New design paired with release of AirPods that represents characteristic gamble for tech firm in bid to outpace rivals and usher in wireless listening
Apple signed the death warrant for the headphone port on Wednesday, ushering in what it hopes is a tangle-free era of wireless listening. But the move is a bold one for Apple, and one that tech pundits predict could repel consumers.
The worlds biggest tech company had been widely expected to kill off the headphone jack at the a launch of the iPhone 7 in San Francisco. The 138-year-old technology will be replaced by headsets that plug into the devices Lightning connector, which is also used for charging.
The change allowed Apple to make the new iPhone slimmer and waterproof. Unusually for Apple, notorious for its tight control on its PR, the iPhones details leaked briefly just before the presentation by way of Amazon.com, which posted its page of iPhone 7 accessories including specs on the phone, and by Apple tweets that appear to have gone out ahead of plans. The presentation lacked Apples traditional one more thing at the end and did not include news about Apples lines of computers or tablets. Shares were down 0.23% from the beginning of the day to the end of the presentation.
While consumers will be able to use their old headphones via an adapter, which will come with the new phone, or plug in a new set, the ultimate aim may be to push consumers to snip those tangle-prone wires altogether for a wireless headset preferably one made by Beats, the company Apple bought for $3bn in 2014.
The latest iPhone launch is crucial for Apple, which has seen sales of the device slip amid ever fiercer competition. In July the company recorded its second consecutive quarter of revenue decline, breaking a streak of uninterrupted growth since 2003.