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Here's Why OnePlus 6T Is Dropping the Headphone Jack

We already knew that OnePlus was turning its back on the headphone jack, following Apple's lead in ditching the once-popular feature. But now we know why.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In an interview with CNET that was published on Tuesday (Oct. 2), OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau said that the company has decided to remove the headphone jack from its upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 6T. The move was agreed upon after OnePlus decided to bundle an in-display fingerprint sensor in the smartphone, creating a one-or-the-other scenario.

In the interview, Lau said that the fingerprint sensor that used to be on the back of the phone has been moved to under the screen towards the bottom of the device. The issue is that the sensor takes up valuable space at the bottom of the device. OnePlus simply wasn't able to keep both the fingerprint sensor and headphone jack in that area, forcing the company to ditch the feature.

"This has been one of the most difficult decisions for us to make," Lau said in the interview with CNET. "The most difficult task in the day-to-day is… finding a balance in what's ultimately going to be part of the end product and what has to be said 'No' to."

MORE: OnePlus 6T Rumors: Everything You Need to Know

The headphone jack, which OnePlus plans to call Screen Unlock, wasn't the only reason the company ditched the headphone jack. Lau told CNET that OnePlus also conducted a survey with customers and found that 59 percent of them are already using wireless headphones instead of those tethered to the handset. The company believes that number will grow and the people who want a headphone jack to decline.

The headphone jack wasn't the only victim of OnePlus' Face Unlock move. According to Lau, the new OnePlus 6T will be 0.45mm thicker than the previous model to accommodate its components. And although Lau wouldn't talk price, he braced us for a possible price hike in the OnePlus 6T, saying that Screen Unlock "is something very new and there's a definite cost required for that new technology."

Looking ahead, OnePlus is expected to unveil the new OnePlus 6T later this month. Although pricing hasn't been announced, some reports have said it could cost $550 — a far cry from the $1,000 iPhone XS or Galaxy Note 9.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.