In a previous post I vented about iPhone's recessed headphone jack in the iPhone and mentioned that "I haven’t heard a single rational explanation as to why Apple would do this."
A source with contacts at Apple sent me this explanation:
Apple found, prior to the iPhone, that a lot of service repairs for iPods were for busted headphone jacks caused by headphone plugs being constrained, pulled, or bent in pockets or other tight areas. This is why they recessed the iPhone's headphone jack into the casing. Phones go through even more abuse than iPods, I'm willing to bet, so getting this right was important.
The downside, of course, is that normal headphones don't fit into the iPhone's recessed jack. Apple should've shipped a wire extension--that is, something that isn't rigid except at the plug itself--with the iPhone.
All that matters is that the lever point is recessed into the casing. A good example of the design that would've been nice and not caused problems can be seen in the iPod Shuffle sport case that Apple used to sell during the first generation of the Shuffle.
And there you have it. Debate the decision if you must, but there is reasoning behind it. Anyone buying it?