Headphone Jack is the most widely ever used port in the mighty world of technology. Yes it’s still alive and millions of people use it simultaneously when you are reading this article. Consisting of fixed diameter rod(2.5 to 3.5 mm) having few rings and clinches around the neck and bottom, was actually the first ever port which has a lock feedback. Over time the jack was upgraded to use microphone through it’s unused surface area to take calls onboard and reduce practices of revisions.
Since the 20th Century there hasn’t been much change to the form and usage. Few manufacturers like Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Spice etc who made feature phones are few exceptions having customized for their particular models. 2007-2015 was the era where there was hardly any manufacturer dared to miss this so high anticipated jack. However, the one to start the smartphone revolution has eliminated it finally from the year 2016 onwards.
Why to eliminate this much successful port from smartphones?
The obvious reason by the manufacturers is to increase space and organise internal components more efficiently. Micro-house that holds the jack inside the phone is slightly bigger sized component than it’s siblings consuming a considerable amount of space. It isn’t possible to hover any part of the motherboard containing extra circuits if the phone is thin. Thickness of a phone is also a prime factor against its existence. Manufacturers are trying to go below 3.5 mm thickness with strong metallic and ceramic build.
Advantages of Removal:
- Phone thickness will no more be bottlenecked and can be dropped below 3.5 mm(millimeters).
- Providing more space for additional management and enhancement like adding extra sensors.
- Better quality audio output by dedicated audio dack through standard micro USB or type-C USB port.
- Slightly less amount of battery consumption.
- Less port thus less gateways for dust and water. Providing better protection to internal components.
Disadvantages of Removal:
- Simultaneous usage of charging and earphones requires extra adaptors.
- Normal earphones with 3.5 mm jack will require a converter.
- Adding the usage pressure of audio jack to micro USB or type-C USB port maximizes it’s wear and tear, reducing lifetime.
The list of disadvantages may be less than half of its counterpart but practically the biggest problem is how people will adapt. It’s no doubt a big change to take a long time to affect people’s mindset. Expect people being habituated to such change not less than 4 years from now. Likewise, manufactures will take time to implement the concept in all ranges of their phones. Few companies like Apple, Google, LeEco and Huawei etc are leading here. Samsung is yet to make its debut.