Not courage, but leverage

Apple, in a move that surprised no-one who’s been paying any attention in the tech world over the last six months, have announced that their latest iPhone does not sport a headphone jack. Instead, they suggest, customers should use the (proprietary) Lightning connector.

The reason for this? ‘Courage’.

Devin Coldewey in TechCrunch explains why this is a ridiculous claim:

Removing the headphone jack from the iPhone is not an act of courage, it’s an act of leverage.

The avalanche of gobbledygook Schiller unloaded onto the audience while attempting to justify replacing a 50-year-old standard port with a proprietary interface was meaningless. The Lightning port is totally unsuited to sending and receiving audio.

Audio is so simple to transmit in high fidelity that it can be done with a wire hanger. Using a powered, high-bandwidth data interface adds nothing but cost and complexity, and the space you save is minimal.

As Coldeway notes, the problem is that Apple can do this because no one else can do anything about it. They are so dominant, customers will accept it and competitors will slavishly follow.

For those interested, it’s worth reading the EFF’s reaction to this, as well as another TechCrunch article talking about how it’s a real blow to indie tech and innovation. On a lighter note, this parody is hilarious.