Hit The Road Jack! Here's Why Companies Are Killing the 3.5mm Port

ROLANDO ALBERTS

Saturday, August 17, 2019

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There is a lot of controversy surrounding the features (or lack thereof) of the new Galaxy Note 10. But the most dreadful realization was that the Note 10 doesn't have a headphone jack.

Samsung was one of the only major phone companies to have the headphone jack on their devices in recent years. Them removing the beloved port means that it's pretty safe to say that the headphone jack is officially dead.

But jack-less phones aren't a new thing; we've had phones being made without the port since as early as 2012. However, the trend wasn't a concern until the iPhone 7 in 2016.It was the first time a major company removed the feature— and it was a move that was largely criticized by everyone, including other phone companies. Ironically, both Google and Samsung openly mocked Apple's move in ads and on social media. And yet, here we are.

Three years later when almost every other company has made the decision to drop the feature— Google from the Pixel 3 in 2018, OnePlus from their OnePlus 6T in the same year - Samsung has also dropped the feature from their 2019 Galaxy Note 10. But before the Apple fanboys in the back create an uproar yelling “they're just copying the iPhone”. Let's get it out of the way that that's not the reason the headphone jack is gone.

If you observe the moves of these companies before they removed the jack, you'd be able to clearly identify the reason for their decision. It's the same reason behind every business decision; profit.There is a common denominator running under each of these companies. They all have wireless earbuds on the market. Airpods for Apple, Google's Pixel Buds, and Samsung's own Galaxy Buds. It's no coincidence that each of these wireless earbuds was released less than a year leading up to their respective company's jack-less phones.

So there you have it— our dear friend Jack, died so that businesses could make money. Which makes sense.

Whether we like our phones with or without a headphone jack, it's no doubt that our inevitable wireless future is right around the corner. And the major players on the market are starting to invest in that future. Unfortunately, to secure their investments they have to make sure that their wireless earbuds sell and the headphone jack is a hindrance towards those sales.

While we may not be burying our friend just yet, thanks to companies like LG and Motorola that still have the headphone jack on their phones, and thanks As well to Samsung's history of responding to criticism by giving the people what they want (reference: their stint with the MicroSD slot on the Galaxy S6), the end is imminent even though the headphone jack may not be entirely dead just yet.

Nevertheless, we are heading in that direction, and if you want to be prepared for the near future— at this rate 2020— it's best you follow in companies' footsteps and start investing in a pair of wireless earbuds.

--- Rolando Alberts


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