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Apple's Abandonment of the Audio Jack Is Long, Long Overdue

On average, Apple supports ports for 15 years, and the company has offered audio jack support for 32 years
June 30, 2016

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Apple is abandoning the audio port on its upcoming iPhone. In fact, according to one chart, the only surprise should be that Apple supported the conventional audio jack for so long.

According to The Verge (via 9to5mac), Apple supports ports for an average of 15 years before ushering in smarter, better replacements. Consider Apple’s display ports: these change almost as often as the seasons do, and stand most recently with the all-in-one USB-C port on Apple’s newer MacBooks. At present, The Verge explains that Apple has supported the audio jack port on its products for 32 years, signaling that a change is indeed long overdue.

What I never realized is that most Apple I/O standards last about 15 years, give or take. Even the floppy, which seemed like a monumental change when it was removed from the iMac, was only around for 15 years. We take the traditional USB connector for granted, but it’s also been around for about 18 years, and you can see how the new MacBook is ushering it out in favor of USB-C. It’s an interesting cycle.

The audio jack, then, is indeed due for a refresh: one that should bring better audio quality for connected earphones or headphones. Take a look at the chart and see for yourself:

Apple’s next iPhone, the “iPhone 7,” is expected to be announced at a special event in September. Of course, we’ll keep you posted with further information concerning the handset as we receive it.