Everybody’s all upset that Apple took the headphone jack out of the iPhone 7. “Why would they do that? How are we supposed to listen to music? This is just a ploy to sell wireless earbuds!”

Well, a lot of that reaction is coming in before the facts are. First fact: The headphone jack may look tiny on the outside. But on the inside, this 52-year-old technology requires a relatively huge box to receive the plug. Phone makers can’t stand that thing. It’s in the way of making the battery bigger. It’s in the way of putting in a better camera, or nicer speakers. All the phone makers want to ditch the jack and Apple’s actually the third smartphone maker to do it.

Second fact: Apple’s trying to make the transition easy. In the box with the phone, you get a new set of earbuds that plug into the charging jack. Also in the box with the phone, you get this adapter that lets you plug in any headphones. They can just stay on the headphone cable. You can buy another one for 9 bucks.

Of course, if you were an alien observing our species, you’d wonder why we’re still fooling with wires at all. Everything else has gone wireless. There are plenty of wireless Bluetooth earbuds, or you can buy Apple’s own ones, the AirPods. They’re 160 bucks, they’re amazing, they pair instantly, they recharge right from their case — and they’re optional.

If you like the wires, you get the wires for free.

The only penalty for using wires is that you can’t charge the phone and plug in headphones simultaneously. At least without another adapter.

But the question is not, “Would you rather have a smartphone with a headphone jack or without?” The right question is, “Would you rather have a headphone jack — and give up the things that Apple put in its place? Like a bigger battery that lasts 2 hours longer. And a camera stabiliser that eliminates blurry shots. And stereo speakers.”

When you frame the question that way — well, you may still be annoyed. But at least now you have all the facts. Now you get it.



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