Apple Kills It With iPhone 7 (Headphone Jack, That Is): Headphone Maker Explains Why

The Moto Z has no headphone jack. Instead it uses a USB-C connector. Harbinger of things to come? (Credit: Motorola)
The Moto Z has no headphone jack. Instead it uses a USB-C connector. Harbinger of things to come? (Credit: Motorola)

    The iPhone 7 may best be remembered as the device that killed the analog headphone jack. I asked headphone maker Jaybird why it’s important.
Jaybird, which makes wireless headphones that are sold through the Apple Store, was acquired by Logitech in April for $50 million. The company is a big proponent of Bluetooth headphones. But Bluetooth isn’t the only future for the headphone. Companies like Audeze offerheadphones for the iPhone’s Lightning Connector at the Apple AAPL +0.94% Store too. And rumors circulating this past week indicate that Apple may bring out both new wireless headphones and headphones that use Lightning connectors. Also, phones like the Moto Z — which uses a USB-C connector — already come without a headphone jack. 
I interviewed Jaybird’s chief marketing officer Rene Oehlerking on Friday.
Q: Will Apple in fact kill the headphone jack on the iPhone 7?
Oehlerking: My personal opinion is that it’s absolutely going to happen. It’s going to happen next week when they announce it. And I believe this will be seen as very similar to when Apple decided to get rid of the floppy disk or decided to get rid of the CD-ROM or DVD drives in all of their MacBooks. It’s going to be that kind of a leap.
(Note: yes, it seems pretty certain that Apple will kill the headphone jack per this well-sourced Bloomberg piece – but you never know for sure).
Q: You’re saying this is long overdue, correct?
Oehlerking: The days of [the] analog [headphone jack] are gone…they went the way of the Walkman and the CD player. There’s one piece that has always been stuck in the past and that’s the 3.5 mill[imeter] headphone jack. The technology that you’re plugging into is exactly the same technology that you plugged into with your Walkman that Sony invented. [First marketed in 1979.] So, that connection to the device is still antiquated.

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