In the long run, headphone jacks are all dead.
Love it or hate it, but it’s happening. As time is passing, Apple’s vision of a jack-less future is coming true as headphone jack is becoming more and more obsolete.
The latest development in that direction was launch of Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL with headphone jacks missing from them. Google might’ve thrown some cheap marketing tantrums on Apple last year for launching iPhone 7 without headphone jack, but an year later the same Google is adopting to this change.
And with this development, the future of smartphones without headphone jack is looking more and more jack-less.
It had taken just the rumors of Apple ditching this obsolete technology (it’s obsolete for them) for LeEco and Motorola to start preparations of going jack-less. Google didn’t jump on board that quickly, but an year later it has also followed the suit.
Now we’ve got many more smartphones out in the market without any headphone jack. All of them support music output either through USB Type-C ports or through some sort of wireless technology, just as Apple had envisioned. And while we may not like it for all the frustration and incompatibility it brings, the fact is that after Apple and Google deciding to go this route others will also have to fall in-line sooner or later.
If you look at history, Apple has had the tradition of ditching obsolete technology before anyone else. For example, they ditched the floppy drive in iMac G3 before anyone else. That was also not welcomed at the time, but industry had to fall in line. Now same is happening with headphone jack as well.
However, the transition phase of this new technology change is turning out to be more painful than that of floppy drive, largely because the 3.5mm headphone jack has a much larger ecosystem of accessories built around it (including some very expensive headphones that Apple sells itself under its Beats brand).
Due to that large ecosystem, this change is painful. Because whenever you want to plug your smartphone into someone else’s car, you find that you need a dongle. Whenever you forget to carry your wireless headsets to the gym, you can’t use the headphones of someone else (again, until you’ve got the dongle). So in every single situation like these 2 scenarios you’ve got to have the USB to 3.5mm dongle, unless the whole world goes wireless or USB Type-C shaped.
Now this transition, as expected, isn’t going to happen too quickly. However, it’s also not going to take too long, especially for Android as we’ve got the USB Type-C. We can soon expect headphones with USB Type-C connectors to start appearing in the market, and eventually world won’t be as weird without the headphone jack as it is today. That is because USB Type-C is a standard that anyone can implement and develop, while Apple controls its Lighting.
We’ve got to learn living without the headphone jack, because that’s what industry is going to do now. It may be frustrating, but in the long run headphone jacks are all dead!