One can argue that this is probably the oldest technology that still has a stronghold on Earth. From its inception during the early 1900s [derived from the phone connector that was used on phone switchboards] and taking numerous transformations over decades, the 3.5 mm jack has become the industry favorite. From TVs, to smartphones, computers, air crafts and what not. The 3.5 mm audio jack is the Master of all and jack of none. Without this, none of us would have been able to listen to our favorite singer of the go. So imagine, If I said that your beloved 3.5 mm jack is lying on its death bed ? Well if the reports are to be believed, most of the manufacturing companies are planning to ditch the 3.5 mm jack.
The ‘Ditch 3.5 mm jack’ saga was started by Apple Inc. earlier when they spoke about the iPhone 7. They said, there were possibilities to phase out the 3.5 mm jack and from their upcoming devices and have the audio routed through the lightning port. And the latest one to join the bandwagon is the world’s largest chip maker Intel. Intel too has come in support to get rid of the 3.5 mm jack at least on the mobile devices for now. And probably later on the jack could be phased out from the computer’s motherboard paving way for newer technologies. Well, if all this is to be true, this is the end road for the 3.5 mm jack.
So Why get rid of the 3.5 mm jack ?
One of the main reason of getting rid of the 3.5 mm audio jack is that when everything around is digital, why use an analog device ? Imagine it like this: on a motherboard, all the components from the WiFi module to the microprocessor, everything is digital. And among all these devices there is an age-old analog device sitting. However this is just an analog connector but the intention is to move from analog to digital. I hope that gives a clearer picture now.
Another reason is the space that the 3.5 mm audio jack occupies. With all the devices around us getting smarter and slimmer, the only thing that cannot make room for more space is the 3.5 mm jack. And this is possibly the reason why Apple is planning to remove it from the rumored iPhone 7. Getting rid of the 3.5 mm jack will make the device a lot slimmer and lighter probably.
So the 3.5 mm jack will probably be replaced by the lightning connector on Apple Devices or by a USB Type C converter on other devices as proposed by Intel. The only issue would be the technology lock-in. What I mean by this is that one could not have a single pair of earphones that could be used across all the devices, something we are used to now. It would be like owning an iPhone 7 and an Android smart phone without a 3.5 mm jack. You would probably need to carry a pair of headphones ! All we can hope is even though our 3.5 mm jack is in the last leg of its life cycle, we would love to see vendors coming with a standard across all the devices before getting rid of it. After all it has given use decades of pleasant music !
So what do you think ? Should we have the 3.5 mm connector or go with the new one ? Share your views.