HTC, Apple, Xiaomi and Motorola. What do these four smartphone manufacturers have in common? In addition to being four of the most important firms, the four have been immersed in the controversy raised by the elimination of a feature so beloved by users as it is 3.5mm headphone jack, one of the major players in the telephony sector in the last two years.
And it is that, whether we like it or not, there is no turning back. More and more companies decide to do without this small port to bet on smartphones with increasingly thin bodies and headphones that connect via Bluetooth or USB type C. However, Has anyone asked users if we are willing to lose this feature?
The history of the jack, or how manufacturers make decisions without thinking about their users
In the background, I can understand why many manufacturers have decided to do away with this port in their latest high-performance terminals. While the internal components continue to occupy the same space as always, photographic systems, increasingly important especially in the high-end, are getting bigger and bigger, and the current trend in the industry is to create terminals that are increasingly thin and compact with screens that occupy the largest possible percentage of the front.
Because, manufacturers suffer clear limitations due to space issues, and they are forced to dispense with features – hence the incessant search for technology that allows a fingerprint reader to “embed” under the screen – and less important details. AND the audio jack seems to be inconsequential enough as for these companies to have decided to remove it instead of other functionalities.
But has anyone asked if we want increasingly thinner smartphones? Who told Motorola that users preferred the 6 millimeters thick of the Z2 Force over a jack? The answer is much simpler than it sounds: If you need to give an adapter along with your smartphone, it means that the time has not come to remove the port.
If we want a future without cables, we must forget the ports
Everything indicates that, to the four companies mentioned at the beginning of this article, another one will soon join, and it will not be just any one. If the latest rumors are true, Google's upcoming Pixel smartphones will also lack a headphone jack, and it will be then when we reach a point of no return.
Because when Google joins this trend, most likely will be followed by others like LG, and later by Samsung, and by OnePlus, and Sony, and there will come a time when very few, or none of the popular high-end available on the market, will have this small port.
And although today it may seem absurd for a manufacturer to eliminate a feature that thousands of people use every day, we must think that we are in the midst of a transition to a wireless future. More and more devices – not just smartphones – are opting for USB type C as the only transfer port for their devices. And it is that, Why include a port as limited as the jack, being able to replace it with a multipurpose one such as type C?
Maybe, indeed, We are not yet ready to say goodbye to the headphone jack on our phones and tablets, and that there are still reasons not to bet on his disappearance. Despite this, as the new generations of smartphones arrive, We will see how this little revolution continues to advance until it fulfills its objective, and it would not be unreasonable to think that, in a few years, we could find the first terminals without any port or connector, to finally give way to wireless technologies. Until that time comes, it may be a good time to think about buying a good Bluetooth headset.
Related topics: Headphones