The best way for Apple to ditch the headphone jack may be to give away the lightning port

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Izauze, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Izauze macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Let me start by saying that I am skeptical at best of Apple's purported plans to get rid of the headphone jack. I've been critical on other threads, not because of the temporary annoyance one associates with all changes in a standard, but because I couldn't see a way for Apple to make the move without creating an ongoing *persistently* negative experience for their users. Even if they included every adapter known to man with each phone (not usually their style), you just create another annoying little intermediary thing that you'll always have to keep track of with no truly compelling benefit as a result.

    However, there is one way I can imagine justifying the change from a product design perspective – and that is to simply give away the lightning port technology and make it an open standard that any electronics maker could use without royalty. Then, you can justifiably say that this is a decision not made for form factor or for internal real estate, but to actually make the iPhone better. You simply include a pair of lightning headphones and declare analog audio dead. You say – sure, you can buy an analog adapter if you want to, but once you experience the difference you get out of going straight digital, you won't want to. Instead you will demand that all of your audio equipment is digital, and that all headphone makers, and home audio electronic manufacturers of all kinds adapt or die.

    Of course, this kind of market-wide shift would only be possible if the new standard is openly available to everyone. Otherwise, no one wants to buy expensive headphones that are only good on a single device. If it's an open standard, there's no reason that it couldn't take over completely - and then people could use the analog adapter IF they wanted to still plug into their old walkman.

    With all that said, I don't see Apple doing something like this. It doesn't seem like their style. But if they don't, I just don't see a way for them to get the user to come out on top. I am certainly hoping they have a compelling answer, but at this point I really can't imagine what it is.
     
  2. bufffilm Suspended

    bufffilm

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    #2
    Don't really see this happening either.
     
  3. Phoenixx, Jan 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016

    Phoenixx Suspended

    Phoenixx

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    #3
    If Apple were really serious about innovative product design, and making the phone smaller by removing unnecessary ports, they would get rid of the Lightning port, and replace it with inductive charging, and replace the headphone port with a small wireless adaptor with a built in cord wrap that can be plugged into ANY set of standard headphones, thereby making all headphones and earbuds wireless in a simple and elegant way (earbuds that came with the phone could have this adaptor built in, and the adaptor could even be sold as an optional extra).

    This would allow the phone to be completely free of ports. By then adding seals into the microphone, speakers, fingerprint sensor and volume controls, they could make the phone waterproof, and create a seamless user experience in the process. Other wireless adaptors could then be created to replace the other functions the lightening port has. That's the kind of iPhone I know I would get excited about.
     
  4. Cergman macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #4
    Inductive charging being the only way to control the phone is innovative product design? I'm all for adding inductive charging, but completely eliminating any hardwire way to get a quick charge is absolutely bonkers. Apple has invested so much in the lightning ecosystem already with all of the new accessories launched last year that charge via lightning (even some Beats products), so I don't see the connector changing any time soon.
     
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #5
    Apple don't have to do anything but push forward. Yes there will be the sceptical people jumping on the bandwagon like normal but it happens every time someone pushes forward.
     
  6. Phoenixx Suspended

    Phoenixx

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    #6
    Apple have already shown that inductive charging is a legitimate alternative by using it as the only way to charge the Apple Watch, which also can get a quick charge using this method. Using the same charging type in iPhones is an obvious next step. The Lightening port could be argued as more redundant than the headphone port, as it serves no practical purpose whatsoever other than charging the phone. All data transfer these days can be done without needing to plug the phone in, and other functions supported over Lightening could easily be replaced with wireless technologies. The headphone port, by contrast can be seen as essential for the use of high end headphones and earbuds, and any wireless replacement will need to meet very high standards to be worthwhile (bluetooth won't be high enough quality for this purpose).

    I agree with you though, that Apple is unlikely to replace the Lightening port any time soon, but I politely disagree that it is in any way needed.
     
  7. Izauze thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Some interesting ideas. But if we agree that they likely *won't* make the lightening port an open standard for all electronics manufacturers, and we agree that they likely won't remove this proprietary port entirely and go full wireless, then it seems we're likely left with a pretty substandard user experience full of awkward adapters, does it not? If we're entering a world full of adapters that we have to buy, keep track of, plug, unplug, lose, find, and lose again, all for internal real estate savings - then the uproar we've been hearing may well be entirely justified.
     
  8. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #8
    If your phone needs iTunes due to crash, a wired connection is needed. Lightning will stay, though usb 3 speeds would be nice.
     
  9. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

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    #9
    That would be a very nice thing to see. But I think it is highly unlikely. I think Apple has shown in the past that it likes to go the proprietary route so to speak to maximise profits.

    Eliminating the headphone jack and moving to all lightning port accessories will be a huge moneymaker for them. New Beats headphones to promote and licensing for all new lightning accessories.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 19, 2016 ---
    I think you summed it all up pretty well. I think this is a money making move to be honest.
     
  10. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #10
    Who's to say that inductive charging will always be slow?

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patent...-systems-focused-on-rapid-power-delivery.html

    "Apple Advances their Work on Wireless Charging Systems Focused on Rapid Power Delivery"
     
  11. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #11
    What Apple is actually maximizing is innovation.

    Unlike other other manufacturers with proprietary technology who give away their top-end technology because they like to help other companies.:oops:
     
  12. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

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    #12
    How so exactly? How is eliminating the headphone jack for a proprietary solution innovating? There are phones on the market now that have a headphone jack and are thinner than the current iphones. So they can keep the headphone jack and still have a thin iphone. So that is the not motovation.
    So where does the innovation part come into play?
     
  13. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #13
    Isn't headphones vs digital a similar conversation to lcd vs oled? Maybe not exactly because we all have headphones, but to supposedly up the ante as far as sound quality? Don't get me wrong I like my headphones, but if apple gave me a nice set of digital headphones I would be happy.

    I'm finding this rumor though tough to believe although if it were true it would certainly be a really bold move.
     
  14. Wicked1 macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

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    #14


    Especially that they own Beats and what will they do for all their customers who own Beats headphones and then would not be able to use them without spending more $ ? I really do not think they will do this unless they include an adapter with the Sync cable and Brick.

    To the other point I am not against them getting rid of it, but for the cripes sakes they came out with the new MacBook Retina and now you have to spend even more money on adapters, that is getting ridiculous even for them.
     
  15. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

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    #15
    But you didn't answer the question. You said:
    Where is the innovation?
     
  16. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #16
    How could anybody know where the innovation would be, in a similar way way before the 5s and Touch ID. Jan 2013 people would be saying Apple is going to put a finger print scanner on the phone. Now it's Apple is getting rid of the headphone jack. We all are going to have to take a wait and see approach.
     
  17. noobinator macrumors 603

    noobinator

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    #17
    iPhones will be USB-C very soon so this won't happen.
     
  18. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

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    #18
    I don't know but you are the one that said it. So i asked for clarification.
    So what does that mean? what innovation are they maximising again?
     
  19. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #19
    Let me say it this way; every iPhone iteration something comes out that is new. 5s had the finger print reader. 6s to name one was 3D Touch.

    It's really okay if those items don't fit your definition of innovation.

    The reason I made the statement I did is that details of the next iPhone are so sketchy for us mere mortals trying to figure out what has changed under the covers is impossible, how can we predict exactly what has changed, as how can you know that Apple makes changes solely to maximize profits.

    Based on past history, It seems probable there will be some surprises with the new iPhone.
     
  20. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

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    #20
    But the topic of discussion and the post you replied to with your statement was about removing the headphone jack.
    Are you saying removing the headphone jack and using the lightning port is innovation?
    That we just don't know it is innovation yet? That you equate removing the headphone jack with TouchId or 3D Touch?
    Please explain...

    TouchID and 3D Touch were features that were added to the iphone. Not something removed to maximise profits by making people purchase proprietary accessories.
     
  21. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #21
    Maximizing profits as the end-game goes against Peter drucker 101. If this rumor is true I think there will be more to it than a simple swap of ports.
     
  22. jerwin macrumors 68000

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    #22
    All you are doing is passing extra costs onto the headphone manufacturer-- and many of the best headphones are made by small boutique firms who aren't all that interested in some conglomerate's idea of what's obsolete and what's not.
     
  23. predation macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    the lightning port is basically the same thing as that asshat manufacturer making a proprietary AC/DC plug...
    its all about control and $$$

    everyone rides apple's core so hard that apple can do anything and manufacturers will line up.
    its like MBZ making that ugly ass R-class and people still buying it.
     
  24. Izauze thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    But IF it was non-proprietary, the extra costs for headphone makers could be as small as a few pennies per unit. They could always make an analog-only version and some customers will maybe use a lightning adapter, or they could produce both analog and lightning (maybe even charging more for lightning), and tout the improved sound quality of going straight digital. If I was a headphone manufacturer, I don't see why I wouldn't.
     
  25. jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

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    #25
    Not in our life time. You are ask Apple to give away technology, which ===== $$$$$ lost, and technology only use on their own product. :rolleyes:
     

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