Removing the 3.5mm headphone socket


I’m not sure why people are saying “if” Apple remove it. There’s been numerous leaks which show devices of different sizes without a headphone socket. Unless they are very good fakes, or somehow prototypes or something, there’s going to be an iphone without a headphone socket.


It isn’t ‘considering a replacement’ that I have a problem with. Lets say for the moment that they kept the lightning port for audio and added wireless charging (that’d work) or a second port for charging (that’d work) or they replaced the 3.5mm with a water proof 2.5mm port to reduce thickness (that’d work). The key thing with all of those options is they don’t require a dongle (dongles suck).

It’s like the MacBook (which I admit is beautiful looking), it’s severely limited by the single port and that’s why I’ve got a MacBook Pro (ports!).

I don’t want a ‘Macbook’ style iPhone, I want a MacBook Pro style iPhone!

There were ‘no tears’ because Samsung chose an open standard for their connector.

But Apple by choosing the Lightning port for audio Apple are further restricting how we choose to use our own products. I like being able to choose a different audio product.

As I stated earlier however this is in line with what we’ve seen from Apple over the last few years and that is to restrict upgrading, restrict 3rd party repairs and parts, restrict 3rd party accessories and in general to reduce the openness of the Apple ecosystem.

As for 6 pairs of head phones I leave 1 at my work desk, 1 at the reception counter at work, 1 at my home office desk, 1 in my work laptop bag, 1 in my motorbike panniers and 1 in the push bike panniers.

1 set of headphones is attached to my gaming laptop and 1 set of headphones is attached to my media system in the lounge.

In my experience carrying around earphones in jeans pockets just leads to them being tangled and messy.


The point is more if they remove it from all phones. I suspect they will maintain some versions of the phone with the 3.5mm which will keep people happy, and progressively phase it out over a period of time.


I hope they do remove it this year.

Just so we don’t have to go through this nonsense all over again when the rumour resurfaces next year!


The entire market has moved away from upgradable hardware. Apple was just the first. Surface Pro etc all have the same setup. Less than 5% actually upgrade their hardware, probably closer to 1% would be my guess

You don’t think phone calls haven’t already been replaced to some degree? Voice over IP sound familiar? FaceTime?

As for the issue of accumulating headphones, that’s ludicrous. I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff that is old and will never be used, that’s technology, it’s changing.

Two factors - space and quality of sound.

People were unhappy with a lot of things. The removal of the floppy, the removal of the CD, etc. “OMG, I have to carry around an external CD now, this is sooooooo stupid”. Yeah, that panic was valid…


Availability of knock off cables doesn’t substitute for lack of memory upgradability in laptops, for non-removable batteries in phones or for lack of ports on both. And I’ve had several of those after market cables stop working because Apple released updates that stopped them working.

Also if they are going to use a single port then why not a USB-C port on the iPhone 7? It’s not like they haven’t already used that port on the MacBook anyway.

Oh that’s right, that’d make it easier for 3rd party accessories to provide alternatives to Apple connectors.


And if you used that logic, the iPhone would no longer make phone calls - because thats a 19th century thing as well right? Lets get rid of it, anything old is stupid. Oh speakers were developed in the early 20th century, better get of that as well, because its ‘old’.

Replacing a connector is great when it brings clear improvement. Removing the 3.5mm jack does nothing to bring clear improvement. If you want bluetooth you can already have it, if you want lightning headphones you can already have it.

Thats because Apple arrogantly (surprise surprise) went for a closed standard. That was a different scenario though, as they were changing one port for another port, NOT removing a port completely with no direct replacement and the replacement connector actually had advantages in being smaller and reversible . Samsung went to an open standard which is the right thing to do, not to a bloody proprietary connector.

You’re missing the point. People accumulate earbuds and headphones and then use them. Removing the port will be environmentally unfriendly as the creation of unnecessary adaptors to continue using the old headphones, the chucking of old headphones is not environmentally friendly.

Apple's arrogance of non-upgradeable Macs

Or how about they just leave it. Its only ‘nonsense’ because Apple is pulling one of their stupid arrogant moves. Right now if you want lighting headphones, go buy them. If you want bluetooth headphones, go buy them. If you want 3.5mm connection headphones, go buy them, use them and be happy.


At best it has a charging point leaving me to permanently have the device attached to my phone and a ridiculously sized phone as a result at worst it doesn’t. Either way you’re making excuses for your behavior and nothing else.

I have a Mophie Space Pack, I use it occasionally when I want more battery life, much like the battery grip for my camera. If I had to have a device like this permanently affixed to my phone in order to use my headphones, I would simply buy another phone instead.

I say you have no idea of the quality difference between stock Apple earbuds and quality headphones, and that’s ok too, not everyone values high quality headphones, but some do, and they shouldn’t be inhibited by another stupid iSheep PR/Marketing disaster.

I say your analogy is a complete and utter load of nonsense because you have no clue about what a good set of headphones are and that’s OK also, music is a complete and utterly different kettle of fish to smartphones and there is very little crossover point (I’m not talking about speaker crossovers here) Moreover the reviews of headphones by most tech related magazines/periodicals is often facile at best and belligerent towards the facts of what makes good sound at worst. I think you should stick to talking about what you know about, but I think you’ve got foot in mouth syndrome so you’re not going to stop here.

Silly me for wanting a phone with a high quality DAC I can actually listen to my headphones through with a set of low impedance headphones at a decent amplification through the iphones built in amplifier without having to use bluetooth. I thought my behavior was normal, but apparently it isn’t?

Look you’re right, DLNA will resolve this problem eventually, but we’re not at that stage where you can have DLNA in your pocket yet and when we are it will result in even more 802.11 congestion and battery life issues. I mean its close I can use spotify to listen to music from my Mac on my iPhone and I can do that over a VPN if I’m away from home if I so happen to have a fast enough internet connection (4Gx is here but there isn’t really enough data) but that still requires a DLNA compatible receiver in my pocket.

When it does occur it will result in bigger heavier headphones with poor battery life, and how much do you want to sacrifice just to be a cord cutter? I say you’re just agreeing with Apple because you so happen to be another unreasonable illogical iSheep.


Again I have to ask why? I’ve yet to hear a decent argument for it.

If the only reason is ‘because we can’ then fine, that’s a valid reason, but an equally valid response is ‘well fuck you’.

Waterproofing, making the phone thinner, increasing battery size are not valid reasons. All can be (and have been) achieved without getting rid of the 3.5mm jack.

It does seem to be a foregone conclusion, but it will be interesting to hear if Apple have a legitimate technical reason or whether it is just ‘because we can’.


The only reasoning that I can possibly come up with is saving room with in the phone for components, but there are other less annoying ways to do it.


Not even really that. Apple is well known to use proprietary circuitry to save space as it is. The iPhone logic board takes up the bottom quarter of the case, the rest is taken up by the battery and the 4G/Wifi chipsest in the top quarter. An extra 2mm of space isn’t going to do anything.

The only thing I can think of that it will accommodate is the removal of space for a physical home button at some point in the near future and that’s good, to have less moving parts and therefore greater reliability, but Android phones since the Galaxy Nexus have managed to do away with a physical home button and still retain a headphone jack, so that’s not really an excuse either.

While the benefits of capacitive “home” buttons are many including allowing developers (where possible) to program what the “home” buttons do per app, this doesn’t excuse this behavior either. Apple are in the minority with this behavior while a drove of Apple loyal consumers are thinking of or already have bought other phones instead.

Well who loses out here?


What I find interesting is that so many long term Apple owners, so many of the ‘Apple faithful’ are so unhappy with the removal of the 3.5mm port.

Yes there have been other changes that have been unpopular but in the past the ‘unhappy’ have been in the minority and this time it seems (anecdotally at least) that the ‘unhappy’ are in the majority.


That doesn’t mean that change is either desirable or desired.

Apple are letting their Mac Pros wither away, their MacBook Pros are little better than their consumer machines of previous times and the MacBooks are toys.

It is catering to the lowest common denominator, something that Microsoft were great at but I chose Apple many years ago because they were better than that (note my use of were).

I don’t use consumer Voice over IP or Facetime and no I’m not a digital troglodyte, I use a full digital phone system with a dedicated hardware phone server. Consumer VOIP and Facetime are irrelevant to my commercial business needs.

If quality of sound was really a reason then they wouldn’t supply those abysmal white ear phones nor would they sell Beats. And if space is really the issue then it’s already been shown by other companies that it’s possible to provide larger batteries, more powerful chips and water proofing in cases of similar size to that of the iPhones. Or are you suggesting that Apple have to remove the 3.5mm because they can’t engineer what other companies already have?

The floppy was replaced because the CD was a better solution. The DVD wasn’t replaced at all. I have an Apple external DVD drive that I have to carry around with my laptop because my current MacBook Pro no longer has a DVD drive, please tell me how that is better than the internal drive on my earlier MacBook Pro? My current MacBook Pro (2012 model) has 4Gb of RAM, now normally I’d have upgraded the RAM but I can’t, so I have to put up with sluggish performance due to lack of RAM or upgrade to the current model which is basically the same machine (profiteering much?)

Yes people were unhappy with some of the changes you mention, they were unhappy because they were BAD CHANGES.


I think you need to rephrase that:

That does mean that change is either desirable or desired BY EVERYONE.

Most people don’t upgrade and don’t give a rat about upgrading. I always purchased max spec because it’s not a secret that you can’t upgrade. We’ve known Apple is headed that direction. If you want a phone to tinker with, then Android has always been a better OS.

As for you carrying around a DVD, I’m willing to bet you are less than 1% of users who have that problem so Apple won’t make a device for the 1% that inconveniences the 99%.

On the issue of engineering, Apple can engineer it with that but there are two things they can’t engineer around:

  1. Phone thickness if the 3.5mm jack is the limiting factor
  2. The space taken up by the jack which could be used for something else. No matter how you engineer a phone, if you can recover space that always helps.

The above was one of the primary reasons they removed the old cable design.

For sounds quality, Apple may provide cheap buds, but some of the other brands (who already make iPhone specific headphones) could produce better quality headphones that blow the current headphones away because it removes a major limitation. It also means they could probably extend the functionality on the headphones without the limitations of the headphones. I.e. have more controls on the headphones which aren’t available via the 3.5mm jack.


Fair enough but it doesn’t invalidate the comments that I made where I said that Apple are moving away from their Pro and Prosumer users and moving towards consumer sales.

That’s REALLY not the Apple of old where they were a premium brand because they were a top of market product. These days it’s more like they’re a fashion accessory being sold because of the name.

This year it’ll be the phone I won’t update, I’ll probably have to buy an Android :frowning:

Next year it’ll be the laptop and I’ll probably have to buy a Windoze machine :frowning: *

The year after the iMac will probably go :frowning:

And that’ll make me sad for the Apple that used to be and was no more.

  • And before you say ‘buy the top end Macbook Pro’, I’ve been buying the entry level MacBook Pro just about since they came out because they fitted my budget. The top of the line model does not.


I opted to buy a second hand 2010 white macbook. Low end specs by today’s standards, but at least I could replace the RAM, the drive, and the battery, myself. It will serve me well for some time yet.

I also chose to stay with my late 2012 Mini with an external DVD drive. I havent upgraded its innards yet (except RAM which was easy) but I will someday.

But, like you, Geoff, the time will come when the hardware fails or doesnt do what I need it to, and thats when I will have to reconsider. I’ve been Apple only since 2003, and before that, a mix of Apple, PC and Amiga from 1990… I think for me, its likely to be a move to Linux of some variety or other.

(Oh I did get a 6S in anticipation of the departing 3.5, and it will do me for the next few years… And if I end up hating it, the 5S will serve well enough)


You wouldn’t have a clue what segment of the market upgrades their machines. Unfortunately Apple has a huge influence on the market and when they became hellbent on thin-ness and lack of upgradability even where it wasn’t justified, some of the market has followed. Its an incredibly arrogant and stupid move in an age where we need to be making the best and longest use of our resources. Even if the original owners of hardware didn’t upgrade them, many second owners did, extending the life of hardware and extending the life of hardware is the most environmentally friendly thing to do.

Hopefully the world realises that the obsession with disposability needs to stop. Hopefully Project Ara takes off.

So Apple should remove the the ability to make a mobile phone call because its ‘old’ technology and there are semi replacements for it?

A technology being ‘old’ is not justification for removing it, especially when its ‘replacements’ (Bluetooth and Lightning) have major pitfalls.

'[quote=“MissionMan, post:187, topic:1523”]
Two factors - space and quality of sound.

The saved space is really quite minor. Quality of sound is an absolute joke of an argument considering the sound quality of most of the material iPhone users listen to. Even then if you want lighting headphones you can already use them regardless of the 3.5mm port being there.

Oh god, a slimmer iPhone, because the current one is just so massive.

And if people want this they can go out and buy it now - the lightning port has been on Apple devices since 2012 and there is no law stopping people from connecting up lightning headphones.

Their products are now disposable. Oh your $2000 Macbook broke, here buy another. The thing is though, the prices here at least have just kept rising, so they’re now disposable but more expensive than ever.

I opted to sell the Retina Macbook Pro Apple gave me when my cMPB 2012 finally was replaced, in favour of another cMPB 2012 - last good laptop Apple made imho. Fairly repairable and upgradable. Will hopefully last a long time, At least until Apple pulls ones of its ‘raise OSX requirements for no reason whatsoever moves’.


You’re a technology geek. Of course you upgrade your laptop. The average user doesn’t and Apple’s been that way for a long time.

Good luck with the windows machine. I had a Surface Pro 3. The novelty wore off after 6 months and I almost threw it out the window. If you think Apple is bad, try Microsoft. As an example, they enabled sharing of updates to other users on the web by default and it cost me $500 of data. They wouldn’t even respond to my complaints. At least you can get an appointment in an Apple store. I’ve resent my complaint to Microsoft 5 times and they haven’t even acknowledged it.


Plenty of average users will have someone repair and upgrade their machines for them. I do a lot of Ram and SSD upgrades for ‘average users’. Ask your average user about ‘Ram’ or ‘SSDs’ and they’ll look at you blankly, but they’ll be more than happy to tell you its “Too slow” or “I’m out of room” and for me then to be able to upgrade their machine, and save them a lot of money keeping their machines in service.