OK, you know the drill. If the article’s title ends in a question mark, then the answer usually is ‘no.’ That’s the case here, thanks to something Apple may do but hasn’t announced but has set the hair on fire of websites and tech writers whose job it is to set fire to their reader’s hair.
For about a year now there have been rumors that Apple might ditch the old-fashioned headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of audio over a Lightning cable. That would be news. Every smartphone has a similar headphone jack. Only iPhones have Lightning cables. But Apple owns Beats headphones so making one that works with a Lightning cable would be child’s play for the Cupertino-based tech giant.
Why change at all?
Another day, another rumor that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of sending out audio over Lightning. Or another phone beats Apple to the punch by ditching the headphone jack in favor of passing out audio over USB-C. What exciting times for phones! We’re so out of ideas that actively making them shittier and more user-hostile is the only innovation left.
Somehow the writer seems to have missed the many innovations that show up in each new iPhone, but seems to think that innovation has ended so the only thing left is to change out the 20th century headphone jack for something worse. In other words, it’s a horrid complaint about something that hasn’t happened yet. You know, like complaining about a Trump presidency.
Calling Apple user-hostile and stupid seems a bit over the top for something that doesn’t exist.
Apple is no stranger to making disruptions and my favorite digital rag and rag writer has a list of items to carry down memory lane.
- Dropping the floppy drive
- Not supporting Blu-ray
- Dropping the optical drive
- Sticking with FireWire when the rest of the world went with USB
- Dropping the smartphone’s physical keyboard for an on-screen keyboard
- Adopting a proprietary 30-pin connector for the iPod
- Coming out with a tablet that didn’t have a USB port
- Dropping the 30-pin connector in favour of another proprietary connector rather than going with USB like everyone else
- Using Thunderbolt for high-speed connectivity rather than USB
- Making a MacBook with a single USB-C port that’s used for charging and connecting peripherals
One by one, let’s take a look at those on the list and see how they have impacted Apple or the industry.
- Dropping the floppy drive – Apple altered the course of history with the iMac back in 1998. How did that work out? Have you seen a floppy disk recently?
- Not supporting Blu-ray – Steve Jobs called Blu-ray a bag of hurt. Apple sold more Macs than ever.
- Dropping the optical drive – that one bothered me; for awhile. The last DVD I used was 2 1/2 years ago and none since. They are not missed in a Wi-Fi-always-connected internet.
- Sticking with FireWire – The rest of the world went with USB– as did Apple– but after Apple. FireWire is still around on many Macs.
- Dropping the smartphone’s physical keyboard – seriously? You want to go there? What kind of keyboard do most smartphones use today? It’s like the one on the original iPhone, right?
- Adopting a proprietary 30-pin connector for iPod – as opposed to what? USB? That’s laughable.
- A tablet without a USB port – yeah, Apple was hurt by that (not). iPad is still the best selling tablet.
- Dropping the 30-pin connector for Lightning – why not USB? Not thin enough or good enough.
- Using Thunderbolt vs. USB for high speed connectivity – please remember that USB was slower than Thunderbolt back then.
Making a MacBook with a single USB-C port – if you need more, then you need a MacBook Pro which has all kinds of connector ports (but I still don’t understand why the MacBook doesn’t have two).
In other words, there’s not much of an argument to be made that Apple is deliberately hostile or stupid or even both. Change is what moves the world forward. Why don’t experienced tech writers from famous brand-name tech rags know that? Actually, they do, but part of their job description is to complain about whatever they can that creates an eyeball grabbing headline so the advertising revenue can continue. Common sense need not be part of the equation. And, like national politics in 2016, it’s not.