jack. Actually, Cupertino has already addressed some of the reasons for its decision, such as the desire to install a larger, more capable camera, as well as a battery of higher capacity – essential upgrades that will surely be appreciated by all consumers.
Protesting against the removal of an age-old technology, when we're at the dawn of something more convenient, is simply a demonstration of backward thinking and unwillingness to change. There's no need to get needlessly nostalgic over the loss of the audio jack - Apple's trying to push us into a new, wireless age, and I really can't find much reason to grumble about it.