Report: Apple to Ditch Headphone Jack for Future iPhones

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Report: Apple to Ditch Headphone Jack for Future iPhones

Apple iPhone 5S

If you want to use non-proprietary headphones on future iPhones, it looks like you'll have to buy another adapter.

A rather disturbing rumor is surfacing regarding Apple's iPhone, that suggests that the tech giant may ditch the headphone jack in future revisions of the phone. If true, headphones on future iPhones would instead be plugged in to the proprietary "Lightning" jack on the phone, meaning that any non proprietary headphones would require users to purchase yet another adapter to use them.

This rumor comes following the earlier news that Apple bought Beats Audio for a fairly ludicrous $3 billion. It certainly makes sense for Apple to acquire a high-end headphone manufacturer, and then force all of its customers to either use it, or purchase a pricey adapter (for reference, the standard Lightning to 30-pin adapter costs $29).

The rumor was first reported by 9to5mac, which has learnt that Apple submitted a specification to its MFi (Made For) licensing program for headphones which connect using the company's proprietary Lightning port instead of the standard 3.5mm jack. Reportedly, all it will take for the Lightning port to start accepting these new headphones is a firmware update.

As well as the obvious downsides, this update would come with some upsides. Piping audio through the Lightning port will enable a switch from analogue to digital audio with an exceedingly high lossless stereo 48 kHz digital output and mono 48 kHz digital input. The Lightning port would also allow headphones to perform more advanced functions over the standard lower/increase volume, end calls and skip tracks, such as cause a specific app to start when they are connected.

Source: Forbes

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Does anyone else feel that the whole Apple VS Android thing is kinda like the whole Consoles VS PC? One keeps trying to lock you down and the other one finds new ways of being more adaptable and customizable?

Well... that would be dumb.

Given that the majority of people aren't playing lossless audio through their audio players, it seems likely that most improvement in sound quality would largely be lost in translation. And while losing an $6 pair of earbuds is an inconvenience, if Apple's new headphones are priced on a par with typical current-day Beats products, losing or breaking them would be a freaking tragedy.

All well and good if they want to make such high-end audio an option, but if it's mandatory... Well, I hope Apple's fans aren't so blind in their loyalty that they stand for it, because frankly, it sounds downright abusive.

All this assuming, of course, that the rumor is true.

Seems likely, I don't think it would negatively effect sales either.

Apple fans are hilariously loyal.

Damn, it Apple! I'm already smug enough without you continually justifying my decision to avoid you like the plague.

Steven Bogos:
If you want to use non-propitiatory headphones on future iPhones, it looks like you'll have to buy another adapter.

Why would anyone want to do that? My headphones have to atone for their sins every day or thunder and lightning follow me around just everywhere.

Seriously, Escapist? Spell-check can't help you if you use a correctly-spelled word in the wrong context. You have to read what you've written before posting it.

Anywho, this is ridiculous, and just makes me glad I've never jumped on the iPhone bandwagon. The sad thing is that Apple die-hards are going to look at this and, even if they think it's a problem, they've got so much money invested in their Apple gear that jumping ship and buying new apps all over again on another platform will be too painful.

Apple's core userbase might not be that bothered but I'm sure the European Union would have something to say about ditching a globally accepted standard in favour of their own proprietary solution. I also doubt bundling a free Lightning to earphone jack connector in Europe is going to cut it this time either. Their current Lightning to USB adaptor may be on borrowed time, the EU have a directive going through that would lead to all mobiles requiring a common charger without the need for adaptors or connectors.

Welp... I'm never "upgrading" then. Fool me once into getting my iTunes Library all custom built to use towards a dependace, fool me twice, nope. I predict a sales tank, with just cause too.

Apple's screwing over their customers and over-charging? Say it ain't so!

Shaidz:
Does anyone else feel that the whole Apple VS Android thing is kinda like the whole Consoles VS PC? One keeps trying to lock you down and the other one finds new ways of being more adaptable and customizable?

I dunno... that seems an incredibly gracious assessment. Google may have got in late to the "pointlessly dick our blindly loyal zealots for no rational reason than our corporate profit" game but fact is fact Google has done an amazing job of playing catch up. The more google as an entity moves toward "evil empire" territory, the more customer unfriendly design choices restricting users freedom in the name of towing the line to ensure not only their own profits, but the profit of tightly tied partners like HTC, Samsung, etc. rear their head.

On Topic: Apple announcing they are making a design choice that serves no purpose than milking their cash cows, and those cattle enjoying the milking a little too much really isn't news. Apple demands their customers abdicate more power to be greeted with elation and joyful anticipation really does not constitute news, perhaps a decade ago or more. If anything it would be newsworthy had apple hadn't had intention to manipulate and exploit their customers for once.

I think the picture with the article is priceless. Oh Apple, you innovators. Soon you'll find out how to take our money without even offering a product or service in return!

Callate:
Well... that would be dumb.

And you think that Apple fanboys will care? They won't give a shit. They'll gobble up any Apple crap.

I'm not even vaguely surprised. Apple have form in this regard, I had to purchase an adapter to use a HDMI cable with my MacBook.

Guess who's switching to android if this ends up being true?

If you guessed me, then you would be correct.

What´s good about apple today anyway? The only thing special about their phones is the design and their computers are super expensive PCs that can do less stuff.

wait... doesn't that mean you won't be able to charge it and listen to music at the same time because they use the same jack?
whatever, when my sub is up, I'm not getting another iPhone. I like this one, but they're getting a little too dictatorial for my tastes. I want one of those blockphone thingies :D

It will be another greatest thing since sliced bread and the audio will be 100 times better than on anything else. Sorry cant say that with a straight face... But that will be what Apple fanboys will say and the Apple reviewers will say it as well on Cnet.

Steven Bogos:
Piping audio through the Lightning port will enable a switch from analogue to digital audio with an exceedingly high lossless stereo 48 kHz digital output

It what?...

What the hell does "exceedingly high lossless" mean? If its lossless then it would be pointless to also say its exceedingly high quality, and thats the only thing I can think of that is a coherent interpretation.

It also doesnt make any sense anyway. At best you move the digital-to-analogue conversion from the iPhone to the headphones - generating a sound wave to send into your ears is an analogue process no matter how you look at it - and while Im not particular fan of the iPhone Id much rather have a $600 electronic device doing the processing than a $20 pair of earphones, or even my $200 headphones. Transmission loss over the headphone cable is pretty negligible.

Sooo, will we now hear more smug comments from members of the Apple cult about how this is the best idea since the creation of the internet or something outrageous like that? Really though, how stupid is this idea? but then again most hardcore Apple fans and users will just be lining up outside for days waiting for this latest whatever. They wouldn't care either way.

*Sigh* Poor Humanity.

So lets see;

Apple forced the new flat icons (everyone I know, which is more than a few, hates this change), the mail app is broken (well, buggy to the point of non-useable), and now they are forcing their loyal (lol, amiright?) customers to buy (more) over priced crap. You know what? Apple are just upset that people are buying cheap ear buds rather than the overpriced (and absurdly fragile) official Apple product.

Steve Jobs has rolled over in his grave so much, that he has drilled through the earth all the way to China.

I seriously doubt this.
It's not unlikely that they'll be offering lightning-connectivity for high end audio devices. Working much like SPDIF or HDMI, sending lossless audio streams without analogue interference.
However, cutting out the already proprietary audio jack isn't gonna happen anytime soon.
1. You only have 1 lightning port, meaning you can't charge and listen at the same time.
2. The lightning connectors are too stiff and rigid at the moment. You can't curl one into your pocket like your usual headphone cord without risking damage to the cable or connector.
3. Lightning costs more to produce. Which means the standard earplugs that come with your iphone for free, will cost more for Apple.

TLDR;
Yes, they'll probably start offering high end audio products that use the Lightning port for lossless audio, as well as opening this up for third parties.
No, they won't cut out their all-in-one audio jack that so far works flawlessly for their standard customers.

Boy am I glad that I swapped over to Android when I replaced my old iPhone 4. I like to purchase my own headphones which are pretty high quality and I use them for everything - my phone, laptop, tablet and even my desktop before I purchased a proper headset. If I still had an iPhone this would mean I'd need two sets of headphones. Thanks but no thanks.

Steven Bogos:
It certainly makes sense for Apple to acquire a high-end headphone manufacturer,

Beats "high end" :P that's a good one :P.

I can understand them changing the 30 pin whist the 30 pin can do a few things that lightning cannot the connector is not very rugged and is very fiddly and a bit big in this day and age so yeh not a huge problem.

I don't think even apple are stupid enough to remove the headphone jack as its used for so much more than just plugging in a set of ear-buds such as speakers and car audio, then again you never know with apple. I have moved form iPhone to a nexus 4 and now 5, Still have my iPad and like that so i am not in one camp or the other but i don't see it happening,

See, I like the way I can plug my iPhone into my decent creative speakers at home, my cheap sony earbuds for walking and my comfy sennheiser cans in work. I am basically left with the choice of eventually moving to android or buying an mp3 player for my music. Which is a shame. I recently got an iPhone and enjoy using it. But I also have a Nexus tablet and enjoy the relative freedom you get from android. I doubt that this will cripple apple or anything. But when the average jack off is buying a phone, they will most likely want headphone sockets. The thought of having 1 pair of propriety headphones is painful to me. I

Shamanic Rhythm:
I'm not even vaguely surprised. Apple have form in this regard, I had to purchase an adapter to use a HDMI cable with my MacBook.

Well, to be fair to Apple, in this case, Display Port (which is the hole you'd have neeeded the adaptor for) Is actually a completely standard port, and is the official successor to DVI for computer monitors, its just that VGA/DVI/HDMI are already good enough for 97.95% of the population and consequently almost nothing actually supports it outside of Apple.

Having said that I do agree that it seems absolutely ludicrous to not include an HDMI port as well, even a Mini or Micro one if they're concerned about space/sleek-ness.

Source: I used to have to sell these things for a living. It wasn't easy.

Apple are trying the same s**t Microsoft were taken to task for in the 90s, namely trying to make everything proprietary. The charger, different from all other manufacturers. Drag and drop? On every platform except Apple that requires iTunes. Headphone jack? Every device in the world, except Apple. HDMI? Nope, unique again.

This isn't marketing, it's not innovation, it's execs trying to get people "locked" into a platform by forcing use of proprietary items. How Apple are able to continue to sell the iPhone in Europe where the law says it has to use MicroUSB (AFAIK) is beyond me.

That's quite unlikely since the Lightning connector is purely digital. Unless Apple only wants to sell more expensive, proprietary earphones with a D/A converter built in... Oh wait.

But still IMHO even Apple isn't THAT retarded.

Piping audio through the Lightning port will enable a switch from analogue to digital audio with an exceedingly high lossless stereo 48 kHz digital output and mono 48 kHz digital input.

That sounds like a pitch for "digital audio" being so awesome from the 80's.

You still need to convert the digital signal to analog at some point. Either you do it in the device, or outside the device, but sending purely digital signal to the earphones would have some weird results.

nickpy:

Shamanic Rhythm:
I'm not even vaguely surprised. Apple have form in this regard, I had to purchase an adapter to use a HDMI cable with my MacBook.

Well, to be fair to Apple, in this case, Display Port (which is the hole you'd have neeeded the adaptor for) Is actually a completely standard port, and is the official successor to DVI for computer monitors, its just that VGA/DVI/HDMI are already good enough for 97.95% of the population and consequently almost nothing actually supports it outside of Apple.

Having said that I do agree that it seems absolutely ludicrous to not include an HDMI port as well, even a Mini or Micro one if they're concerned about space/sleek-ness.

Source: I used to have to sell these things for a living. It wasn't easy.

Hehe, I feel your pain. At least you understand the stuff you're selling - I was in an Apple Store today just to browse, and the dipshit who served me had absolutely no idea how to find out what the resolution of the display was...

nickpy:

Shamanic Rhythm:
I'm not even vaguely surprised. Apple have form in this regard, I had to purchase an adapter to use a HDMI cable with my MacBook.

Well, to be fair to Apple, in this case, Display Port (which is the hole you'd have neeeded the adaptor for) Is actually a completely standard port, and is the official successor to DVI for computer monitors, its just that VGA/DVI/HDMI are already good enough for 97.95% of the population and consequently almost nothing actually supports it outside of Apple.

Having said that I do agree that it seems absolutely ludicrous to not include an HDMI port as well, even a Mini or Micro one if they're concerned about space/sleek-ness.

Source: I used to have to sell these things for a living. It wasn't easy.

What are you talking about DisplayPort is available on most gpu and PC monitor, while it should be there on most professional laptop (got one on my Lenovo Thinkpad T520, which is a 3 years old model and it is still there on modern Thinkpad series, but it is miniDP connector these day), but consumer laptop usually have hdmi, as where DisplayPort never appear is on a TV, as it's a PC standard.

I don't buy this rumor at all. Apple is known for inventing its own proprietary crap, but this would be jaw-droppingly stupid. Not being able to charge your phone and listen at the same time is idiotic and making the bundled headphones more expensive to produce is equally so. I'd say it is far more likely that they'll simply add the ability for headphones to be plugged into the lightning jack and launch new "high-end" headphones for sale that are compatible with it, all while maintaining the current headphone jack. Stupid rumor is stupid.

Maybe they're gonna fix the problems with the headphone jack - like the £60 replacement cost of a busted jack because I happen to use headphones while the iPod is in my pocket, and apparently it just can't handle that.

Gorrath:
I don't buy this rumor at all. Apple is known for inventing its own proprietary crap, but this would be jaw-droppingly stupid. Not being able to charge your phone and listen at the same time is idiotic and making the bundled headphones more expensive to produce is equally so. I'd say it is far more likely that they'll simply add the ability for headphones to be plugged into the lightning jack and launch new "high-end" headphones for sale that are compatible with it, all while maintaining the current headphone jack. Stupid rumor is stupid.

Other than that, I pretty much agree totally with this.

Soxafloppin:
Seems likely, I don't think it would negatively effect sales either.

Apple fans are hilariously loyal.

Seconded. I'll never understand the brand loyalty Apple enjoys. Well, one more reason to never join their cult.

Yep if this is true. I'm out. Droid here I come!

Steven Bogos:
It certainly makes sense for Apple to acquire a high-end headphone manufacturer, and then force all of its customers to either use it, or purchase a pricey adapter (for reference, the standard Lightning to 30-pin adapter costs $29).

Wow, I hadn't heard that Apple acquired a "high-end headphone manufacturer". That'll be a big improvement over those lowsy headphones made by Beats. It's good to know that Apple still values function over fashion.

Shaidz:
Does anyone else feel that the whole Apple VS Android thing is kinda like the whole Consoles VS PC? One keeps trying to lock you down and the other one finds new ways of being more adaptable and customizable?

Wait. Which is which?

Because Google effectively locked the SD card for a lot of users, making certain apps useless without rooting your device.

I see the iProduct/Droid race as a race to the bottom. Which, honestly, I think is probably a more apt analysis of the console wars than console v PC. "What's the shittiest box we can sell to the consumer? Why, one that's only slightly shittier than our rival's box! Then we can slowly reduce service in time, because they'll do the same."

Callate:
Well, I hope Apple's fans aren't so blind in their loyalty that they stand for it, because frankly, it sounds downright abusive.

I've had more than one friend describe their relationship with Apple as abusive, or compare it to Stockholm syndrome. This will be more of the same, I think.

NLS:

1. You only have 1 lightning port, meaning you can't charge and listen at the same time.

The rest may be true, but this would neither be the first or last time this was pulled.

KingsGambit:

This isn't marketing, it's not innovation, it's execs trying to get people "locked" into a platform by forcing use of proprietary items. How Apple are able to continue to sell the iPhone in Europe where the law says it has to use MicroUSB (AFAIK) is beyond me.

I thought the law wouldn't even come to a vote until this summer. Has it passed?

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