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iPhone 7 Headphone Jack Debacle & More

Tim Cook of Apple "Confused about Headphone Jack"
Phil Shiller, Greg Joswiak, Dan Riccio & Tim Cook of Apple defend omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack in iPhone 7. Here I defend the headphone jack & debunk their claims. Plus buy $160 AirPods & no Sapphire or OLED in iPhone 7 !  


Apple was honest when they claimed that the basic 3.5mm headphone jack stems from an old reference design popularized by the Sony Walkman in 1979. It was the Sony EFM-117J radio of 1964 that propelled the mini 3.5mm headphone jack into the consumer limelight!

Apple was dishonest when they said the 3.5mm port had not been touched in 50 years. There are literally tons of different phone accessories like light meters, credit card readers, microphones, air quality sensor, lasers, IR blasters and others tech that plugs into the iPhone 6S's 4 contact headphone jack. Even Apple used the additional contact in 4 band design to achieve volume control and microphone in cable functionality in the iPhone line up until the iPhone 7. You lose a lot more than headphone functionality with the omission of the headphone jack in the iPhone 7.

Have a look at this well written Tech Crunch article the explain the versatile functionality offered in the modern 3.5mm headphone jack port of the iPhone 6S! <-- Click to Link to Article! (images below are from this parent article) + adapted MFi explanation!

3.5mm Headphone Jack Development Board

Square Credit Card Reader 3.5mm for iPhone 6S & earlier 

Thermodo's Thermometer 3.5mm Jack Accessory + App 

Bevel 3D Scanner 3.5mm jack Accessory + App 
Lumu Light Meter 3.5mm jack Accessory + App 
Students Rejected  

Boldly going where no one else will go, Apple has a MFi hardware accessory approval process that borders on draconian principles, in the related FAQ Apple rejects students from using the Headphone Jack to electronically interact with their iPhones.

Water Resistance Claim Debunked 

1. The 3.5mm headphone jack can be waterproof contrary to what Riccio said when he claimed that removing the jack was essential to achieving an IP7 rating in the iPhone 7.

2. There are hundreds of water resistant mobile consumer electronic devices that achieve iP7 ratings while including the ubiquitous 3.5mm headphone jack that is used by nearly every headphone set produced in the last 52 years.

3. Apple proved in the Series 2 iWatch that adding a few intelligent gaskets and some glue along with gold plating electrical contacts made of nickel plated copper or stainless steel is more than sufficient to achieve good water sealing.

4. A simple 3.5mm jack plug made of silicon that fits snuggly into the port when it is not in use would have been sufficient to keep water out.

5. Apple has the power to have components like the 3.5mm headphone jack custom made with greater functionality like their did in the 3rd gen iPod Shuffle. The Late 08 MacBook and many other Mac computers have optical data SPDIF built into their headphone jack port. This evidence proves that Apple has the capacity to build water proof headphone jack ports.

To summarize Apple could have included a waterproof 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7 without any technical penalties for achieve iP7, including the use of a simple port plug gasket. They have the capacity as a corporation to have a waterproof reference design headphone jack custom made to their specs and have done it before.

Space Saving Debunked 

The reference design for a 3.5mm stereo plug indicate an absolute length of about 14mm and a diameter of 3.5mm. Using a cubic rectangular prismatic estimate of the female headphone jack port we arrive at 4mm x 4mm x 16mm or about 256mm^3 or cubic millimeters (very small) and that compares against the net dimension of the iPhone 7, namely 158.2mm x 77.9mm by 7.3mm with calculates to approximately 90,000mm^3 or cubic millimeters. This means the headphone jack would only take up 1/4 of 1% of the volume of the iPhone 7 or ~0.284%, rendering Riccio claims debunked!

Riccio claimed the 3.5mm port assembly was taking up space where the iPhone 7's camera, battery and processor could go, yet Apple did not put any of those things in the space that once accommodated the headphone jack in the iPhone 6S. Instead they put a barometric pressure sensor where the 3.5mm headphone jack would have gone in the iPhone 7.


Tim cook refuses to speak about the nixing of the headphone jack, instead he likes to talk about how people use their iPhones as cameras to document their lives. He must have forgotten that people have shot entire feature length films on iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S with external microphones plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack!

If apple really wanted to innovate something, they would build an even better headphone jack with more functions and could have easily included a barometric pressure sensor into the jack design. They could have put an IR blasting or SPDIF optical transceiver into the headphone jack. They could have made an amazing IP7 rated headphone jack or simply included a silicone port plug to achieve water resistance. They cannot logically defend the omission so they talk about other to divert the discussion away from a glaring port omission that offends people for the reasons I have outlined above!

Ulterior Motives 

The $160 AirPods are the obvious reason why Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7 design. They also want you to get a bunch of $9 dongles to use headphones you already own; a dongle that can only plug into the new iPhone, a dongle that adds port stress to the only port on the iPhone 7. If you seriously do everything through a single port, then the port is going to wear out faster. I think these things are part of their motivation, although they official claim that my above observations are conspiracies.

Hoping for wireless charging in the iPhone 7, your out of luck! Apple did inductive charging in both versions of the iWatch! Why no contact free charging in iPhone, iPad or MacBook Pro ? Your guess is as good as mine!

Sapphire & OLED missing too 

I think a lot of people are going to skip buying the iPhone 7 and wait for the iPhone 8 because the iPhone 7 did not include a strong scratch resistant sapphire screen cover or OLED. OLED would give the iPhone dramatically better battery life, better contrast, look no further than the 1000nit OLED screen on Apples newest Series 2 iWatch for an example of why OLED is better. To Apples credit they did make the iPhone 7 screen a lot stronger than ever before.

New MacBook Pro 2016 

Your new iPhone 7 will not plug into the Late 16 MacBook Pro, nor can your USB thumb drives, external Time Machine drives, printers or anything else that plugged into the standard USB port on a computer.

Apple ditched every port include SD card slots in their new MacBook Pro and included the new well designed symmetrical USB-C for all port functions. At 40 gigabits per second the active USB-C cable port combo offers impressive IO performance. USB-C cables can also deliver up to 100 watts of power, so much that 16 MBP uses USB-C where MagSafe once allowed safe power in. This creates a tripping hazard that can fling the 16 MBP if you trip on the cable, risking the all in one port, your safety and the integrity of your MBP.

I understand why Apple went with an all in one USB-C port, the decision is reflective of the all in one design of the iMac. Then again throwing in an SD card slot and normal USB port was not beyond their capacities. I think Apple let design triumph over function in the 16 MBP.

1 comment:

  1. There's a chance you're qualified for a free Apple iPhone 7.