Barclays: Apple won't include Lightning to 3.5mm adapter this year
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Apple’s “courageous” and controversial compromise of killing the headphone jack in the iPhone continues to create contempt among critics and fans for the past year and a half. If analysts at Barclays are to be believed, Apple will stir the pot once again by excluding the Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter with this year’s iPhone.
The report comes from Blayne Curtis and his associates at Barclays bank, the same group that correctly predicted that Apple would bundle the same adapter with the iPhone 8. Keep in mind that this report is pure speculation at this point, but it wouldn’t be surprising. Apple has been heavily pushing wireless audio since the iPhone 7, the first iPhone (although not the first smartphone) to kill off the 3.5mm audio jack.
The introduction of Airpods last year further cemented Apple’s stake in wireless audio, lending some credence to the Cupertino colossus discontinuing the adapter. From a business point-of-view, it’s understandable why Apple would want to discourage users from retaining older wired headphones. Killing off the Lightning adapter may, in Apple’s view, spur some consumers to purchase new Lightning earpods or splurge on wireless Airpods.
However, discontinuing the adapter may be a sour move for Apple. The alternatives are expensive, some prohibitively so, and the adapter itself can’t cost the wealthiest company in the world too much to manufacture. The adapter can still be purchased from Apple (or most retailers) for USD $9, which says a lot about the production costs. The adapter is currently enjoying a 1.5-star rating on Apple’s site, which also gives some insight into its quality.
Any way you cut it, the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter felt like a quick fix to a problem that was forcibly introduced, but it was still a free bandage. While it’s not perfect, the adapter’s absence would surely leave a bruise on Apple’s reputation if these predictions are true.