There are several reasons why Apple removed the head phone jack from the IPhone 7,
One of the main reasons that the headphone jack was removed is that the ‘lightning port’ is proprietary to Apple. Apple owns that lightning port, So any company making accessories for that port have to pay Apple in order to use it, It is a direct revenue stream for apple.
So let us say that as a third party accessories manufacturer, You want to manufacture a charger, a cable or a earphone or headphone that fits in the IPhone 7 which will use that port,
You will have to pay Apple money for each unit of accessory that you manufacture, even though Apple is not producing, researching or manufacturing your cable.
This is just because your product is using their proprietary lightning port.
So the next question will be, How much does Apple make for each third party accessory, manufactured/sold for the IPhone 7?
Its actually hard to estimate, because all the third party manufacturers are made to sign a Non disclosure agreement with Apple and in case they make public how much they are paying Apple for each accessory, Apple will sue them for the same.
If rumours are to be believed then third party manufacturers have to pay a minimum 4$ fee per unit of lightning cable, And there is a different fee that you need to pay Apple for getting certified to manufacture accessories for the Apple IPhone 7,
This does not sound that harsh, but it actually is, Let us take a small example, You are manufacturing lightning cables for the IPhone 7, Your cables come in three different colours and three different lengths,
So now according to the terms and conditions of Apple you are manufacturing 9 different products, And you need to pay a ‘certification’ fee of around 9000$ (If we assume 1000$ per product) and along with this you will have to pay 4$ per unit of that product sold to Apple.
I would like to share some more numbers so as to explain how harsh these new rules are,
The HDMI cables that we see around us, HDMI is a very big standard that has revolutionized the way we give input and output to our devices,
the fee for manufacturing a HDMI cable to be paid to the original proprietary owner is 0.05$ per unit sold, On the other hand here we have 4$ per lightning cable, thats the difference.
Apple did not invent or manufacture the 3.5mm jack, So any accessory that used that port did not bring Apple any extra money. Now that Apple has just one single proprietary port on their phone,
Each and every accessory that gets plugged to the IPhone 7 brings in extra cash for Apple,
Even if Apple does not design, manufacture, produce or sell that accessory.
It is a incredibly intelligent business decision, And Apple does legally enforce their patents, Its not that these rules are meant to be on paper, Apple has one of the most powerful team of lawyers and the list of people being sued for violation of their terms and conditions is endless.
We are no one to point fingers or raise voice against this because they are simply protecting their design and all their terms and conditions are in compliance with the industry standards and protecting their interests is totally within their legal rights. But, it is unfortunate that they removed a feature as useful as the head phone jack just because they were not making money on it.
Apple saw that there was some money in removing the head phone jack and they did it. The second reason why Apple got rid of that port is because they wanted a IP67 water resistance rating for the new IPhone 7, And it is expensive to waterproof a 3.5mm jack. Sealing the 3.5mm jack internally would cost Apple a lot of money.
Why spend money for keeping a port when you can make orders of magnitude more money by removing it?
Apple claim that they are ‘dedicated to a wireless future’ and want to promote wireless technology as much as possible is false.
If they were truly dedicated to a wireless future then they would have implemented wireless charging in their phone just like Samsung is doing from many years now, But the reason why Apple is not implementing wireless charging is that ‘They wont make any money on it’, instead they would be paying someone else royalties for including wireless charging in their phones.
The argument that removal of the 3.5mm jack gave apple more space to include other equipment in their phone is not valid either, As a video on youtube by a channel named ‘Techrax’ proved that even if you drill a hole in the place where the head phone jack was, It does not affect the functioning of the phone in any manner.
Now let us determine how does the removal of the 3.5mm jack affect customers?
Lets say that you are on a road trip, You wont be able to contribute to play music using a AUX cable, Similarly in your gym, You will have to carry those connectors for compability of lightning port like a octopus,
Its late in the evening and your phone’s battery is low, and you want to listen to music at the same time,
Now you have just one option, Either to plug in a power bank to charge your phone or listen to music. You wont be able to use credit card readers for Paypal which used that port .
What are your views on the removal of the 3.5mm jack? Let us know in the comments below.