12 comments

  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Great clip. Worth keeping in mind that Apple doesn’t always make perfect choices, and everyone, including critics and Apple themselves have biases and incentives, based on their current predicament.

    I honestly am not upset the headphone jack is going away. What does get me a little annoyed is that it is being replaced by a port that isn’t an open standard. Making headphones that transmit via Lightning means being part of the MFi program. And being part of the MFi program means asking Apple’s permission, and paying royalties. They are in complete control, and as part of the deal, headphones have to become more expensive, due to the additional licensing fee.

    As a consumer, this means the benefit of however the additional space inside the iPhone is used (more battery, Taptic engine etc) is offset by the fact I now have to use an adaptor, only use the included buds, or buy new headphones. Not a huge deal, but the main issue is about a position of power being used to push the market in a way that suits Apple. If the iPhone used USB-C, I’d have less of an issue with it.

    Courage? Sure. Very much a strategic decision that benefits Apple though, and possibly a decision that was made prior to buying Beats. I certainly wouldn’t call this a purely customer-centric benefit, even long term.

    20 points
    • Rainer SchuhslerRainer Schuhsler, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

      What does get me a little annoyed is that it is being replaced by a port that isn’t an open standard.

      I don't think it's Apple's goal that everyone adopts the Lightning connector over the headphone jack. Besides the Lightning Earpods that come with the new iPhone, none of the new headphones from Beats and Apple use a Lightning connector to deliver audio. The new BeatsX and Airpods have Lightning ports for charging. I doubt we see Lightning ports in future Macbooks and other devices just to plug in our headphones.

      Over the years, the things we connect to our devices have steadily transitioned from wired to wireless. Mice, keyboards, network equipment, printers, speakers, etc. Now it's time we all ditch the wire for our headphones. Next will probably be the wire we use for charging.

      It might not be that long before the Lightning connector goes away too.

      8 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

        I don't think it's Apple's goal that everyone adopts the Lightning connector over the headphone jack.

        So their goal is to license their W1 chips? It doesn’t really matter how you paint this, they’ve put themselves into an advantagous situation by removing the port.

        none of the new headphones from Beats and Apple use a Lightning connector to deliver audio.

        None, except the buds included in the box.

        I doubt we see Lightning ports in future Macbooks and other devices just to plug in our headphones.

        I hope not. I do frequently keep my earbuds in and switch headphones between iPhone and Mac. I now won’t be able to do that.

        Over the years, the things we connect to our devices have steadily transitioned from wired to wireless. Mice, keyboards, network equipment, printers, speakers, etc.

        Mice, keyboards and speakers typically use Bluetooth, an open standard. Network equipment and printers use Wi-Fi, an open standard.

        1 point
        • Pierre de MillyPierre de Milly, almost 4 years ago

          It was not very clear from the keynote but the AirPods actually use bluetooth and can work like any bluetooth device. They just pair much faster.

          1 point
          • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

            The AirPods use Bluetooth, but other Bluetooth headphones don’t have access to the W1’s special powers and better pairing.

            0 points
        • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, almost 4 years ago

          You don't need the W1 chip to create wireless headphones. The W1 chip is Apple's solution for bluetooth connectivity but it's by no means the only bluetooth chip that will work with the iPhone.

          As for the MacBook/MacBook Pro connectivity, wireless headphones currently connect to them as well. opt-click the speaker icon in your menu bar and you can quickly switch input mode.

          Apple IS using bluetooth for wireless. The only closed technology they are using is the lightning port and let's keep in mind Apple designed, in part, for the lightning port to be reversible and smaller then the existing USB technology at the time (well, microUSB was around but it's as big a pain as it's not reversible). USB-C might be reversible but there's an argument to be had that the pin location on lightning cables is a better solution then the pin location for USB-C connectors due to wear and tear. Regardless, wireless connectivity for headphones on the iPhone uses bluetooth and wireless networking still uses WiFi and cellular.

          1 point
          • John PJohn P, almost 4 years ago

            but there's an argument to be had that the pin location on lightning cables is a better solution then the pin location for USB-C connectors due to wear and tear.

            There is also the argument that USB-C doesn't bring $4 profit for every plug sold like 3rd party lightning headphones do

            0 points
          • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

            If you want the easier pairing and better quality audio, and potentially other features, you need the W1. Saying manufacturers can use Bluetooth is a bit disingenuous — they can, but they can’t compete with Apple’s solution. And that’s the point. Apple has created a situation that’s not a level playing field, where it was previously using the normal headphone jack and Bluetooth.

            0 points
            • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, almost 4 years ago

              Yes, but it's still bluetooth at its core and there's nothing stopping a company from improving their audio quality over Bluetooth as well. Apple hasn't cornered the market in better audio quality for wireless and kept everyone else from doing the same. Sure, some company might be able to license the W1 chip but as far as I know Apple isn't offering this solution to competitors (see https://9to5mac.com/2016/09/12/apple-w1-chip-how-it-works/)

              0 points
              • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

                Yes, but it's still bluetooth at its core and there's nothing stopping a company from improving their audio quality over Bluetooth as well.

                I guess we’ll find out in time, but the keynote suggested software changes on both sides — the headphones and the phone itself.

                0 points
    • James LaneJames Lane, 4 years ago

      I agree with the USB-C point. One point I picked up from that video is that Steve was saying how they used products invented by other companies (3.5" floppy as an example) within their own products. They are now trying to push their own product (lightning port) which might not work as well because competitors won't be as keen to use it too.

      2 points
  • John PJohn P, 4 years ago

    Looking forward to the "problem solver" medium crowd penning articles about how courageous their design decisions are.

    2 points