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Is there no space for audio jacks in the future of smartphones?

Is there no space for audio jacks in the future of smartphones?

No audio jack on phone

As an iPhone 6s user for more than five years, the lack of an audio jack in the latest versions is why I didn’t want an upgrade. It wasn’t until last year when its battery gave up that I had to change my phone. I thought it was just an iPhone thing. But when I checked other phone brands like Samsung, I couldn’t help but notice that most flagship models totally removed it as part of their design. That leaves the question, is there no space for audio jacks in the future of smartphones?

Reasons why phone companies are getting rid of audio jacks

To make phone designs thinner

To make phones thinner, brands removed the audio jack.
To make phones thinner, brands removed the audio jack.

Since the smartphone market is highly competitive, companies often compete by coming up with designs that sell. Nowadays, phone users don’t like bulky. They prefer their phones to be light and thin. It lets them put their device in a place where they can easily reach them like inside their pockets. The 3.5 mm audio jacks didn’t allow earlier phone models to have the level of thinness that most flagship devices have, thus, the reason why they got rid of it. Moreover, phone companies argue that the space audio jacks take is better used for battery, processors, and camera quality improvements.

To make room for other parts

Some phones made room for other parts where audio jacks used to be. For the latest iPhone models, they replaced it with extra speakers. Devices under Samsung’s Galaxy Note line, on the other hand, have a stylus instead. They use these features as one of their selling points. 

To make phones water-resistant

Years ago, when Apple announced that iPhone 7 and later models will no longer have an audio jack, users were upset. To make up for it, new devices would be water-resistant. With a protection rating from the IP code, they can survive being submerged in water for a few minutes. This is also the same with Samsung models Galaxy S21 Plus 5G and Ultra 5G, Google Pixel 3 and 3XL, and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Since wirings inside audio jacks are prone to be damaged with the presence of water, the lack of this part made these phones water-resistant.

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To sell Bluetooth audio devices

Daniel Romero

Back in 2016, Apple executives said that they want to “usher in improvements in wireless headphone technology”. Aside from engineering reasons, getting rid of audio jacks mean that phone companies can venture into audio devices and sell Bluetooth earbuds and headphones. With Apple Airpods and Samsung Galaxy Buds, it’s no surprise that this means more money for them. 

It’s not just Apple and Samsung. Even other phone brands are getting rid of audio jacks to stay ahead of the competition. When leading companies get rid of a feature, others are bound to follow. For this reason, it seems as if there would be no space for audio jacks in the future of smartphones. Especially since even now, only a few devices keep it.
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