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Apple is an agent of chaos

Rumors have been swirling about Apple planning to remove the headphone jack on the next iPhone to make it thinner, and therefore requiring headphones and earbuds to be connected via lightning cable.

Apple-headphone-jack I think the Joker said it best in The Dark Knight: “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.”

He must be right. I mean, the only way we could possibly ever connect our headphones and earbuds would be to stick the plug into the hole … Because anything else would be cruel and inhuman.

Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time things we’re used to in the music world would change. We used to listen to music on records, these round fragile things made of vinyl. Then we started playing around with 8-tracks and eventually got hooked on cassettes. I remember when I got my first CD and thought that the end of cassettes couldn’t be possible.

And somehow this brings us right back to Apple. Right now I have no way to play a CD because Apple a few years ago removed the optical drives from its computers … That means you can’t play a CD or watch a DVD because we’re all streaming.

So yeah … Like the Joker, Apple is an agent of chaos. Apple knows it can make your iPhone thinner by removing the headphone jack. It might have a tiny bit more room to play with without changing life as we know it, but Apple likes to push the envelope and quite frankly this is pretty perfect. That extra millimeter or two is going to be really noticeable when you carry around your phone and I imagine the sound of your music would be that much better because of the digital capabilities of the Lightning connection.

And wait, there’s more. You know that little round home button? Yeah that’s going away too. If you’ve used the new force touch feature on the new iPhone 6S, then you’ve already used your future home button. You’ll press and hold the screen and get a pop up of some sort. Or perhaps you’ll press and hold on a specific spot to get the home functionality. That I don’t know.

But here’s what I do know. An iPhone without a headphone jack and a home button is going to be crazy thin. And possibly lead to curved glass. The curved glass might not be ready in time for the iPhone 7 but certainly by 8 or 9. I can’t wait to see what the case makers do when that happens!

So just as life continued unabated after Apple removed optical drives on computers, life will continue after Apple removes the headphone jack. The big difference will be social media and how easy it will be to complain to millions of strangers. And there will be blog post after blog post about how evil Apple is and how the company doesn’t care about its users because no company in its right mind would ever do something like this to us.

But I say bring it on. This is a really good thing. And when you hold that solid thin piece of curved glass in your hand and think about how luxurious it is compared to the first 6 or 7 iPhones, well then you can come back and leave a comment on this post.

Or you can do that anyway whenever you want. I’m always plugged in — with or without a headphone jack.

About Scott Kleinberg

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2 comments

  1. Thank you for showing the optical disc drive as an example. I love my 2010 Mac’s built-in optical drive. I use it for DVDs when I don’t have internet, and my laptop suddenly becomes a portable DVD player. It is not feasible to rely exclusively on streaming. Apple made the wrong choice, at least for how I personally use the device.

    I hope jettisoning the 3.5mm jack won’t result in similarly weird use-cases. Is Bluetooth reliable for wireless headphones, without compromising audio quality and battery life? Do people listen to music while their devices are charging, making a single port unhelpful? I don’t have these answers. I suspect Apple would rather re-train user behavior and lock us further into their product ecosystem.

    • Excellent points, and thank you for the comment. I’ll say this much. When Apple changes it and we end up with the thinnest smartphones that everyone’s ogling over, then we’ll find out the tolerance level. I mean, I’m used to doing it a certain way and I’m willing to change my ways. I don’t have a love for the headphone jack that’s so deep that I care, and it’s one less port I have to worry about being damaged.