Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack

It is 2020 and it has been four years since Apple ditched the headphone jack. At that time it seemed impossible for other companies to follow Apple's path, but by the looks of it, most of them have.

While some phones still have the headphone jack, the mid range and the budget ones, to be specific, it can't be found in any of the flagships.

Now, to some, the headphone jack was important and some just didn't care too much. But maybe both the kinds of people have asked why every company has removed the headphone jack.

Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack
Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack

Why Have Companies Removed The Headphone Jack?

There are a few reasons why companies have removed the headphone jack. But first, let us just change the question a little bit. What you should be asking is, why have companies removed the jack from "flagship" phones.

Because Apple Did It:

Let's be honest here, no matter how useless Apple products might seem to tech enthusiasts, people still buy them. Apple is a really clever company and they definitely know how to make money, a lot of money. I will give you an example here(as if being a trillion dollar company wasn't enough), Apple does not hold the biggest share when it comes to the number of phones sold every year, but when it comes to profit, yep, the biggest share of profit goes to them. 

It's because of this reason that they are considered to be a leader in the smartphone world. What they do, is usually followed by other companies. Samsung followed their path in removing the headphone jack, even though they have mocked Apple for years about the same thing. 

Well, what did Apple gain by removing the headphone jack? The answer is simple, a lot of money. In 2015, Apple bought a majority of stakes in Beats Audio. In 2016, Apple launched the iPhone 7, which was without a headphone jack, with that, they gave a push to wireless headphones and earned money by not only selling their own Airpods but with Beats products too, and mind you, Beats profits account for a majority in the wireless headphone market.

There are two more ways in which Apple increased their profits by removing the headphone jack. 

The first is that, the iPhone 7 was the first iPhone to come with a water resistance rating, now it's not impossible to make the headphone jack waterproof, every other company that provided water resistant phones did that, it just costs more money. So, they saved some money there by simply not providing the headphone jack, that way you don't have to pay for making the headphone jack waterproof, or for the headphone jack for that matter.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The second is that, the lightening port, which can be found at the bottom of every iPhone, was designed by Apple themselves. Therefore, they have a patent on the technology and if a company sells third party headphones with a lightening plug, then it has to pay royalties to Apple. That's some more profits secured there.

So, when this formula worked for Apple, other companies followed.
Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack
Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack

Making More Money:

Another reason that companies have removed the headphone jack is simply because it is just more profitable for them to do so. Just as in Apple's case mentioned above, companies save money by not putting the headphone jack and also in the waterproofing process. 

As of now, this is only the case with the flagship phones. Reasons being that flagship phones are the phones that come with a water resistance rating and that the people who buy the flagship phones, in most cases, would have the budget to buy the company's own wireless pair headphones. 

Almost every phone manufacturer today also offers a pair of wireless headphones for their smartphones. When they sell these, it means profit.

Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack
Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack

Is It Worth It?

Now, people do get frustrated with these things. But at the end, what can they do when every company is doing it? They just gotta live with the loss. But we can't also completely deny the fact that removing the headphone jack has a few upsides to it. 

It could make your phone a little more water resistant, cause, of course, a big hole is gone from it, phones could be made more slim, battery capacity could be increased and there's space for more features, the typical stuff that companies talk about. 

In my opinion it is not worth losing a functionality like the headphone jack for stuff like this. Also, some of you maybe thinking that I am wrong and that wireless headphones are just better, there are no wires, it feels free, there is no tangling and stuff. I agree, but that is not a plus point of not having a headphone jack, that is an advantage of wireless headphones.

Haven't we had a headphone jack and Bluetooth on our phones for so long? Has it been a problem? No. It's that simple, they have coexisted and they can coexist. Back then, no one had a problem. The people who wanted to use wired headphones, could use wired headphones and the people who wanted to use wireless headphones, could use wireless headphones, on the same device. 

Now, some of you maybe thinking why would someone prefer wired headphones over wireless ones. Let me tell you, they could and they do. That is because wired headphones have more advantages than disadvantages over wireless headphones.
  • They're cheaper.
  • They're more seamless, you just plug it in and you're good to go. 
  • They don't need to be charged.
  • They offer better sound quality, yes they do.
  • Their latency is also way less.
The only advantage that wireless headphones have over wired ones is that they don't have wires and due to that, they are free from problems like tangling and getting stuck in door handles. But then they can also fall and not be saved midair because of the same reason and possibly get damaged or lost. 

Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack
Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack

But The USB Type C Headphones

Yes, USB type C could be an option to replace the traditional headphone plug. But there are some downsides to that too.

While Apple and Samsung still provide headphones in the box, with their respective ports, some companies don't. Take Oneplus for instance, they don't provide any sort of headphones in the box at all, similar to that, Apple and Samsung could stop anytime too. The iPhone 12 and the next Samsung phone are already expected to not come with a charger, what's a pair of headphones then?

Buying third party type C headphones could be expensive, because similar to the lightening plug, USB type C is not free. Replacing the traditional headphone plug with a type C plug can increase the costs by up to 25%.

The USB type C is also not as universal as a 3.5 mm jack. It is not that big of a drawback, but it's still something. 

Another downside of using type C headphones is the design of the plug. A traditional 3.5 mm headphone plug is cylindrical in shape and is also longer than a type C plug. This aspect of it gives the headphone jack a more rigid fit inside the phone body as compared to the USB type C port. Using a headphone for extended periods of time in the case of a type C port can induce wobble in the port, which can in term result in the port being damaged.

But yes, a type C port and wireless tech could eventually end up completely replacing the 3.5 mm jack 

Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack
Reasons Why Every Company Has Removed The Headphone Jack


The bottom line here is that the headphone jack has only been removed by companies for the sake of increasing profits. It does not at all increase convenience, if anything, it just makes things more inconvenient.

No matter what the manufacturers tell you, they are just trying to cover up for themselves. These things have coexisted for a long time and they still can coexist. You should be able to enjoy a pair of wired headphones as well as the wireless ones.

But unfortunately, probably, the 3.5 mm headphone jack will one day become obsolete, as is the case with every kind of technology. The transition is the difficult part, but it still happens. We have already witnessed the start of this process, this is how things are most probably going to be in the future.

But at the end, was it absolutely necessary to drop the headphone jack now? No, it wasn't.


Add me on social media:

Buy me a coffee?

Popular Posts