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Why Apple dropped the headphone jack in the iPhone 7

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 8, 2016
The company also unveiled wireless 'AirPods' that use its new A1 chip

Other innovations to the camera and processors in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus might bring more sales to Apple, but Schiller put a premium on the removal of the headphone jack and launch of AirPods.

Analyst Patrick Moorhead at Moor Insights and Strategy, tweeted about the importance of the move. "Did Apple just fix crappy Bluetooth headphone experience with AirPods? Probably," he tweeted.

Moorhead added later via email that Apple has a tradition of tackling customer experience concerns, like poor Bluetooth headphones and headsets. "From what I experienced with AirPods, they...fixed Bluetooth headsets. AirPods connect consistently, are truly wireless, stay in your ear and are easy to charge and harder to lose. I think Apple has a real winner here."

Apple has a long history of moving reluctant customers along to new technology. The lightning port was one such innovation, introduced on Sept. 12, 2012. It replaced the 30-pin dock connector in many Apple devices. Making the adjustment meant that customers needed an adapter for speakers and other devices. Schiller said there are now 900 million lightning connector devices in use.

With the AirPods, Apple is not relying on standard Bluetooth technology in its W1 chip, according to a report by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that was obtained by AppleInsider.

Kuo also argued that the wireless headphones will become the default option for many iPhone users. The low-power wireless communications used in the W1 chip could become the basis for communications with smart home accessories and smart automobiles.

Kuo said that Apple needed higher requirements for power savings than what the Bluetooth specification provides.


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