After nearly 140 years , headphone jack has finally been put to rest. Apple today launched the iPhone7 series of smartphones and with it came the announcement that it will no longer have a head phone jack. Instead the headphones can now be directly plugged into the lightning connector – a risky stance esp. for those Bose headphone loving music fanatics who would rather have a universal headphone that works with desktops and phones. And that exactly is the problem with changing a universally accepted connector. Just for a geeky analogy, this would be like Cisco changing the RJ45 connector for Ethernet on their new line of switches. Apple in its defense does plan to offer an adapter for “traditional” headphones. But having used the Mophie juice pack that offers a headphone adapter to “seamlessly” use the case along with a headphone, I must admit, it is yet another rather rigid cable to carry along. It needs to be seen how users will accept the idea. Early twitter reactions show that the feelings are mixed.
Having said that I am very excited about AirPods . Entangled cables were never my favorite things to carry. Nor was I terribly excited about the bluetooth wireless headsets available today. Again the reactions to the AirPod launch has been mixed. The fact that there is no wire connecting the two plugs together is seen as a major concern, esp. with the threat of losing one of them. Apple has tried to address it with a rather sleek looking casing that also acts as a charger. I must say of all the products and features announced today, AirPods are the ones that got me really excited.
So while the verdict on how well the “new” headphone jack and the AirPod will be accepted is still pending, this year’s keynote did bring more excitement than the last couple of years to consumers. And I personally think I would at least buy one product out of all those that were launched. No prize for guessing which one!