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Apple and OnePlus deliver bad news for fans of the humble headphone jack

If you're a fan of the humble headphone jack, check now: It was not a good week for you.

On Apple's annual marketing tradition on Wednesday, the Cupertino company revealed all sorts of shiny objects, primarily in the form of phones and watches. However, in anticipation of the expected millions, Apple was unbelievably stuck in the knife deeper into the reliable old headphone jack.

Apple stopped silently selling iPhone SE and iPhone 6s – the last iPhone devices contained a 3.5mm round headphone hole. Then, without flinching, it decided to sell the new iPhones without the free headphone dongle that had come with previous jackless iPhones. You can still buy the adapter for $ 9 but.

One day later, OnePlus, the Chinese company revealed behind the affordable "advanced" smartphone of the same name, it finally succumbed to the desire to kick the headphone jack when it's down. That's right, OnePlus 6T ̵

1; assuming that's what it's going to be called – will not have a dedicated headphone sport when launched later this year.

Song and dance

To backtrack a little, OnePlus always has a little fanfare when it comes to design decisions, like incorporating a headphone jack. At least one earlier OnePlus launch event, the company dumped the audience with an "H ave de, not they?" "Stunt who wondered the opportunity to believe it had suppressed the headphone jack. Counounder Carl Pei told a composite audience last year that OnePlus 5" has no headphone jacket ", with additional evidence shown on the giant slide show. having allowed the audience to process this information through awesome gasps of incredulity, he added "… just kiddin" to a game of light giggles.

Later in the year when the company prepared to launch the OnePlus 5T follow-up, CEO Pete Lau went to a large extent to explain why the company held the headphone jack securely in place.

"Every function, removed or added, is based on our understanding of user needs," he said. "At the moment, we think it's best to keep plug with headphone jack. When we investigated the OnePlus community, 70 percent of users reported that their priority was sound quality. Generally, there are no wireless headphones available to provide the same sound quality. "

OnePlus stuck with the 3.5mm headphone jack for the OnePlus 6 launch a few months back, but it will be its last drive to

At first, OnePlus once again played with public sentiment when it was announced that it would later sell USB- C headphones – it suggests that the headphone jack could be released, but it was not a decisive evidence. Then came the bombshell.

Over: OnePlus: USB-C Bullet Headphones

Pei confirmed that OnePlus 6T would not sport a headphone jack and He explained why.

You need to make decisions that optimize the user experience and understand that even things that provide user value can also add friction.

We must also think of the negative page [of removing the headphone jack] for our users. found 59 percent of our community already owned wireless headphones earlier this year – and that was before we launched our Bullet Wireless headphones.

If we should Doing it two years ago, the proportion of [of wireless headphones owners] would have been much lower and that would have caused a lot of friction for our users.

This decision means that OnePlus has more space to shoots a larger battery to its next device, but – as with other handset manufacturers who have decided to dike the headphone

Old Road

The Argument Against Removing the Headphone Jacket are not new, but they are repeated here.

Affordable, high quality Bluetooth headphones are not as widespread as incarnations – plus they're just one device in your life that needs to be charged.

Oh, but OnePlus will also bundle an adapter with the smartphone so you can use your cordless headphones (Or do you have to go out for your company's USB-C Bullet headphones) – besides that, you do not can charge your phone and listen to music at the same time. It sounds like a simple obstacle to bypass via an optional splitter adapter (extra charge …), but there's not really anyone out there that works reliably.

In addition, many people have multiple sets of headphones for different scenarios – I have a small pair of in-ear contrasts to listen to podcasts in bed, an ears to run and a tight pair that goes over my ear for interviews and meetings. Although I could use the same adapter for each scenario, the reality I know is that I do not always remember to wave the dongle around with me. It's more hassle than a consumer needs, and I would stop purchasing more of the adapters. I would personally prefer to set up a shorter battery life in my phone than to fish with adapters or worry about my cordless headphones running out of juice.

According to Pei, 59 percent of the OnePlus community now has wireless headphones. With these figures at nominal value, it means that 41 percent do not, which is still a lot. And of the 59 percent, many probably also have non-wireless headphones, like me, for use in different situations. Additionally, anyone can use Bluetooth headphones with a smartphone that has a 3.5mm headphone jack, so the situation is currently a win-win for everyone.

In addition, OnePlus only examined its own user group, which is not necessarily representative of other markets. Potential New OnePlus Customers May Be Rival Firms That Have Holded The 3.5mm Headphone Jack – Samsung, the largest Android phone manufacturer in the world, has retained the small round port in all its latest flagship mobile devices. For now, at least.

Will the earth continue to spin in a world of disappearing headphone jack? Definitely. Will we all come over this and realize that there are much more important things to worry about? Perhaps.

It's obvious that the market goes in just one direction, so it will not be long before boycotting such smartphone companies for their design decisions becomes quite meaningless. But I still believe OnePlus is likely to alienate more users than it will be happy with the latest drag. Apple is Apple – it's a small ecosystem for itself, so decisions about headphone connectivity are less of a problem. OnePlus core point of sale was always that its phones were "premium with non-premium pricing". But pricing has evolved over the years to make the phones less competitive than they once were – an unlocked 128GB Samsung Galaxy S9 is now only 15 percent more expensive than the OnePlus 6 equivalent.

This means that a seemingly standard design decision – such as shutting down the headphone jack – could float consumers into competing brands. I can not help it to be a poor decision by OnePlus.

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