Don’t freak out, people. Samsung has killed the the 3.5-mm headphone jack in the Galaxy A8s but it will likely keep it on the S10 series. Yes, the humble 10-cent audio port is becoming a deluxe feature on expensive flagship phones.
That’s according to reliable Samsung rumor whisperer Ice Universe, who has published a video of a case prototype as proof of the existence of the analog headphone jack in the S10.
If true, millions of Samsung users will breathe easily. The Korean company — after making lots of fun out of the iPhone’s lack of headphone jack — has become the last stronghold for the beleaguered audio port along with LG.
Ever since Apple abandoned it with the introduction of the iPhone 7 in favor of its wireless (and extremely expensive and profitable AirPods), Android manufacturers from Huawei to OnePlus and Xiaomi have been eliminating the venerable port from their phones.
The smartphone industry has dropped it arguing that the move allows for thinner phones and makes full waterproof bodies possible. But, looking at how thin and waterproof phones with 3.5-mm ports are, this sounds like total bunk.
It’s all about the money
The most likely reason is money: if you force users to adopt wireless by making them use dongle adapters for wired headphones, people will perceive these accessories as inconvenient. Thus users will likely buy your easy-to-use, no dongle, no cable-knots wireless headphones. This worked great for Apple and it’s working for others too, like Xiaomi. The result: lots of extra moneys in the bank!
But why is Samsung dropping the minijack in the A8 while allegedly keeping it in the S10 series? The answer is money again.
First, the A8 will open the door for Samsung to profit from selling wireless headphones. Then, Samsung users who want the analog headphone jack will have to pay extra for a flagship phone.
I won’t be surprised if Samsung kills the headphone jack in all its phones but the most expensive ones, making it a luxury option rather than a given feature.
In couple of years, however, it will be hard for Samsung to keep its act, as phones keep getting thinner and thinner, truly running out of space for the jack. Eventually, we will end up with a phone with no ports whatsoever, using wireless for power, data transfer, and audio stream.
Indeed, as this patent seems to suggest, that’s what Samsung is thinking about.
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