February 12, 2016

If Apple eliminates the phone jack

Outlets from Newsweek to Forbes and FastCompany have reported Apple’s next iPhone (iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus?) will do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack that has been a headphone mainstay for years (and around since it was invented alongside telephone switchboards).

3.5mm Headphone Jacks may not fit in future Apple products

“It’s an interesting situation that will affect not just JLab Audio but retailers everywhere,” President Win Cramer said. “They have inventories of headphones with the 3.5mm cables and transitioning to another cable makes managing inventory more challenging and affects everyone financially.”

Why?

Who's knows, except those inside Apple's Headquarters. Several of the media outlets report that the move could be made for several reasons, including:

  • Improved design. By eliminating the space needed for the 3.5mm jack, Apple could make iPhones thinner (CNET) and allow for a wrap-around screen.
  • Beats for everyone (Newsweek). “What if that hidden something was secretly creating a new standard for headphones that only its Beats headphone conform to?” Newsweek writes.
  • Better Sound for Apple Music (Newsweek). According to Newsweek, Apple Music may be looking at streaming high-resolution audio and the Lightning cable allows for integrated digital to analog converters and amplifiers.
  • Or our favorite: Because they feel like it. Newsweek reports: “Apple has arguably the most loyal following of any multi-national corporation. It could release an Apple-branded pencil and it would still have legions of fanboys pitching tents outside Apple stores to buy it - in fact it already has.”

Don’t want to iPhone jack to disappear? Sign the petition on SumOfUs.org. (Total # of petitioners was at more than 250k when this was published).

What are we doing?

Well, we’re gonna figure it out (Duh). But immediately below are the options available and some we’re still exploring.

“If the rumor is true, JLab still plans to continue providing consumers with all the tools to access great audio at a fair price,” said Cramer. “We are exploring several new products in our assortment to feature Lightning cables, and already offer great Bluetooth enabled products too that will work immediately.”

1. Bluetooth® Headphones

With Bluetooth, you connect wirelessly to any device – so the removal of the jack is a non-issue. As a Bluetooth partner already, we offer arange of headphones and speakers that connect wirelessly to a Bluetooth enabled device, which includes all iPhones and generally any smartphone developed in the last several years. 

Bluetooth will allow you to connect to your headphones without a headphone jack

2. Adaptor

As an immediate short term solution, we could pursue providing a Lightning to 3.5mm Jack adaptor so your old headphones can be plugged in immediately. This isn’t our favorite solution – but it’s an option and may work if you’ve invested some money into some headphones or have a favorite pair you’re not ready to part with.

3. Embrace the change

Selection of Earbuds, Headphones with Lightning Connector. Yep, if and when the time comes, we’ll be ready to make available some Lightning cables. We'll keep you posted.

    “JLab will continue to innovate and make great audio and headphones accessible to more people,” Cramer said. “If there are drastic changes in how headphones connect to your phone, we’ll do our best to provide a great quality and affordable solution.”

    We would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.



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