Phones without headphone jacks are phones with DRM for audio


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Apple haven’t announced anything. Patel is going nuts over an unconfirmed rumour. Not that we should expect Doctorow to resist an opportunity to rant inaccurately and irrelevantly at length about DRM and Apple.


DRM is probably the least of the issues there. The manufacturers are pushing it because it is cheaper to have one connector less and with the current thin phones the 3.5mm jack is an enormous space hog.

It is lots of hoolaballoo for nothing. Just don’t buy the product without the jack, it is that simple. It is not like all smartphone manufacturers have made a cartel deciding they will abandon the jack or the iPhone was the only smartphone on the market.

And I believe that is exactly what will happen - the last thing people who actually use their phones for music want is to be stuck with crappy cheap earbuds that are almost universally shipped with phones or have to lug around an overpriced adaptor that will let them use their good ones (or buy an overpriced vendor-specific version that includes the vendor-specific connector + electronics).


On Reddit I could have a bot remind me to check back when the new phones comes out (let’s set it for a year) to check your prediction. Do you think that new smartphones will come without the 3.5mm jack? How do you feel about it? Will you buy one?


I’m not making a prediction, I’m just pointing out that Nobody except Apple and a few parts manufacturers knows for sure what’s going to happen. Parts leaks have been faked before, which is why Patel is being ridiculously premature.

One thing I feel comfortable predicting is that if Apple does ditch the port, they will sell an adapter so you can use your old headphones with your new phone… Which is why Doctorow’s and Patels fulminations about DRM are so much stupid nonsense.



Which is why Doctorow’s and Patels fulminations about DRM are so much stupid nonsense.

Apart from how this fulmination has been proved right so often over the past 15+ years. :unamused:


It’s a little more complicated than that:


Mentioning DRM is a red herring from people that ignore history designed to get clicks.

For example, even with HDMI and all that jizz, you can still record analog video at 480p using an analog interface and almost every single device supports analog outputs at 480p (often up to 720p). The digital interface with DRM is only required if you want to use higher quality video that isn’t possible with crappy analog.

So why, for even a second, would you assume you couldn’t do the same even if a new iPhone dropped the headphone port? There will always be adapters that permit existing TRS headphones to be used and those will never have DRM.


The Moto Z already removed the headphone jack.


Quick, try to record netflix at 720p… I dare you.


From Fast Company:

As has been rumored, our source confirms that the new phone will rely on its Lightning cable port for sound output to wired headphones.
From NPR:
Explain how you learned about this. What's the sign that Apple might make this change?

Apple has introduced these new guidelines for manufacturers that allow them to build headphones that connect to an iPhone or iPad through the Lightning connector. That’s the same small connector on the bottom of an iPhone or iPad that is currently used to charge the device. Apple first introduced the connector a couple years ago with the iPhone 5 to replace its old 30-pin connector.

Now that Apple is allowing companies to build headphones that connect with the Lightning connector, that might be the first hint that Apple could remove that old, legacy headphone jack from devices down the road.

Or Silicon Beat, or just read from their source (<a href=>translated from Japanese by Google).

Maybe you dislike speculation on the whole? At the very least, Cory got it wrong that Apple announced this change, so Bad Cory! BAD!

Are you still upset about Corey’s resistance to corporate capitalization, ala iPhone?


Having just bought a new phone with the USB-C, where almost all of my previous phones were micro-USB (and the Mart of Wals is charging $29.95 for a 3 foot USB-C cable?!?), I concur that the change isn’t great news for everyone.


Did you respond before reading the entirety of my post?


I expect this sort of thing to happen, because I have not seen evidence that phone designers are in touch with the people who buy their products.

Phones are thin enough now. There is zero gain in making them thinner, only disadvantages.

The headphone jack is used at the same time as the charging port.

And all the other stuff that is already covered in the article.

Not that this will stop Apple, as they seem to have reduced the number of ports on the MacBook Air to fewer than I use daily.


Lemme guess. An apple fan.

Let me stop you there.


If it’s true, all the more reason to switch to a Rugby on my next upgrade.

The only reason I even have an iphone is because my carrier made me an offer I couldn’t refuse;

it only cost me 1 penny, plus the tax on the original retail price, about $50 total.


Um. You’re making a lot of suppositions and have a conclusion all in store. And now you’re like… hey you guys with your educated guesses. That hurts my feelings.

Is it cause you connect your personal identity with a phone manufacturer? That’s a sadder issue than all this DRM stuff.

We can talk about it though. You’re a person and are good enough all on your own without people seeing you with Apple products.



Well. Being in touch with their customers will lead them to understand what they want. And then they cut things until they get what can be afforded, and has the important features they need, but don’t have to have. A headphone jack would be high on a list like that.

But I don’t think people heavily concerned with DRM are interested in Apple products in any case are they?

Well… anarchist Canadians… but like… they’re Canadian. They don’t know what’s going on…


One thing I feel comfortable predicting is that if Apple does ditch the port, they will sell an adapter so you can use your old headphones with your new phone…

Did you read the linked piece? This sort of thing is addressed. Even a picture previewing what #donglelife looks like is included. I don’t want that.

I don’t think it’s premature, I think it it’s market research that Apple doesn’t have to do by themselves. Why not leak the idea that headphones will go to Lightning/USB-C to gauge market reaction?