"Kill the Headphone Jack... Already!"
Every September, Apple unveils its latest flagship iPhone, with every two years changing the industrial design. As the keynote presentation approaches, leaks and rumors surface like clockwork. Among the rumors this year is that Apple will break the two year industrial design change in efforts to refines the current model. However, Apple will refresh the technology inside the phone and update the headphone plug, in fact they will remove the analog jack.
This rumor was confirmed by The Wall Street Journal,
The biggest planned change in this year’s phones is the removal of the headphone plug, which will make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance, said people familiar with the matter.
The Lightning connector will serve double-duty as a port for charging the phone and for connecting headphones, they said. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he expects the new iPhone to be one millimeter thinner than the current iPhone.
Of course, this set Internets on fire. Nilay Patel, editor in chief at The Verge said that “Taking the Headphone Jack Off Phones Is User-Hostile and Stupid." Others followed up with the same reaction. However, John Gruber and MG Siegler rebuttal those fears with several think pieces on Apple's history of moving ancient technology forward. Siegler writes:
The outrage is as palpable as it is comical. Then everyone calms down. The news cycle moves on. People buy the new Apple device anyway. Life continues. All competitors copy Apple’s once-controversial move. And technology ends up in a better place as a result.
Because, ultimately, this isn’t about “Apple knows best,” it’s about progress.You cannot move forward if you don’t sever the ties to the past at some point.As Gruber points out, Apple seems to be particularly astute with its timing in this regard, but I’d argue these changes would ultimately happen regardless. They’d just happen a lot more slowly.
Apple has severed ties with several old technologies; floppy drives, hard drives, mobile keyboards, cd-roms, etc. They even cut their 30 pin connector to move towards the Lightning port. Apple is notorious for this, this what they do, they move technology forward. After the initial outrage, we will look back at this they same way we look back at all the other silly Apple "gate" incidents.