Originally Posted by PB PM
It was a cash grab made in collusion with headphone manufacturers who wanted to find a way to increase margins, it sure wasn’t done to improve anything for consumers.
Removing a port might not be “innovation” in itself, but it can make other innovations possible. I don’t think the iPhone X and especially the iPhone XR and iPad Pro’s all-screen designs would have been possible with the headphone jack (without being significantly thicker). The iPhone XR actually puts the Lightning port off-center because fitting it under the screen was such a challenge; I really don’t think they could have fit the significantly thicker headphone cavity. And on the iPad Pro, the bezel width seems to be defined by the depth of the USB-C port, and the headphone jack has significantly more depth than that.
Consumers hated it at first because consumers always hate losing something, and because they don’t understand that trade-offs are sometimes necessary to make the devices they, in actuality, want. I was working retail during the 30-pin to Lightning transition, and at that time everybody hated that too – people were convinced it was just a ploy to sell adapters, and not part of making a better product. But can you imagine still using the 30-pin connector now? On BeatsX earbuds? On the AirPods case? On the Apple Pencil?
I honestly don’t think Apple makes much money on the $9 Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter at all. If they wanted the adapter to be a revenue stream, they’d charge more for it, but they charge basically the bare minimum. No one else, with their USB-C to headphone adapters, can match Apple’s pricing. And they included it in the box, alongside new Lightning earbuds, for two years.
Apple will always, always, skate to wear the puck is going. They’re always going to remove things they think are inessential – I’m sure eventually that will include the Lightning port. Apple’s position is that everything is moving to wireless, and they’re not wrong.