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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Columns

Apple makes wrong choice in purging headphone jack


Apple discarding the audio jack is the boldest move the company has made in an attempt to vertically integrate every facet of its iPhone products.

But just because it’s bold does not mean it’s smart.

If you get the “new and improved” iPhone 7, say goodbye to grabbing the auxiliary cable whenever you ride with your friends. You can also say goodbye to borrowing a friend’s pair of traditional headphones whenever you forget yours.

“It really comes down to one word: courage,” Marketing chief Phil Schiller said during the Apple event. “The courage to move on to do something new that betters all of us.”

This may seem true in regard to moving away from headphone jacks that have been used for decades, but they were never faulty. Apple just wanted to get rid of a part of its phone that they could not control the licensing of.

A possible way to circumvent the Lightning cable’s only trap is to utilize Bluetooth headphones. They can be expensive, but I’d rather buy something that Apple isn’t forcing me to.

Apple is waging the same old war it always has: cutting out any port and cable it can for the sake of aesthetics. The Magic Mouse is physically unusable while charging.

This war, though, is not just about looks. With no audio jack, companies that wish to produce Lightning headphones must pay the company a licensing fee. That information, coupled with the fact that Apple does not use any third-party hardware, makes it clear that the company is striving for vertical integration of its product.

Getting rid of that pesky headphone jack is one of the biggest, and possibly one of the last, nails on the vertical integration coffin.

Either way, I hope that even some of the more hardcore Apple Kool-Aid drinkers wake up and realize that Apple is just trying to juice its consumers for all it can get. The headphone jack wasn’t broken in any way, but the company got rid of it anyway to profit from your purchases of new headphones.

Apple doesn’t care about you, just your money. True power lies with the consumers, not the corporations.

Don’t let Apple fool you into thinking otherwise about buying the products that it would like to force upon you.

Assistant opinion editor Thom Dwyer is a broadcast journalism sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]

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