Will Apple Go With A Proprietary Headphone Jack?


We all know how much Apple hates standardisation. Why use a USB cord when you can charge people for your own design? Why allow SD cards when you can charge people disproportionately more for internal memory? It seems, no it IS, that Apple “creates” products with the sole intent being to be able to charge more money and more money. Realistically, it is one of the wheels on the Apple machine that has made it such a profitable company. And industry standards, they shun, unless the industry passes them by and they’re forced to catch up. As in NFC, which they have fought to the extent that they created their own iBeacon system, which they told the sheep would do the same thing, but do it better! Well, turns out it doesn’t do the same thing, turns out it’s really just a way to track you for profit. And turns out while they were working on iBeacon, the financial world said we need NFC, and now apparently Apple will be adding it to the next iPhone iteration.

And now that they are adding a component to the iPhone that they will have a hard time calling their own, (but they will certainly try, trust me, they will try) what else can they do to capture more dollars from their customers. Is there another standard that they can go after to try to squeeze that last dollar?

It appears as if there is! Let’s go after the headphone jack shall we apple? This 3,5mm marvel, that we’ve used for so long. Even back to the old days when our phones has a measly 9 buttons, and real ones at that, and when our music was stored on cassettes, we plugged the little metal plug in to the little plastic hole, and rocked that Walkman like no one’s business!

I ran across this article here at Keranews.org, and the minute I read this, I immediately thought, finally, Apple just had it’s Fonzie moment and has jumped the shark in such a way that even the most loyal sheep would finally have enough, then continued to read and realized I was wrong. That the sheep will continue to justify their fleecing. I’ve included a few excerpts below for reasonable people to shake their heads at.

“Apple may be set to end its use of the standard 3.5mm headphone connector — the mini plug — in favor of its proprietary connector, the Lightening Port. If they were to do that, new iPhones, iPads and iPods wouldn’t work with old headphones. It’s had more than a few industry folks and Apple fanatics upset, to say the least.”

Yes! They should be raging at this! Using a proprietary connector to attach the headphones to means one thing. Only licensed products for your iDevice. One more of way to say that Apple shall decided what you should buy! And take more your money while you’re at it!

“Now that Apple’s allowing companies to build headphones that connect with the Lightning connector, that might be the first hint that Apple could remove that old, legacy headphone jack from devices down the road.”

We know Apple, that’s exactly what they’re planning.

“If we look at past examples of similar things Apple has done, usually they come out with an adapter solution that will allow these new Lightning headphones to work with your legacy device that still uses the headphone jack or vice versa. I’d imagine we’ll see solutions like that at least for a few years, until people make the transition to the new technology.”

Yes, and they charge for that adapter.

Here's a great deal on an adapter at Amazon!
Here’s a great deal on an adapter at Amazon!

“Certainly, if the new Lightning headphones are something that Apple’s going to push as its next innovation in audio. That’ll, I imagine, be something that trickles down to Beats, and I imagine Beats would come out with a pair of Lightning headphones. We’ll have to see where Apple takes it and what manufacturers do with it.”

And here I thought they just purchased Beats to stay relevant.

“I think that the Lightning connector does provide some benefits to headphone manufacturers. One of those is the ability to draw power from the iPhone. Right now, when a company makes a pair of headphones that have high-end audio processing features like active noise cancellation, they actually have to build a battery into the headphones. With the Lightning connector, they’ll be able to draw power from the device itself. That could save manufacturers money and bring these high-end audio features to cheaper headphones. So it might be a win for consumers at the end of the day, depending on what manufacturers do with the technology.”

And every wall hugger knows that the iPhone has power to spare! Why, I bet with a nice pair of Lightening headphones you could probably get a good hour of use out of your fully charged iPhone!

“They’ve never been shy about doing it in the past [moving from an industry standard] — the disk drive on their Macbooks, the Flash in the browser on their iPhones. It does cause a bit of a stink among consumers and reviewers when the change first happens, but Apple usually tries to be ahead of the curve and predict what technologies are going to become legacy technologies. And with the examples we’ve just mentioned, they’ve been successful with it.”

Yes, this would be nothing new to Apple. And what they’ve always had in the past was popularity. It was the must have product. That popularity is waning. Not as fast as I’d expect. I’d expect the obscene amount of security flaws exposed in recent months would cause a drastic turn for Apple, but that hasn’t seemed to be the case yes. What has been happening though, is that people have been realizing that their phones don’t do what their friends phones can do. And slowly, they’ve been moving to other platforms. I suppose if Apple makes this move, what we shall initially see is a lot of manufacturers jump on the bandwagon, but we can count on it being yet another thing that will slowly chew at Apple users, who are oh so slowly beginning to realize that they are paying entirely too much for a sub-standard product.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying my BlackBerry, which will connect with any dollar store or professional headphones, my bluetooth headphones, my computer and tablets, my TV, my Xbox, my Bluetooth speakers, and my car, among other things. And why does it do this? So easily? Without the need to purchase adapters or checking boxes to see if it’s a compatible product? Because BlackBerry was smart enough to use industry standard technology. And while they may be missing out on a few dollars by not forcing me to buy only licensed products, they are giving me choice, to use products I choose to use. Let’s be sure to let our iFriends know about a freedom we have, that they do not.



Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.