In Defense of AirPods and Removal of the iPhone Headphone Jack


People are different, and they have different needs in their hardware, but I couldn’t be more happy with Apple’s decision to:

  1. Kill off the headphone jack

  2. Move to minimalist, elegant wireless earphones

I see these as tightly related, which they are.

Something Benedict Evans pointed out, that many including myself missed, is that with traditional headphones you had to plug them in to the phone (and then remove them) every time you wanted to use them.

With AirPods, you never have to. That’s part of the regular workflow that’s now removed.

Now, you have to do something in exchange, of course. You have to charge your AirPods, where you didn’t have to charge your headphones. Except you already have to charge your phone, and your watch if you have a smartwatch. So adding one more charge event every night shouldn’t be that much of a problem.

I think he convenience of not plugging in headphones, and managing the wire, more than makes up for it.

But again, that’s just me.

Here’s the other reason I forgive them for doing what they did: I like simplicity in a device. Going from two holes on the bottom of the phone to one is just vastly superior to me. That’s just a personal fetish around elegance and simplicity; perhaps it doesn’t matter for others.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the reason I most support them making these changes is that the future doesn’t have wired headphones.

Think about that.

When have you seen any book, show, or movie about the future that was made in the last quarter century, where people were using their mobile devices with cords?

You don’t see it because it’s lame. If someone were hired to be a future technology consultant on some high-budget film, and they walked in and said that there’d be a wire going from the mobile device to the earpiece, they’d be fired for lack of vision.

So if we know that the future doesn’t have wired headphones or earpieces, and we know that this transition WILL NEED TO BE MADE, then why freak out when Apple is the first to push for it?

It should be expected, and for me it’s welcomed as well.


  1. Don’t get me wrong. There will be a time where I want to both charge my phone and use wired headphones, and I will use cuss words. I’m just saying those cuss words will be backed by understanding.

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