Apple’s MacBook Pro line of laptops will not ship with a traditional analog headphone jack in place.
Apple’s product marketing Chief Phil Schiller doubled down on Apple’s prior explanation of its controversial decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the new MacBook Pro line at a media event in San Francisco today. And he gave more detail on why Apple made that choice. The company, Schiller said, is merely trying to help users future-proof their purchases as digital audio evolves beyond traditional analog headphones and earbuds into Lightning-connected and wireless devices. Schiller stated:
“The reason to move on is courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.”
Apple’s decision may be controversial, but it’s hard to dispute the logic behind removing the analog/digital jack combo from its most popular product. Apple wouldn’t have made this design choice if it wasn’t confident the future of digital audio lies in wireless and Lightning-connected headphones, not 3.5mm jacks with audio conversion dongles attached.
Schiller said that Apple is “courageous for doing this because there will be a short-term hit in the hopes of, long term, helping make things better for our customers.”
Schiller went on to describe some of the problems with traditional wired headphones and earbuds. He noted that they’re relatively low-quality, from both an audio fidelity standpoint as well as durability. He also made the point that they’re essentially obsolete as soon as you buy them because new devices come out that support higher quality wireless or Lightning-connected headphones. He then touched on other issues impacting headphone usage today:
“Newer cars are starting not to have [headphone jacks] anymore,” he said. “The world is moving away from analog audio.”
“The other truth is, the audio world has moved to wireless,” Schiller said. That’s why Apple’s pushing Bluetooth as a solution for headphone connectivity with its latest iPhone and iPad models; it even developed new Lightning-connected headphones that will be sold along with the new iPhones next month.