By: Chris Southcott – Techly AU
The iPhone 7 won’t have a headphone jack, that’s for sure. How do I know this? Because Apple already tried to kill the headphone jack in 2015.
And, by Apple’s nature, that was clearly only the start of their next port purge.
Yes, once again Apple rumour season is in full swing, and as well as the usual assortment of improved processors, and a thin new design, the next iPhone surprisingly looks like it’s going to bring a lot to the table for the Apple Watch, as well as Apple critics.
I’ve been using the Apple Watch for just under a week now, and the most under-appreciated feature of the thing is its barely-advertised musical capabilities.
With around 8GB of internal storage (which rounds out to 6GB available, 2GB for music), the Watch is basically a modern iPod nano. You can sync any playlist to it, including tracks from Apple Music and playlists from Beats 1, and it’ll store them locally, even without an iPhone in your pocket.
This has crazy potential. My phone always runs out of battery before sunset, but with the Apple Watch I basically have an iPod backup on my wrist.
Better still, one of the saddest parts of working out with a smartphone is the bulky smartphone itself. There are cables flinging around, arms flailing. It’s why those dumb arm-cases exist.
By comparison, Music on the Watch means you can leave your phone behind. And people already love wireless things anyway.
Yet I still don’t use this feature of the Apple Watch, because I don’t own a pair of Bluetooth headphones. And since the Watch lacks the beloved headphone port, most people will probably never experience, as Apple describes it, a “cable-free liberating workout” – unless they actually invest another $100 minimum on headphones. It’s a shame really, but it was Apple’s early attempt to kill the headphone jack.
Fast forward to the rumour of a jack-free iPhone, and the iPhone 7’s Bluetooth-only musical capabilities become clearer.
If Apple starts shipping basic Bluetooth earbuds with every iPhone 7, the Apple Watch might become a more interesting proposition, and the iPhone will eventually become more Bluetooth friendly too.
Just look around any train, bus, or tram and you’ll already see a sea of white Apple buds. Most people don’t buy headphones, they just use the ones provided by their phone’s manufacturer.
By bundling the iPhone with Bluetooth buds, Apple will basically give every Apple Watch owner a set from the get-go, while also forcing iPhone users to use Bluetooth much more often.
Even better, as more and more people are forced to use Bluetooth headphones, Apple will have more incentive to improve the overall experience of pairing and using Bluetooth headphones. How much they can do is debatable, and Bluetooth is still a crappy, limited standard, but there’s potential.
Notably, there are serious downsides associated with the death of the 3.5mm jack. You’ll have a second battery to charge every night, for one, and Apple will once again remove the iPhone from the open, and close to perfect, 3.5mm jack standard. Switching between a laptop and phone will also probably remain a Bluetooth pairing nightmare.
Apple’s only alternative are Lightning headphones, which would be even worse. Imagine not being able to plug your iPhone headphones into your Macbook, or even an Apple Watch. It just doesn’t make sense.
All in all, if the company wants to keep making computers that are super thin and small, at some point they’ll have to bite this bullet.
So why not do it now? They already basically did in 2015.
Source: Techly AU