When iPhone dangles the dongle

Ever since the release of Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year, the tech enthusiasts have been divided into two sects. One that welcomes the omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack and other that advocates the ease of the 3.5mm headphone jack. But Apple has put a nail in the coffin with the absence of the 3.5mm headphone jack in their next line of products. The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and the much awaited iPhone X are spectacular devices which still do not have the 3.5mm headphone jack and most likely the jack is gone for good.

For an everyday Apple iPhone user, the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack doesn’t create that much of a difference. It’s just that one doesn’t get to listen to music while they charge their phone. But for the audiophiles, the exclusion of the 3.5mm headphone jack has made them look for alternatives.

Apple is known to force feed its consumers of their best understanding of technology. Forcing users to use Bluetooth headphones or their proprietary AirPods, which costs a bomb, with iPhone, is Apple’s way of thanking its users for buying their product.

But much like the wireless charging in their new batch of iPhones, Apple is slowly giving it to the consumer’s demands. It took Apple more than a year to understand what the consumer actually wants, i.e. to listen to music or watch video while changing their phone.

So now Apple has started to sell — not make — an adapter that has a headphone jack and a lightning port. In September, Belkin quietly announced a new, second version of its “Rockstar” adapter that now includes both a 3.5mm jack and Lightning port. Last year’s version had two Lightning ports, so if you wanted to use wired headphones with it, you had to plug Apple’s own headphone dongle into another dongle.

There is no doubt that Apple makes great products, iPhone being the best of the lot, but with the dongles and adapters the company is trying to upsell is like an unwanted cess or tax we pay to use maximum potential of the device.

— Anirban Halder