I wonder why Apple chose a headphone port instead of a 2nd USB

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by FrozenDarkness, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. FrozenDarkness macrumors 65816

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    Mar 21, 2009
    #1
    The most shocking thing to me was the headphone port. Rumors were swirling that Apple is pushing for bluetooth headsets with the release of the Apple watch and yet they kept the headphone port. Not only is it ugly (IMO), it's less useful than a second usb-c port!
     
  2. Steve121178 macrumors 601

    Steve121178

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    #2
    Most of us need a headphone port! You can't take that away.
     
  3. pmau macrumors 65816

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #3
    Zou have an audio chip that drives microphones and speakers.
    Adding the Port is basically free, because plugging in a headphone short circuits the speakers.

    Adding a USB Port does not only require the logic board wiring but also current.
    Having another thing that draws current from the already small battery is bad because USB has to guarantee a certain level of power to devices like harddrives.
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #4
    It's true, my headphones are still wired.
     
  5. FrozenDarkness thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 21, 2009
    #5
    that's fine, the point of this is meant so you can charge and also plug in a device at the time time. also, the chromebook pixel figured it out how to have two usb-cs i feel like apple can as well. it's more like comparing which port is more important for end users.
     
  6. Nozuka macrumors 68020

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    #6
    the headphone port is also still optical too.

     
  7. pmau macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I have not checked the pixel specs, but I assume it has a greater battery capacity and / or google does not care about a 3 hour battery live if you connect an external harddrive.
     
  8. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #8
    Right after the event, there were a few people on here who actually thought they didn't include a headphone port. The backlash would have been way worse than the people complaining about just one port!

    You actually need a headphone port. Most people still used wired headphones. Besides, it's a lot easier to include than an actual USB port.
     
  9. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    Oct 9, 2007
    #9
    It also weighs 65% more and is considerably larger. There's no reasonable basis of comparison.
     
  10. lchlch macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 12, 2015
    #10
    I think there are actually 2 usb ports on the macbook. One is exposed to the user, and the other used internally to power and connect to the display, keyboard, trackpad, and isight camera.
     
  11. pmau macrumors 65816

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    #11
    This is smart thinking, but I guess that everzthing is hardwired in the logic board. the display does not use USB-C to "connect" to the GPU. (or any other component)
     
  12. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #12
    Bluetooth also connects through the internal USB interface (can't really be considered a port).
     
  13. mtneer macrumors 68030

    mtneer

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #13
    Just wait until Ive gets to the next iPhone. The 3.5mm headphone jack is the next limiter left on the physical case to get the iPhone to be even thinner...
     
  14. lars666 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Even Apple won't get away with this – for NOW...
     
  15. mtneer macrumors 68030

    mtneer

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    #15
    Maybe, but if there is anyone with a relentless obsession with thinness - it is Ive and Apple.
     
  16. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #16
    Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but I was just looking at the Apple MacBook site and it's clear Apple intended the rMB to be a completely wireless device. These screenshots make it even more perplexing then that Apple included an antiquated 1/8" stereo audio jack instead of something far more useful like a 2nd USB port, which could also be used with a wired headphone with a DAC adapter or otherwise, with far greater audio quality. For all of those saying the one USB port is like removing the floppy drive or Super Drive from the iMac, there's no comparison since they left the most outdated artifact on the thing, while short-changing the functionality of the MacBook in the product lineup. To truly be like the removal of the floppy or SuperDrive, they would have had to remove a legacy aspect of a MacBook, and forced the customer to interact in a new way. The USB-C port by comparison is anything but old-fashioned. So they've literally got a state-of-the-art electronic connection, and one of the oldest electronic connections known to man on opposite sides from each other, despite so many other better choices available for audio.

    Add to that that this is the first sentence Apple writes about the rMB: "With the new MacBook, we set out to do the impossible: engineer a full-size experience into the lightest and most compact Mac notebook ever." So Apple want's to give me a full-size experience with one port?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #17
    A lot of casual users wouldn't buy a machine without a headphone port, not knowing they could use an adapter.
     
  18. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #18
    I think you're overthinking this just a little. They're simply marketing Beats.
     
  19. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #19
    A lot of casual users wouldn't buy an iMac in 1998 without a floppy, or an iMac in 2012 without a DVD drive, not knowing they could use an external one. But somehow Apple got that message across. Likewise, Apple would market yet another dongle in the long list of Apple branded dongles to allow essential connectivity to their still commonly used legacy ports. And Apple would market the superiority of the audio output through their dongles versus any other portable solution for those people who still want to connect their speakers and headphones with wires. But more importunely they would market the wireless audio solution as they have been, featuring their new wireless Beats headphones. The only difference is they didn't discontinue it from the product first as they have in every other product they've similarly removed "standard" features. And, people would debate on these forums that people who needed such old fashioned technology should just buy a MBA, as the rMB is not for them.
     
  20. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #20
    I think most everyone needs headphones to hear anything on a plane over the engine noise ... and you are required to turn OFF your wireless interfaces for the duration of the flight ... so no bluetooth headphones on plane flights?
     
  21. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    #21
    No headphone port would have been absolutely ridiculous.
     
  22. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 11, 2011
    #22
    In the spirit of "Mac, in its purest form ever", I think the headphone jack makes the most sense. A second USB-C port would make it not pure because it would be utility over simplicity. No headphone jack would mean no way to get the analog output of the integrated audio board. 1 USB-C and 1 jack is just the right combination for all of the components' capabilities to be exploitable while keeping the package the leanest possible.
     
  23. Abazigal macrumors G3

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
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    Singapore
    #23
    Maybe we are the ones who don't understand Apple.

    I suspect the Macbook was inspired by the concept of an iPad attached to a bluetooth keyboard. Just as the iPad has only 1 port and 1 audio jack, it is possible that the Macbook was always intended to have only 1 USB port.

    In this context, it doesn't matter whether the Macbook could have had 2 or more ports or not. What matters is that perhaps, Apple will continue to stick with 1 port out of the principle of it. Just like the iPad, I expect that the battery life will eventually improve to a point when we will only need to charge it overnight, leaving the port free for connecting to peripherals during the day.

    If anything, I would argue that since Apple wants to go wireless with everything, all the more they should include as few ports as possible. More ports would simply be a crutch that get people to stick with wired solutions for as long as possible.

    For example, if I can't plug in my phone to my Macbook to transfer photos, I have to use airdrop or a cloud sharing service. If I can't plug in a printer, I have to use a wireless setup. Instead of connecting the Macbook to a conference display, why not install an Apple TV and try Peer-to-peer airplay instead? If you want people to adopt the newest and latest technologies, sometimes, you have to be willing to take a bit of flak upfront by breaking backwards compatibility with existing ones and making the process so inconvenient that the consumers are indifferent between sticking to the old ways and trying out the new solutions.

    And to give Apple credit, they are one of the few companies who can pull a stunt like this without suffering (too much of) backlash from their users. If anything, I imagine there are some Apple customers just rubbing their hands with glee, anticipating the next technology to be disrupted and made obsolete by Apple.

    Don't be surprised if later down the road, Apple removes all USB ports from the Macbook instead of giving it 2. That's my impression at least. That their biggest shame is not that they couldn't give it 2 ports, but that they had to give it 1 when they wanted none.
     
  24. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 11, 2011
    #24
    Well said, Abazigal. I like how they keep looking forward regardless of expectations and past standards. They don't get tangled in legacy for the sake of pleasing an existing customer base. They have their own unencumbered vision and they go for it in a bold way, I applaud and admire them for that (not to mention its flawless execution too).
     
  25. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #25
    I've said this before in many other threads on this topic. The fact is, Apple isn't ready to replace the analog audio jack, and when they are, it will start with the iPhone, not a niche product like the Macbook. The Macbook was made to be the ultimate portable computer. Its target market is people who use it in libraries, cafes, trains, airport lounges and on flights. Look at people working in all of those places and if they are using any of the ports, they are going to be overwhelmingly using the charging port and/or the headphone jack. Only a tiny minority will have anything else connected for any period of time.

    For the ultimate portable computer, one usb and one audio port was exactly the right call.
     

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