Why Apple Removing The Audio Jack From The iPhone Would Be A Very, Very, Very, Bad Move

Mike Masnick | TechDirt | August 15, 2016

from the but-it'll-still-happen dept

It's been rumored for months now that the next iPhone will be removing the standard analog headphone jack -- the same jack that's existed on portable audio devices for ages. It would immediately make a whole bunch of headphone and microphone products obsolete overnight for those who use iPhones. And while some have compared it to when Apple surprised everyone nearly two decades ago in removing the floppy drive from the iMac, this is quite different.

The floppy drive really was pushing the end of its necessary existence, and with the internet and (not too long after) the rise of USB, the internal floppy drive seemed less and less important. But that's not the case with the standard audio jack. Back in June, Nilay Patel at the Verge had an excellent take on why this move would be user hostile in very dangerous ways, starting with the fact that forcing audio through the iPhone Lightning connection would mean DRM:

"Oh look, I won this argument in one shot. For years the entertainment industry has decried what they call the "analog loophole" of headphone jacks, and now we’re making their dreams come true by closing it. Restricting audio output to a purely digital connection means that music publishers and streaming companies can start to insist on digital copyright enforcement mechanisms. We moved our video systems to HDMI and got HDCP, remember?..."