The great Apple jack debate

It’s Niley Patel vs. John Gruber.

Tech rumor sites have been feeding off hints that Apple might ship an iPhone without a standard 3.5 mm audio jack for more than half a year. But it took a report Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal to bring out the heavyweights.

In one corner, The Verge‘s Nilay Patel, who ripped into Apple with six reasons, as his headline put it, that “Taking the headphone jack off phones is user-hostile and stupid.” Reason No. 6: No one is asking for this.

In the other corner, coming (predictably) to Apple’s defense, is Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber. “The essence of Apple is that they make design decisions ‘no one asked for'” he writes in “Headphone Jacks Are the New Floppy Drives.”

If you enjoy over-caffeinated debates about the rise and fall of tech standards, be my guest.

If you’re worried about the effect on Apple’s share price, you are not alone. Even Gruber acknowledges that Apple’s timing on this one might be off.

On the other hand, expectations for the so-called iPhone 7—the iPhone that according to the Journal looks just like the iPhone 6 and 6S except without a headphone jack—couldn’t be much lower.

I suspect that the risk customers will be turned off by the lack of a jack has already been priced into the stock. After all, the rumor has had seven months to sink in.

And let’s remember, it’s still a rumor, even if you read it in the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s a dumb question: Could the old headphone jack still be an option?


  1. John Frantz said:
    Totally agree with Gruber in this case. This will be one of the least painful transitions that Apple has forced on us.

    June 22, 2016
  2. David Emery said:
    I’m still waiting for something to replace my 160gb iPod Classic (at a price I can afford.) Until then, that’s the device I use to play music and that I plug my noise suppression headphones into.

    It seems to me there are 2 classes of ‘phone jack users’, those who have wired telephone headsets, and those who have headphones (for listening to music.) My guess is the transition will be easier for those in the first class.

    June 22, 2016
  3. John Kirk said:
    Nilly Patel is way out of line this time. What he wrote was stupid. Very, very stupid. And he’s not a stupid man. So I can only assume he did it for the clicks.

    That’s too bad. This kind of journalism is beneath him.

    June 22, 2016
  4. said:
    Let’s talk about ears and eyes.
    If the “7” gives us an significant upgrade in sound quality, I’d buy it.
    If the “7” gives us an significant upgrade in picture taking (dual lens), I’d buy it.
    If we get both, the century old jack won’t kill the next upgrade cycle.

    June 23, 2016

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