Intel promotes the 3.5mm jack's doom, bets on USB Type-C as the new audio standard13
Device makers will have to convince users that digital earphones are seriously awesome.Intel is promoting the move from analog to digital audio with the arguments that the latter will be quicker and cheaper to integrate while digital headsets will offer valuable features to customers. Moreover, the elimination of analog audio circuits will give engineers and product designers more creative space. Intel acknowledged that digital audio has to offer "significant value" if it's to be picked up by customers, recognizing that the initial reception of the new standard will be problematic. Then again, using traditional 3.5mm earphones over USB is no problem if a discrete USB-to-3.5mm adapter is provided. And although high-end devices will be the first to make the jump, Intel anticipates that budget ones will also turn to digital audio when its ratio of cost and value is right for device makers.
Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are expected to be the first high-profile, globally sold smartphone that will cut the 3.5mm jack in favor of all-digital audio transmitted through the Lighting port. A recent patent gave us a glimpse at the potential benefits, showing a digital headset that's able to transmit audio via both wireless and wired connections simultaneously, while being charged through the cable. Users can switch between analog and wireless audio without experiencing dropouts.
source: AnandTech via TechnoBuffalo