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Iphone Apple Hardware

Apple Removed Headphone Jack From New iPhones Because It Owns Largest Bluetooth Headphone Company (theverge.com) 311

Apple's new iPhones -- the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus -- don't have the headphone jack. The company's SVP Phil Schiller said the move signifies "courage" from the company to put a 100-year-old audio standard to bed. But there could be one more reason for this transition to a Bluetooth/Wireless headphones future: it owns the largest Bluetooth headphones company -- Beats. The Verge reports: More likely is that the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone -- and increasingly, on Android phones as well -- will lead to an uptick in sales of Bluetooth headphones. And it just so happens that Apple owns the number one Bluetooth headphone company, Beats. Beats brings in more revenue from Bluetooth headphones than LG, Bose, or Jaybird, according to NPD figures released in July. In terms of unit sales, it controls over a quarter of the Bluetooth headphone market. Bluetooth headphones are also disproportionately profitable among headphones. NPD has them accounting for 54 percent of all dollars spent in the market, despite representing only 17 percent of units sold in the U.S.. These headphones sell at high prices with high margins, and Apple's company is making the best of it so far. Sales of Bluetooth headphones are already growing, with units up 64 percent year over year according to NPD's US figures. And Apple's removal of the headphone jack is likely to give them another boost.
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Apple Removed Headphone Jack From New iPhones Because It Owns Largest Bluetooth Headphone Company

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2016 @06:24PM (#52859315)

    Gasp! It's like...everything they do is about making more money! I never realized!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2016 @06:26PM (#52859325)

      Yeah and they sure don't let ethics get in the way either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think TFA has the cause and effect backwards. Apple likely bought Beats because they were planning to remove the audio jack, expected Android to eventually follow their lead, and figured that, therefore, a bluetooth headphone company would be a good investment.

      They didn't remove the audio jack because they own Beats.
      They bought Beats because they were planning to remove the jack.

      • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @06:37PM (#52859405)

        Beats was just a perfect fit for apple.

        Crap product at premium price...what's not to love?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2016 @06:46PM (#52859445)

        No, they bought Beats because Beats is _exactly_ the same style of business that Apple is and a perfect match. They make high-margin pieces of shit electronics which command high prices because they're fashion accessories.

        • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Saturday September 10, 2016 @08:36AM (#52861873)

          People buy Apple because of the way the software works without making you cough up a hairball just to move around the interface. Few ever buy MS for the software. Android is somewhere in the middle, if you could count on your phone getting updates.

          The fact that Apples hardware is a bit behind is merely a product of them making their software work well with it. If they were changing it all the time to be fashion accessories for the techno-crowd, it would work....about as well as MS software.

          By the way, I was just at a logic conference, just about everyone had Macs. You couldn't accuse that crowd of being fashion conscious.

          • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Saturday September 10, 2016 @10:26AM (#52862345)
            "Few ever buy MS for the software."

            I disagree, people don't buy MS products for the OS, they certainly do for the software, as more of it runs on Windows then any other OS.

            If you bought your computer for the fashionable OS the you bought the equivalent of a decorative hammer. Computers are tools, and I am a firm believer that the OS should get out of your way so your software (the whole reason you have a computer) can do it's work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jellomizer ( 103300 )

        I expect it is a chicken and egg.
        The 3.5mm Audio port was made around 1964 was designed for technology that had its covering material thicker than the full devices today. The port is now huge compared to what is needed. That space could be used for extra battery, or more sensors...
        I am sure Apple has been seeing this engineering problem.
        So it would make sense for them to encourage the growth of bluetooth, so they can get to a point where they can get by without making a port.

        Apple tends to be the first c

        • by Calydor ( 739835 )

          Yeah, you're probably right on this.

          To me, it seems likely that Apple wanted to switch to Bluetooth - but only if they could control the bluetooth market to a certain degree. So they bought Beats because they wanted to change, but if they hadn't been able to buy Beats (or whatever competitor there may be) they might not have replaced the jack after all.

          • So they bought Beats because they wanted to change

            Apple spent $3bn to buy a set of headphones anticipating that in the future they were going to make a somewhat unpopular move of removing a headphone jack?

            I always thought that Apple spent $3bn on a company that was only valued at $3bn because of it's music streaming service and contracts with the music industry in place at a time where they were having difficultly breaking into that market, and at a time when Beats actually sold a shitload less bluetooth headphones.

            But yes it all must be this magical jack

          • by Shoten ( 260439 )

            Yeah, you're probably right on this.

            To me, it seems likely that Apple wanted to switch to Bluetooth - but only if they could control the bluetooth market to a certain degree. So they bought Beats because they wanted to change, but if they hadn't been able to buy Beats (or whatever competitor there may be) they might not have replaced the jack after all.

            I think there's one step beyond that, even. They wanted to switch to Bluetooth - but they weren't entirely happy with what was out there on the market. So that's an opportunity for them. Come up with a better solution at one end, get rid of the jack at the other end, and you're both driving demand and pulling it with supply of a good device.

            And yes, I know...I haven't used the Airpods yet. But one of the biggest problems with fully-cordless Bluetooth earphones is that the head itself is unfriendly to th

            • It seems that there's plenty of space for big antenna and a big battery if you have a normal set of headphones.
              However my Bose noiseless run for a full trans pacific flight before needing charging. That wouldn't be the case if they were running a bluetooth wireless as well. They would also suck donkey balls because the pairing mechanism would fail every 30 minutes and you would be asked to turn them off during take off and landing.

        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          I expect it is a chicken and egg.
          The 3.5mm Audio port was made around 1964 was designed for technology that had its covering material thicker than the full devices today. The port is now huge compared to what is needed.

          I don't think it could be much smaller, Maybe a little shorter, but then the contacts are closer together and it will be more picky about the plug fitting exactly. It can't be much smaller in diameter since humans have to get it in the hole and a smaller hole is harder to hit unless you're concentrating on it, I can plug the headphones into my phone without looking, I can't push the tiny SIM card ejector hold without looking. I'll take a usable headphone connector over a couple percent better battery life.

          • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @08:11PM (#52859957)

            I don't think it could be much smaller, Maybe a little shorter, but then the contacts are closer together and it will be more picky about the plug fitting exactly. It can't be much smaller in diameter since humans have to get it in the hole and a smaller hole is harder to hit unless you're concentrating on it, I can plug the headphones into my phone without looking ...

            Oh... headphones. I wasn't sure where you were going with this. I was thinking: worse pick-up line ever...

        • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @09:07PM (#52860199) Journal
          There are much thinner phones on the market today that use a full-size 3.5mm jack (Vivo X3S is 6mm, Huawei Ascend P3 is around 6.18mm, and the Gionee ELife S7 at 5.5mm, for example). And the volume occupied by the jack MIGHT allow something around 50-70 mAhr of more battery - about enough to run that Bluetooth radio for an hour or so - meaning if you listen to Bluetooth headphones for more than an hour you're down on total operational time as you continue to consume more power than if you just had a wired headphone.
          • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

            Hey you! Stop making sense with your facts! This is supposed to be an anti-Apple thread!

          • Thinner is one issue but more to the fact what could you fill in that space. More battery? More processing? Another sensor or two?
            It isn't that the port is a stop in progress but it is an engineering hurdle that need to be looking looked at in every design.

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @07:07PM (#52859551)

        Apple likely bought Beats because they were planning to remove the audio jack

        You have a very short memory. The purchase of Beats had zero to do with headphones and everything to do with buying an active music streaming service adding something they were missing while simultaneously removing a competitor in the industry.

        You don't pay $3bn on a set of crappy bluetooth headphones when you already produce headphones of your own and already have partnerships with companies who also provide Apple dedicated audio equipment. You sure as hell don't run a business with the thought that "hey in 2 years we're are going to do something incredibly stupid, very unpopular, something that will get us grilled from every corner of the tech presses, maybe we should figure out a way to make money of this dumb idea too!"

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mjwx ( 966435 )

        expected Android to eventually follow their lead

        You've got that backwards. Apple follows Android. Android has always had the significant features first. Copy Paste, permissions management, Wifi hotspot, tethering, predictive text, notifications, interactive notifications, third party keyboards, multitasking, OTA updates, quick access to settings panels.

        And this is just the stuff stock android had before IOS, lets not even consider custom ROMS. That would just be embarrassing.

        If you want to know what might be in IOS in 18-24 months, look at what And

      • Remember that Motorola did it first. Though they sell some headphones, they don't move any masses of headphones.

      • I think TFA has the cause and effect backwards.

        Huh? I think The Force Awakens had the cause and effect just right.

      • by v1 ( 525388 )

        I think TFA has the cause and effect backwards.

        That's the first thing that came to mind for me. "Cart before the horse much?"

        Good businesses carefully examine growing trends, and look for ways to leverage their existing assets and market positions to their advantage. Great businesses anticipate and plan future trends, build and position their assets in advance, and back the trends that they will then be in a perfect position to capitalize on in the future. It's all about strategic planning over the long t

    • And Beats.. Really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @08:48PM (#52860127)

      And the most impressive part is how completely, utterly terrible Beats headphones actually are!
      Really, go and try some reasonable Sennheiser, Koss, AKG, Pioneer, hell even Sony...

      Beats are just plain out terrible, especially for the money.
      But then owners are not buying sound are they, ts all about a stylized 'b' on the ears...

      The number of people I have donated older Sennheiser phones to who have then given away their
      much more expensive Beats amazes me. PX200 for travel, HD280Pro for home. both cheap 2nd hand.

      But, yes the move by apple is rather transparent.
      #1, take attention off the lack of other improvements in the 7 by doing something controversial.
      #2, improve Beats/Apple profit by gouging the fanbase even more.

      It seems thats what passes for innovation these days - that and crying over un(fairly)paid tax being called in.
      Sad, really.

  • Not Causal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @06:26PM (#52859317)

    Well, that is one very cynical view. Of course they might have reasons that benefit users. The fact that they offer an adapter rather dispels this theory. Get good Bluetooth headphones and you won't want to go back. Hint: x.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DaHat ( 247651 )

      The fact that they offer an adapter rather dispels this theory.

      Hardly, the adapter they give you for free lets you do exactly 1/2 of what you could before.

      Today you can plug in an aux cable into almost any recent smartphone as well as another cable to charge when going for a drive. You will have to spend at least $40 more for an awkward, third party adapter [belkin.com] (plus another cable) to do the same job... once the adapter is released.

      Get good Bluetooth headphones and you won't want to go back

      Tell you what... I'll

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by frnic ( 98517 )

        I am sorry, I wasn't aware you were being forced to buy Apples products. I can certainly see why you are so upset with the change and not being given the option to buy someone else product instead.

      • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

        Just buy the Belkin two port Lighting hub and you'll be able to use your Aux cable with the dongle provided in the box.

    • Re:Not Causal (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sable Drakon ( 831800 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @06:37PM (#52859409)
      Too bad there aren't any affordable and good sounding bluetooth headphones. The DAC in most BT headphones are shittier than the ones in smartphones, the audo fidelity is worse, and the compression required to use AADP further degrades audio reproduction. Apple just wants to sell people on a shittier experience and force them to like it. 3.5mm headphones sound better, they're cheaper, they're more compatible, and they don't introduce compression artifacts. So on this, Apple can get fucked.
      • Re:Not Causal (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JamesTRexx ( 675890 ) <marcel.nystromNO@SPAMmail.com> on Friday September 09, 2016 @07:00PM (#52859517) Homepage Journal
        Don't forget to mention with a simple piece of wiring between phone and speakers there's no need to replace batteries or have to recharge the earbuds often.
        Sounds more environmentally responsible too.
        • Re:Not Causal (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @07:30PM (#52859741)

          Don't forget to mention with a simple piece of wiring between phone and speakers there's no need to replace batteries or have to recharge the earbuds often.

          Shhhhhhhhh, don't mess with their business model!

          Also, what happens when the batteries degrade to where they're no longer any good? You get to buy a new pair (yippee!) or pay to have them repaired/replaced (yippee!).

          The worst part? The sewers will be filled with these as they fall out and go bouncing off into the gutter, sewer, toilet, heating vent, tall grass, etc etc. Stick your head out the window? Whoops, there they go. Lose one on a beach or out in the woods? Good luck finding it.

          I can't count the number of times that the wires have kept me from losing an earbud.

          And no, you probably won't be able to buy just a left or a right...because that would just be wrong. You'll have to buy both, leaving you with a extra, completely useless one. If they get mixed up at a party or whatever and you end up with two right-side units somehow, well, too bad for you. But hey, they're only another $160 bucks per pair, so stop whining!

          Next up for sale: the Apple "iTether", a pair of sturdy white wires that attach to the earbuds so they don't get lost when you drop them. BRILLIANT!

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        So if companies were smart they would replace the 3.5mm port with something smarter like a second micro-usb port. Two identical ports (One at the top and one at the bottom), so that you can charge the phone whilst using the other micro-usb port for something else, like headphones or even better a full virtual reality headset. Blue tooth whilst neat and all, simply to annoying to use. Battery powered device, hooked up to battery powered devices is really annoying to use, you get no function unless both batt

      • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

        I have the Golzer BT headphones. $80. You'll have to look in your own wallet to figure out if that is affordable. The quality is excellent.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Of course they might have reasons that benefit users.

      Such as providing an inspiring example of "courage"?

    • And the adapter will only be $50. What a deal!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Well, that is one very cynical view. Of course they might have reasons that benefit users.

      Everything you can do with the new headphone-jackless iPhone 7 could have been done with the previous models. The iPhone 5/5S/6/6S, and SE all have Lightning ports and bluetooth, so there was zero reason Apple had to remove the headphone jack if they wanted to start shipping dongles and AirPods instead of wired earphones.

      They didn't do anything with the space the 3.5mm jack was before, just added a (non-functional) speaker grille for aesthetic reasons. They could have added a second Lightning port to the ph

      • by Ramze ( 640788 )

        Eh, they could have put in a second lightning port, but that would be very un-Apple-like (this is the same company that refused to have 2-button mice for a while).

        Also, it wouldn't have solved the real problem to add something back after they removed the jack. The issue wasn't just space, but interference between parts. Apple could have miniaturized the analog audio jack further, but the interference would have remained. Supporting analog audio was a losing battle from the beginning when blutooth and l

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          The issue wasn't just space, but interference between parts. Apple could have miniaturized the analog audio jack further, but the interference would have remained.

          Well, if there's one interface that doesn't have issues with interference from surrounding parts, it's wireless. e_e

    • Well, that is one very cynical view. Of course they might have reasons that benefit users. The fact that they offer an adapter rather dispels this theory. Get good Bluetooth headphones and you won't want to go back. Hint: x.

      Not only offer but include it in the box for "free". Apple has been known to pull of some "interesting" things with adapters before like, you need an adapter, buy it. In this case, I was pretty surprised (pleasantly) that they include the adapter.

    • Get good Bluetooth headphones and you won't want to go back

      Err no. If you get good Bluetooth headphones all you'll do is find out what a steaming pile the bluetooth audio stack actually is. If you're super lucky you'll have a compatible combination that use a good quality codec at a barely passable bitrate but more often than not you'll realise that codecs cost licensing fees and that the fallback SBC codec makes you wish you were listening to those crappy earbuds that come included with every phone purchase.

      There is a workaround. Just buy some Beats headphones. Th

    • Actually it doesn't dispel the theory at all. They know damn well that people will lose the adapter and will buy others, either from Apple or their licensed vendors (who will pay licensing fees like Belkin). Furthermore they built in a NEW wireless tech called W1 that they are also rolling into the Beats line that they hope iPhone 7 owners will replace their existing wired Beats sets with. Anyone else who wants to use the W1 tech also will be paying licensing fees to Apple. And any Lightning device by a

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )

      The fact that they offer an adapter rather dispels this theory.

      Yeah, so what happens when it breaks? That'll be $20. What if you want to charge at the same time? I'm gonna bet a Y-connector for $20-30. And when you buy a Lightning headset, you've effectively just locked yourself into Apple products through a fucking pair of headphones. It is and always has been about locking people into their ecosystem or making them pay a tax for avoiding some of it.

      Frankly, that some people approve of this choice boggles my mind.

    • Well, that is one very cynical view. Of course they might have reasons that benefit users. The fact that they offer an adapter rather dispels this theory. .

      How so?

      The fact they offer and adaptor for sale tends to confirm the theory rather than dispel it.

      Beyond this you have two problems.

      First and foremost is that people hate adaptors. They're a pain in the arse, they get lost, forgotten or stolen. They're difficult to replace at short notice (and cost a kings ransom when they can). They're also quite fragile, on a mobile device this is going to be a huge problem.

      Secondly there is only one port, so this means you can charge OR use the adaptor. A lot

    • Agreed. Bluetooth has been around forever, and yet we still have tangly cords everywhere like it's 1988. BT manufacturers need to step up their game in terms of usability (pairing, latency), and consumers need a push toward our inevitable wireless future. Removing the jack helps with both. I think courage is actually a good word for it. They knew the backlash was coming. Nexus 6P user here.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2016 @06:29PM (#52859339)

    With one of these: http://appleplugs.com/

  • Apple: Oh you'll need some battery powered headphone to do that, we just happen to sell some.

    Me: Screw you, I don't want to own some shitty Bluetooth headphones. Ever. I just don't like em.

    First person who tells me I need to re-buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars in headphones I currently own just because of this one huge stupid flaw gets a kick in the ass. This is such a stupid reason for me to have to buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone.

    • You need to re-buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars in headphones you currently own just because of this one huge, stupid flaw.

      • Pity it violates the Apple standard for the Lightning connector..
        Without supplying external power you are specifically NOT allowed to provide an additional lightning connector.
        I am sure it works, but Apple may or may not end up allowing it.

        My bet is they will just quietly demand their 'cut' behind the scenes, and they will have their own version soon.
        Its a joke they didnt have enough consideration for their users to know this would be a requirement for a lot of people.

        • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

          Quote: "Developed closely with Apple, it plugs into the Lightning connector making it possible to use Lightning Audio headphones or the Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter and charge your iPhone at the same time. "

          http://www.appleworld.today/bl... [www.appleworld.today]

    • For a guy with such a low UID, you seem super immature 3
      • How so? Maybe his concern isn't stated elegantly, but it's a legitimate once regardless. The dongle is inconvenient and is far more prone to getting lost, misplaced or forgotten at home/work/somewhere than a device with a built in jack. I've stated it elsewhere. This is a cash grab/control play by Apple. They want to push their new W1 wireless tech (and collect licensing fees), they want to lock down the iPhone to a single port they fully control (and collect license fees on the Lightning accessories),

  • Synergizing! (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Zargg ( 1596625 )

    Apple finally figured out how to energistically create market positioning benefits in order to monotonectally cultivate maintainable imperatives and progressively evolve synergistic methods of empowerment for credibly synergizing accurate strategic theme areas!

    • 'energistically create market positioning benefits in order to monotonectally cultivate maintainable imperatives and progressively evolve synergistic methods of empowerment for credibly synergizing accurate strategic theme areas!'

      Is that you, Sir Humphrey?

    • Courageously! They do all that courageously!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The iPhone "Jack off". Suits the product and it's customers perfectly.
  • Apple hasn't been at the forefront of phone development for a while. If their target market is willing to go along with "I prefer to be seen with my idevice + my beats accessory" they'll do well. If not, people will buy something else. I'll use my current iphone with headphone jack until it doesn't suit my needs anymore and then I'll just buy a product that does.

    **shrug**

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Friday September 09, 2016 @07:07PM (#52859557) Homepage Journal

    Headphones, and your ears, are analog. The signal gets converted from digital to analog before you can hear it, and is amplified. So, do you want to use the amplifier in the phone, which has a nice big battery and a powerful amplifier that can also drive the speaker, and that can easily dissipate any heat from the amplifier, or the amplifier in your headphone, which if it's an in-ear one is going to have limitations regarding the battery and the amplifier.

    It is not even theoretically possible for a Bluetooth headphone to make better sound. At best, it's the same. The only benefit is that you lose the cord.

    This was an astonishingly cynical move and I hope that Apple loses customers over it.

    • The Bose Quiet Confort in-ear headphones (if I didn't already own an analog pair) are a good reason to go with lightning: you need a battery for the noise cancelling feature, and it is in my experience the best one on the market.

      The problem of course is that for an 11+ hour flight you need to recharge the fscking phone now, and you can't use the fscking Lightning port for the in-flight entertainment.

      • My last speaking customer blew $4000 for me to fly to South Korea and back first-class. It was interesting that besides the expected AC outlets there were USB outlets. But only rarely do I avoid flying coach.

        Of course I have a pair of Quiet Comfort 25's for travel. Over-ear (works better IMO) and they run for several flights on one AAA battery and don't involve my phone. Carrying a spare AAA is really easy. I'd much rather use an external pack than to have my earphones depend on lightning.

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Friday September 09, 2016 @07:11PM (#52859587) Homepage Journal
    The iPhone 8 will require special glasses to see the screen. Apple will congratulate itself for its bravery in leading the industry in such a move.
  • Why'd they really do it? Beats me.

  • umm, unlikely (Score:5, Informative)

    by real gumby ( 11516 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @07:17PM (#52859629)

    I think the largest bluetooth headset seller is some anonymous company in China. The cheap BT headsets you can see on Amazon or Alibaba mostly all look the same, so I suspect are just barely-rebadged versions of the same thing. And surely their volume collectively exceed the sum of Beats, Bose and (never heard of them) Jaybird. And by "volume" I don't just mean units, but as the unit number is so enormous, I also mean dollars.

    As for their actual motivations etc...whatever.

  • They may have partly bought a headphone company knowing that Bluetooth headphones were going to be a hot commodity. But it certainly ridiculous to imply they are deliberately depriving people of headphone jacks to make more money. Firstly, no one is forcing anyone to buy iPhone rather than a Google phone with headphone jack. Secondly, every iPhone still comes with wired headphones anyway, for chrissake. Thirdly, it's not as if we didn't all already know that wireless was inevitable in the first place.
    • If you are into the iOS walled garden and invested a lot of money into it, good luck changing to Android.

      That's why I never spent much money on iOS apps when I had a 3GS. In fact I have spent more money on Android apps than I did on iOS. Because I know the platform will be there even if Google goes belly up. Same reason I don't purchase games on Steam but purchase them on GOG.

  • tly, looking for a good solution for my personal use case at work. I've found to be a gold mine of information. [head-fi.org]

    I've never had any special love for Apple and especially not bluetooth anything. I read a bunch of posts there which I think this article from lifehacker [lifehacker.com] mostly addresses.

    tl;dr - audio compression, dead batteries, overlapping frequency ranges from other shit make bluetooth suck (although supposedly less so than in the past). I don't claim to be an expert just a reader.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @07:29PM (#52859729)

    Headphones do not come with 0% career financing like cell phones. Someone who owns one expensive wired pair to use at home and other for exercise may well be tempted to check out Android offerings rather than putting up with the hassle of two dongles to listen and charge at the same time.

  • So, if I own an iPhone, Apple Watch, and now earbuds I have three things to charge everyday. This is wearisome. Could someone please make headphones and phones and watches that only need to be charged once a year? Not to mention, I have two things to keep up with now (two earbuds) vs. once set of tangled cords that doesn't need to be re-charged. Everything is a tradeoff, but for me, I am weary of charging.

  • Once again Apple has changed the field with another innovation. They have now redefined the meaning of "courage".
    • Here's a direct quote from Apple:

      We’re trying to make great products for people, and 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. Some people are going to not like that, they’re going to call us names [...] but we’re going to take the heat [and] instead focus our energy on these technologies which we think are in their ascendancy and we think are going to be the right technologies

  • And, forcing everyone to use bluetooth, so they can sell more Beats bluetooth headphones, is exactly why there's no way to plug regular headphones into the iPhone 7. This is why they don't even include a free adapter in the box with each and every single iPhone.

    Oh, hang on a minute...

  • Apple may/will make money out of that move. Ok. But of course tons of competitors anticipated the jack removal and made other BT devices, cheaper than Beats. The jack is that long and old piece of equipment that had to be removed at some point. This is a logical evolution. Next will be the lightning port (replaced with induction). Whatever Apple does, a plethora of "critiboys" (the opposite of fanboys) has to open their mouth loudly. Nope, critiboys are no better than fanboys.
  • Beats is also the worst value for your dollar. They're ridiculously overpriced, and not that good. The only people who buy this stuff are people with more money than sense.

  • Pros and cons (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Saturday September 10, 2016 @12:11AM (#52860777) Journal

    Let us be a bit pragmatic about this by analysing the electronics and the data stream.

    I'm a fan of the jack because it allows me to choose the headphones. The only thing I don't have control over is the DAC in the phone.

    For general listening Beats are a heavy headphone and after seeing a construction breakdown on /. some time ago found their specs to be average. A good set of senheiser headphones would be a better investment. Bose look and sound good however I had a hard time tracking down specs last time I was shopping. I'm pretty fussy and my headphones have a response range 16Hz - 28kHz and handle 200mw of power. I have to wear them alot for mixing so they have to be leightweight and they also have interesting features like auto muting when I take them off. I found AKGs to be perfect here.

    Apple's decision means I can choose higher quality DACs for headphones however it also means the end of the era for lightweight quality headphones as it means these devices will have to carry a battery, receiver, DAC, amplifier *AND* audio membrane. More likely, significantly more functionality.

    Considering iTunes accepts music at 96Khz for the masters it is likely this is the next phase of innovation Apple is suggesting where DAC converter in headphone technology improve as consumer grade headphones are able to process higher bitrates with better sound quality and still deliver an enjoyable power delivery and battery life. What it means for people like me is that my high quality gear exposes the limitations of the phone.

    It also means all the associated DAC technology on the phone only has to match the bandwidth of the phone's speakers. I can see why this is a plus for manufacturers as I doubt the DAC in many phones now could deliver the dynamic range that my AKGs can handle and the only way to improve that is to have better DACs and amplifiers on the phone. By not having to have that shootout with other phone manufacturers all manufacturers reduce cost, complexity and, power consumption of their phones.

    However it also means the end of private analogue connection to the phone as locally eavesdroping on unencrypted bluetooth connections becomes more probable.

    This is a new type of market, that apple is creating because now they race is to produce phone headphones that are hyped or actually can deliver quality audio to consumers at a rate more frequent than the delivery of a new phone. Neither bad or good, but a change to the market for headphones.

  • by Fuzi719 ( 1107665 ) on Saturday September 10, 2016 @08:40AM (#52861895)
    "More likely is that the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone -- and increasingly, on Android phones as well..." OK, what Android phones DON'T have an audio jack? Maybe some obscure brand/model nobody has ever heard of, but on every Android phone I see being sold by T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and everybody else, there is an audio jack. So why the "and increasingly, on Android phones as well"? As to BT headphones, I've yet to find one I'd use. I've bought many of them, from expensive Bose, Beats, Sennheiser, on down. Every one of them has the same problem: dropouts. Annoying frequent audio dropouts unless I hold my phone right up next to them, which defeats the purpose. And this is with several models of phones from various manufacturers. BT works great for car audio system, but for headphones, a big NOPE. Give me a good wired model.
  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Saturday September 10, 2016 @04:41PM (#52863711)

    IMO Apple should have waited one more iteration, because Bluetooth 5 is just around the corner and will have HD audio as part of the spec and there would be less issues, better compatibility with other device.... Wait, nevermind. I see what they did there.

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