Apple's Headphone Jack Adapter Remains a Top Seller at Best Buy

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Apr 12, 2001
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Back in September 2016, controversy erupted when Apple released the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus without a headphone jack. Now, users must plug wired headphones into the Lightning connector using an adapter, included in the box with each device, and sold separately for $9 in the United States.


The adapter is also available at resellers such as Best Buy, where nearly two years later, it remains a top seller. In fact, the adapter is Best Buy's second-best selling Apple product in terms of unit sales, behind only AirPods, according to Joshua Fruhlinger, publisher of data-driven site Thinknum:
The above chart shows the Lightning-to-3.5mm Headphone Adapter's sales rank at Best Buy for the past couple years. A lower sales rank, of course, is better. As you can see, the adapter has been a top-25 seller for the better part of the past year.

Apple is likely not making a ton off of the little dongles, but the fact remains that it's the company's second-best-selling product at America's number-one electronics retailer, ahead of its EarPods and Apple Watch.
MacRumors reached out to Fruhlinger to verify the data, obtained using Best Buy's developer APIs, and we did see that the headphone jack adapter has consistently ranked as the best selling Apple product behind AirPods, with a few days here and there as exceptions, for well over a year.


In fact, since the adapter was released a few years ago, its sales ranking among all products sold by Best Buy has generally increased:Dec 15, 2016: 261st
Mar 15, 2017: 77th
Jun 15, 2017: 33rd
Sep 15, 2017: 30th
Dec 15, 2017: 53rd
Mar 15, 2018: 18th
Jun 15, 2018: 19thThe data is particularly interesting given that Apple already includes its headphone jack adapter in the box with its latest iPhones, so every customer that needs one should already have one. So, what is driving all of the sales?

Fruhlinger offered up a pretty reasonable explanation: people keep losing the adapter, thereby having to buy a new one:
I almost died of laughter at the gym last year. I was plodding away on a treadmill listening to Bill Burr complain about his new iPhone. To be more precise, he was ranting about his new iPhone's lack of a headphone jack and how he kept losing those Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone adapters...

The story cut too close to home. As a wired headphone holdout (I refuse to charge my headphones, and I love my Klipsches), I've gone through several headphones adapters myself.
Of course, some customers may simply want more than one headphone jack adapter for use in the car, at work, and so forth.

Overall, the data suggests wired headphones remain popular, but remember that AirPods are the one Apple product outselling the adapter at Best Buy, so many customers are also embracing wireless.

Apple has said it is pushing towards a "truly wireless future," as evidenced by the removal of the headphone jack, and its other products and technologies, ranging from AirPods and AirPower to its W1 and W2 wireless chips. The headphone jack adapter has always been a stopgap amid that transition.

In fact, earlier this year, analysts at Barclays predicted that Apple won't include the adapter in the box with the trio of iPhones rumored to launch this September. Even if that turns out to be false, the adapter certainly won't be around forever. But, for now, it clearly remains quite popular.

Article Link: Apple's Headphone Jack Adapter Remains a Top Seller at Best Buy
 

recoil80

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Jul 16, 2014
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I used the adapter only a couple of time in 9 months since I upgraded to the 8+.
BeatsX are my daily driver and I sometimes listen to music with a wired pair of headphones on my Mac, never on the iPhone.
I hope they'll keep the 3.5'' jack on the Mac for a long time, but on iOS devices I'm fine with bluetooth earphones.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
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Literally just yesterday I overheard a guy in IT take a call from someone asking if we had a spare headphone adapter on-hand because they had lost theirs (why would corporate IT have that for your personal phone?)

So yes, I can believe this. And this should be a sign to Apple that the world isn't quite ready yet for the wireless future it is pushing, even if I personally am pretty much there (I only use wireless headphones).
 

lagunab

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2009
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I am quite happy to keep my iPhone 6S WITH headphone jack to support my 8 - 9 ear pods scattered about at the ready. As Apple moves towards disintegration with dongles replacing ports and no real innovation I keep my 2013 MBP 13, iPad Air 4 years old, and our 2 6Ss which HAVE ports and NO monthly payments!
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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Home is everywhere and nowhere.
There are more reasons than the above article says, maybe lots of people like more than 1, 1 in the office, 1 in the house and one in a car or more if they own more cars.




Edit/Note: The original story was edited.
 
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navaira

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May 28, 2015
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Doesn't really surprise me that the same people whining about removing the headphone jack are the type of people that will lose the adapter it comes with and need to buy another one.
Doesn't really surprise me that the type of people who post in threads that they apparently have no interest in are the type of people who call others' posts "whining".
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
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Have a pile of them sitting on my desk. Folks at the Apple Store were nice enough to give me the charger and adapter when they had to swap out a new iPhone 7 Plus for a new one when it was first released. Have a few others from test phones too. I just don't tend to have a need for the adapters. Suppose I'll eventually toss them along with all the power cables and headphones that pile up with time.
 
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adamjackson

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Jul 9, 2008
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So, what is driving all of the sales?
People losing them still seems pretty dumb. I have two wired options, my Shure SRH840 and my Shure SE530. Both just permanently are plugged into the adapter so when I pack them away in their respective carrying cases, the adapter is with them. I've bought an iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 so I have two adapters. If I get a 3rd, I'll put it on my travel backpack. I also have AirPods so I'm covered all around. Haven't needed to buy one of these things.
 

LordVic

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Sep 7, 2011
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(why would corporate IT have that for your personal phone?)
it's not so much as "why" as in, most users in Corporate have no clue hat IT is really responsible for. I'm managing a corporate IT service desk currently, and the #1 calls my people get are trivalties that are completely unrelated to IT, or self inflicted by the user doing something stupid (like the call that just came in complaining that the printer didn't work after they unplugged the network cable, because they didn't understand why the printer needed 2 cables going to it)
 

kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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My surprise is that I've bought only 2 of these for my daughter's iPhones.

When iPhone X+1 comes out with the USB-C that will open up a new front in Revenge of the Dongles.

Seriously, I gave up whining and instead bought Apple stock. Too many idiots like me just keep buying this stuff.