We’re getting mixed signals on whether the iPhone 7 will have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, but Apple fans aren’t taking any chances. A petition urging Apple to keep the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 has appeared on the petition website Sum Of Us.
Apple fans sign iPhone 7 petition
As the petition notes, if the iPhone 7 no longer has a standard headphone jack, it will create lots of problems. For example, it will make the expensive Apple-branded headphones obsolete because they will no longer work with the iPhone 7. Of course this means the company can try to get people to buy a new set of expensive headphones that will work with the handset, but such a move would widely be seen as Apple trying to rip off its user base, even if it works in this respect.
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Twitter users have taken to complaining about precisely this issue. Even if Apple does include compatible EarBuds in the box, it still means that music lovers who shelled out hundreds of dollars on headphones would no longer be able to use them with the iPhone 7. Ditching the standard headphone jack would impact those who prefer expensive headphones over the cheap EarBuds that come with the iPhone would hurt them the most. Not only would they have wasted hundreds of dollars on technology that Apple would have made obsolete too early by ditching the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, but suddenly they would find themselves with yet another piece of electronic waste that they probably won’t recycle.
The BBC also noted that some Twitter users are complaining about the rumor that the Lightning connector port would be used for both charging the iPhone 7 and as a headphone jack. After all, if there’s only one Lightning connector port, it would mean that users wouldn’t be able to charge and listen to music at the same time.
The creator of the petition aimed to get 300,000 signatures and as of this writing has more than 301,000, so clearly this headphone jack issue has struck a chord with iPhone users. Despite all the signatures, it’s pretty safe to say that people will get over their unhappiness pretty quickly because Apple is seen as the “trendy” option in smartphones and, well, many Apple fans put trendiness above all else.
Not all against dumping the headphone jack
While some tech gurus argue the consumer side of the issue, others, like Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber, sees benefits to getting rid of the headphone jack. He notes that if the iPhone 7 doesn’t have one, it would mean more room to include a bigger battery. And then there’s the fact that Apple wants to keep making its devices thinner and thinner, and getting rid of the headphone jack would enable it to do this.
Gruber sees the removal of the headphone jack as “inevitable,” writing on his blog that Apple is willing to “initiate a painful transition for a long-term gain.”
There’s no denying that the company is moving in this direction, either. The iPhone maker added headphone support to its Lightning cables in 2014, the same year it doled out $3 billion to buy specialty headphone maker Beats Electronics.
Will the iPhone 7 really be the first to lack a headphone jack?
We heard a hint earlier this week that Apple could be rethinking this whole headphone jack issue for the iPhone 7, possibly due to pressure from the masses. We also heard that the company might include an adaptor so that standard headphones could still be used with a Lightning connector. This seems like the easiest way for Apple to please the masses while attempting to forge ahead like it did when it ditched the floppy disk in 1998 with the iMac G3. It’s taken more than ten years for floppy pioneer Sony to do the same, according to the BBC.
We’ve also heard from multiple sources that Apple is planning only a small incremental upgrade for the iPhone 7 this year and a major overhaul for next year’s model, which may be called the iPhone 8. It may be that the company will wait until then to dump the headphone jack. After all, next year’s model is expected to have so many major upgrades that perhaps consumers will overlook the lack of one, even if they aren’t prepared to do so this year for the iPhone 7.