Everything about the iPhone seemed impossible to the technology world of early 2007.
“You can’t make a good phone without buttons.”
“You can’t fit a desktop-class OS on a phone.”
“There’s no way that’s a full-blown web browser.”
“That has to cost a thousand dollars.”
Yet over the course of an hour, Steve destroyed every rule we thought we knew.
It all centers on Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of China. Running at full tilt, the factory here, owned and operated by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn, can produce 500,000 iPhones a day. Locals now refer to Zhengzhou as “iPhone City.”
For Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, the iPhone’s 3.5-millimeter audio jack has felt something like the last months of an ill-fated if amicable relationship: familiar and comfortable, but ultimately an impediment to a better life ahead. “We’ve got this 50-year-old connector — just a hole filled with air — and it’s just sitting there taking up space, really valuable space,” he says.
“It was holding us back from a number of things we wanted to put into the iPhone,” Riccio says. “It was fighting for space with camera technologies and processors and battery life. And frankly, when there’s a better, modern solution available, it’s crazy to keep it around.”
I’m not familiar with how people are taking advantage of the “analog loophole” to do things with audio out of the iPhone headphone port that would be forbidden using the digital Lightning port, but now seems like a good time to raise the big question: Should the analog headphone jack remain on our devices forever? If you think so, you can stop reading. If not, when? Maybe now is the wrong time, and Apple is making a mistake. I don’t know. None of us outside the company seem to know, because all that has leaked is that the new iPhone won’t have the port, with no explanation why. But I say at some point it will go away, and now seems like it might be the right time. Also, historically, Apple has proven to be very good at timing the removal of established legacy ports.
I remember Steve Jobs explaining these kind of transitions back then in an interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at All Things D’s D8 conference.
[youtube width=”100%” height=”100%” autoplay=”false”]https://youtu.be/su1andyQoHk[/youtube]
Original video from Apple Inc. This video was trimmed and uploaded on Youtube via iMovie on Mac.