While many might consider Apple’s expected jettisoning of the 3.5mm headphone jack for the iPhone 7 a radical move, The Verge has embarked on some research revealing that, by Apple’s own standards historically, this socket has actually been in use by Apple for significantly longer than the average port.
The Verge has put together a chart indicating how long, during its history, Apple has supported various forms of connectivity. Interestingly, while many of these – including CD, DVD, FireWire and 30 Pin – were introduced much later than the headphone jack, they have all since been phased out by Apple.
The site notes that “most Apple I/O standards last about 15 years, give or take”. However, the headphone jack has been supported by Apple since the release of the first Macintosh in 1984 – a mammoth 32 years ago. The Verge acknowledges that it can be tricky to tell when Apple has dropped a port, as the same port can start supporting a different protocol – but the headphone jack clearly remains very elderly by the standards of the tech world.
The removal of the headphone jack appears to be the most heavily rumored change for the iPhone 7, which leaves its death finally looking imminent… at least in the iPhone line. It remains to be seen whether the move will lead many other smartphone makers to follow suit.