It would seem that a lot of people are extremely worked up about headphone sockets all of a sudden. The announcement by Apple to drop the familiar 3.5mm hole from the iPhone7 has been met with howls of protest, derision, and apocalypse predictions.
Personally I think it’s a good idea. Now, let me stress at this point, that I am not an Apple fan, I don’t consider them to be an innovative company, in the technology sense, or that their dominance in the market is entirely health. They didn’t produce the first home computer, business computer, or personal computer. They didn’t invent the laptop, or the MP3 player, or the smartphone. They weren’t the first to have an online store selling music downloads. What they have done, is innovate in how a computer can be sold. They have turned a rectangle of plastic and chips in to an aspirational object, like a BMW, but without any exclusivity, so again like a BMW. Apple understand their market, they know it’s ok to drop the headphone port. The wheels won’t fall off.
I have seen a lot of technology, protocols, and connectors, come and go since I started with simple home computers in the 80s. I mean who remembers IEEE488 these days? Or Token Ring? It used to be that everything had an RS-232 port on it. Everything. It didn’t matter what the device did, or which protocol it used, or how the in-band management was supposed to work, or what special software controlled it; if you could get a serial connection you were in business.
Now devices are too slim, data centres are too dense, and through puts are too high for it to earn its place. Times have moved on, but RS-232 couldn’t.
Technology is ever changing, with new standards, protocols, and applications; new trends, buzzwords, and fashions.
My experience lets me see which one are innovative, and which are repackaging the past; which have a future, and which are hype.
No one would seriously argue that we will all be using headphone sockets in 2116, and so it has to be dropped at some point. All the headphone manufactures will adjust their existing Bluetooth products to work with Apple’s new standard, and the sun will continue to rise.
Change is inevitable, progress is inevitable. Making the right changes is what matters. Apple is a big company that understands that, I’m here to help small businesses understand it to.