Apple is set to launch a trio of iPhones in September, with the iPhone 11 among them, and recent rumors suggest that the phone won’t feature the headphone adapter that converts the lightning connector to a 3.5mm connection.
The decision to ditch the headphone jack was met with much unhappiness, and many companies outside of Apple have since followed suit. As phones continue to get thinner and thinner, it’s not nearly as easy to find a place to include all the necessary equipment – at least according to Apple – and ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack was a step the company took that they seem to be sticking to. Phones like the iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPhone X shipped with a special headphone adapter that allows users to translate lightning connectors into a traditional headphone connection, but analysts suggest that we will not see the adapter included with the launch of the iPhone 11.
According to a research note obtained by MacRumors, the analysts state “we currently model no dongle this year.”
While the loss of the headphone adapter with the iPhone 11 is no doubt a problem for the end user, it could also spell trouble for manufacturers in Apple’s supply chain such as Cirrus Logic – the company responsible for the audio-related components inside of the adapter. Barclays has lowered its quarterly and yearly revenue guidance for Cirrus Logic by five percent in response to this news, but that could change as we find out more information about how Apple is approaching the phasing out of the headphone adapter in the iPhone 11.
It’s important to note that Barclays analysts are guessing that the headphone adapter will not be bundled, not that it won’t be produced at all. For those of us who are stuck on the traditional headphone connectors, it will be another added expense to purchase the connection – but at least it’s a possibility rather than being forced to switch to Bluetooth devices without any way to use our existing headsets.
While it’s unclear as to whether this phasing out of the headphone adapter bundle with the iPhone 11 is actually going to happen, Barclays has some credibility when it comes to iPhone predictions – having previously correctly predicted that the headphone adapter would be included alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The analysts are in contact with suppliers for Apple, so it’s likely that the news of this change is legitimate. While we were happy to receive the adapter included with recent generations of phones, it appears as if Apple is trying to force people to hop on the Bluetooth bandwagon or shell out for the privilege to use their existing equipment.
The analysts have since stated that we’ll likely have to wait until May or June to find out for certain, but that’s only a couple of months away. We expect that the news will be bad, and that we’ll have to buy yet another piece of equipment if we want to use our headphones as we please, but there’s certainly a possibility we could be pleasantly surprised.
“We believe it stays this year but goes away at some point, potentially in the 2018 model,” the analysts said back in April 2017.
Apple first made the decision to include the headphone adapter back with the iPhone 7 when they made the controversial decision to ditch the traditional jack, but it appears more and more people are starting to move to Bluetooth headphones like the AirPods or other alternatives. Apple is likely making the decision to save costs, but the choice may have been made easier by the widespread adoption of wireless headphones – leaving those of us using traditional connectors in the minority.
As mentioned above, Apple still sells the Lighting to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter for $9 as a standalone peripheral. It’s likely we’ll need to purchase that connector when the iPhone 11 ships, and while it’s definitely not a significant expense when you consider how expensive Apple devices can be, it’s still an annoyance that costs the end user money while making the process slightly more convenient for Apple.
We’ll have to wait until May or June until we get a sense of whether the headphone adapter is gone with the iPhone 11 or if these reports are inaccurate.