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Apple Killing Headphones

Sadly, I am not an Apple blogger. If you’re an Apple blogger, you can make like $400,000 a year by saying stuff like “Samsung made the Home icon 1px smaller – this is a billion dollar mistake”, or “I’m with Tim Cook on this one” (which you can add to 100% of Tim Cook quotes, but act like you really thought it through).

Sorry, let me just add a side note for a second here: When the shitty Apple Watch came out, the Daringfireball guy wrote one of the best things of all time:

Also, though it sounds trivial, I enjoy the perfect 60 FPS smoothness of Apple Watch’s second hand — a smoothness no mechanical watch could ever match.

hahahahahahah ait’s so good. It really makes me laugh thinking about it, because I know it’s totally sincere, and the guy was like “Damn, this watch is higher resolution than.. reality!”

Anyway, so Apple is announcing the new iPhone tomorrow, and the big news, as far as I’ve seen, is that they’re removing the headphone port, and adding their own proprietary port.

Cynical people might think this is because they recently bought the Beats headphones company and can sell a bunch of $399 headphones (and “Airpods”) to people. The truth however is simply that a typical headphone port is 1/8 of an inch wide, and that is insanely thick. Carrying a phone that’s thicker than 3.5mm is basically like sticking a huge wheel of cheese in your pocket, one of the big ones that the villagers are rolling around in Asterix books, for instance.

So I’m no Apple blogger, and I certainly go out of my way to not read Apple blogs, okay and let me get off on another tangent here: Should I do an Apple blog? I bet I could get pretty rich, I understand all the stuff they do. Okay tangent over.

So they’re ditching the headphone jack, which I find really annoying, and it will keep me using my Android (which I’ve been doing most of the year) rather than my iPhone, but I’m not sure whether it’ll matter to most people. I think they have probably an 80% chance of getting away with it, which is very low to be honest, because my default is that Apple have a 95% chance of getting away with basically any dumb thing they’ve done to this point.

Anyway here is my only point: I keep seeing people compare this to when Apple got rid of Firewire, or CD players, and similar things, but to me, that’s not the best analogy.

To me, the better comparison is to when Apple released a phone with a decent camera. On one hand, the 2 situations are totally different: Tomorrow, Apple will be changing the headphone jack on their devices, whereas before, they added a camera to their devices. But it’s the result that I’m talking about:

The result of them adding a camera was that a trillion people switching from using normal cameras, and rely on their phone cameras for most situations now. DSLR and Mirrorless camera sales are stagnant/dying now, and the reason is that everyone is happy enough with smartphones.

What I can picture happening with the Apple headphone thing is that the same result occurs: People are happy enough with the new USB-C (or the new proprietary Bluetooth  standard that Apple will add), anid people buy Apple’s own headphones (or use whatever free ones come with the iPhone 7), and in maybe 5 years, it’s quite possible that traditional 3.5mm headphones will just be purchased by serious audio enthusiasts and people doing professional recording. The same way that right now, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are mostly just purchased by serious photography enthusiasts, and pros.

To me, this is bad, because – and this is an unpopular opinion, and I hate writing unpopular opinions, because they make people like me less – phone cameras suck. They suck, most of the pictures they take suck, and maybe 1 in 200 times, someone takes a good photo with one, and maybe it winds up on an Apple billboard, or a blog, and people go “Wow, iPhones can take really great photos”, but really they suck, they mostly all sucks, they’re grainy, they’re all taken at like 128,000,000,000,000 ISO, half of them are using like JPEG Compression Level 3/12, combined with a tiny lens and some digital zoom.

They blow, it’s been like 10 years almost since they came out, and they’ve sucked the whole time, just slightly less each year. The new digital headphones are going to absolutely suck compared to traditional headphones, because a crapload of German guys have spent their lives making traditional headphones better and better, for like 80 years. The new headphones are going to suck for I don’t know, 10 or 15 years, but most people will be happy enough with them, the same way people would rave about the camera in like the iPhone 3GS, for instance. Remember that??? Honestly, people said it was GREAT, people LOVED it. What is wrong with people! I am so much smarter and better than everyone.

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2 Comments

  1. st st

    Bluetooth isn’t proprietary, and they don’t have to add it. It’s an industry-wide standard, and all iPhones, iPads and Macs already come with it.

    And on the wired side, lightning port headphones will be able to deliver better sound. Right now your digital audio has to go through a crummy digital to analog conversion before it goes through that 1/8″ headphone jack.

    • andrew andrew

      Haven’t checked the updated reports, but the wireless stuff is supposed to work on a proprietary version of Bluetooth.

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