What if I told you that your cell phone could have better battery life, weigh less and feature improved audio quality – you’d be on board, right? What’s the catch, you might ask. Okay, there is a slight catch, but all you have to give up is technology that is 52 years old.
Would you do it?
Seems reasonable to give up something that is so outdated for major improvements, doesn’t it? But, as Apple’s latest iPhone reminded us last week, when it comes to change, we are anything but reasonable.
Apple announced that its latest phone will not have headphone jacks. No, they aren’t preventing us from listening to music or podcasts. They aren’t even getting rid of our ability to use headphones. They are simply changing how we use them.
And, like many people, my first thought, was “this is crazy. What are they thinking?”
Turns out, they are thinking of us, the consumer. Apparently, the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack is considered to be a very old technology. In fact, it hasn’t changed since it was introduced in 1964. In what other aspects of our life do we settle for ancient utilities? That would be like getting a new flavor of Pop Tart and having to heat it up using a candle (okay, so maybe the iPhone is nothing like a Pop Tart…I must be hungry).
The jack may seem small on the outside, but like a stuffed crust pizza (still hungry), it is huge on the inside. So big, that is it one of the bulkiest components of our phone. By removing it, phones will get thinner, waterproof and sound better.
In time, people surely will like the results of killing off the headphone jack, but for now it hurts. As I have written about many times, we hate change — people even hated street lights when they were first invented. Even when change is for our own good, we still hate it. We focus on the initial difficulties — will I have to get new headphones, how will I charge my phone and listen to music at the same time?
Yes, those things will take some time adjusting to. But if we step back long enough to see the positives, we will see that this change (and many others like it) isn’t so bad after all.