Last year I wrote about how Apple's decision to drop the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 meant the beginning of the end for the humble 3.5mm port, and I gave it a decade until the port was extinct.
Must read: iPhone: What will the next 10 years bring?
What's interesting is that when I made that prediction many breathed a sigh of relief because ten years is a long time in tech, and that it would be years before Android hardware OEMs began taking away their beloved connector.
I never said anything of the sort. Even before the iPhone 7 was released, and it wasn't yet clear whether Apple had dropped the port, I wrote the following:
"... if Apple drops it for the iPhone and the iPad, other companies won't be able to resist copying the move. Oh, sure, they might hold out at first, but eventually, they will all follow suit."
Well, it's already started to happen, and the snowball is gathering momentum.
Not only is the headphone jack gone from the latest iPhone, but the HTC Bolt, Moto Z, and LeEco smartphones have already eradicated the jack, and rumor has it that Samsung's decided to do the same with its upcoming flagship Galaxy S8.
As to why everyone will drop the headphone jack, here are the top reasons:
- Apple's started doing it
- The components cost money, and also adds to the assembly costs
- That hole allows dirt, dust, water, and random pocket schmoo to get into the device
I predict that by the end of 2017 all of the top of the line smartphones will not have a headphone jack, and that it will pretty soon afterwards be regarded by most consumers as a sign of a "budget" device.
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