Is Apple Trying to Kill the Headphone Jack?

FILE - In this May 9, 2014 file photo, Beats Audio equipment is arranged for a photo next to an Apple laptop at Best Buy in Boston. Apple announced Wednesday, May 28, 2014, that it is acquiring Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Beats, the headphone and music streaming specialist, also brings the swagger of rapper Dr. Dre and recording impresario Jimmy Iovine. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The classic headphone jack may be a thing of the past on Apple devices in the near future. Manufacturers have been given specifications allowing them to connect headphones to iPhones, iPads, and iPods using a Lightning connector rather than the 3.5mm headphone jack, according to 9to5Mac.com. The Lightning connector replaced the old 30-pin connector with the introduction of the iPhone 5 and new iPads. Apple Insider is reporting that this could mean a removal of the headphone jack in the new versions of Apple products in order to create more room for internal hardware and improve audio functionality.

This isn’t all good news for consumers, though. Switching headphones is rarely, if ever, cheap. Casual users would need to buy either an adapter or separate headphones for their one Apple device, which is both costly and a hassle. Die-hard Apple fans willing to go all-in on Lightning connector headphones would likely still run into issues when they want to listen to other devices requiring a standard headphone jack.

But the move will likely be a win for Apple. With its recent $3 billion acquisition in mind, the company will inevitably package every new pair of Beats with a Lightning connector, forcing consumers to go with both their devices and their headphones, spend money on adapters, or try something else.

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