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Your Headphones Soon Be Useless

When Apple introduced the original iPhone in 2007, the first-generation device technically had a headphone jack. However, the port was set so deeply inside the phone’s body that it didn’t work with most headphones already on the market. If someone wanted to listen to music through an iPhone using a previously owned pair of cans, they’d have to buy a bulky third-party adapter. A year later, the iPhone 3G added a headphone jack that could work with standard headphones, and with more than 1 billion iPhones sold to date, those early hiccups have been largely forgotten.

In November 2015, rumors began to circulate in earnest that Apple planned to do away with the headphone jack entirely in the next version of the iPhone. As each tidbit of speculation trickled out in the months that followed, reaction was predictably intense, despite the literal littleness of the issue. By January, a #SaveJack petition garnered 200,000 digital signatures, while some tech writers were offering opinions like “sounds good to me,” “good riddance,” and, more recently, “who cares.” Last month, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak warned that killing the 3.5mm jack was “going to tick off a lot of people.” Just this week, a sober-minded Guardian article weighing the pros and cons of such a change was annotated on Genius with comments invoking the 20th-century shift from horse-and-buggy to car.

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