After mocking Apple for removing the 3.5mm audio port at the Galaxy Note 7 launch event (video embedded below – skip to 33 minutes 10 seconds), Samsung could be next in line to follow the suit. If reports are to be believed, Samsung is working on a completely new type of connector that will work for charging, data transfer and for audio output. Apple has done the same thing with its latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, where it is using the Lightning port for audio, data transfer and charging. Interestingly, Motorola with its Moto Z and Moto Z force, LeEco with its Le 2-series and Oppo with its R5 have ditched the 3.5mm audio port, and using the USB Type-C instead. Also Read - Apple adds UPI, RuPay, net banking on App Store: How to add new payment methodsAlso Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 in pictures: A fancy 5G phone
Citing sources, Digital Music News reports that Samsung is actively and aggressively looking to release its own proprietary headphone jack. While the Galaxy Note 7 is the first smartphone from Samsung to boast the USB Type-C connector, next year s Galaxy S8 could come with the first new universal style connector. Reports also suggest that Samsung could make it available to other Android manufacturers via free or cheap licensing, but not to Apple. The move could mean that iOS and Android smartphones could end up with two different headphone ports, both incompatible with one another.
There is however, one major problem with this move. It took quite a few decades to move away from 3.5mm port, and it s just started. To give users time to adjust to the new Lightning connector-based headphone, Apple has also bundled Lightning to 3.5mm adapter with the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. If one uses two phones, the new iPhone and an Android phone, the user will have to carry two headphones, or the one with 3.5mm jack and an adapter. Having a completely new port that is different from USB Type-C, microUSB and Lightning could mean further complications. ALSO READ: Here s why Apple is killing the 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
One also has to think about accessories. Say your Samsung phone comes with a new proprietary connector; one has to carry a charger for that, and other data cable / charger for the other phone. Then there could be accessories such as power banks, Bluetooth headphones and smartwatches, all of which may require different connectors for charging. On the whole, it just adds more clutter to the ever growing connector ecosystem.
A completely new audio connector could further fragment the headphone industry, and honestly, four different types will be too much. Samsung s move could make wireless audio more appealing to the users as they will not have to worry about the type of connector, or those annoying and tangling wires. But then again, the Bluetooth headphones will also need to be charged, and in all probability, they might still come equipped with microUSB connector.
Both Samsung and Apple have released their truly wireless Bluetooth headphones, in the form of Gear IconX and AirPods. While current Bluetooth technology has issues with packets loss, causing stuttering at times, and audio quality not as great as it should be, Apple had to build a custom W1 chipset. Apple claims that it is power efficient and can tackle current issues to offer seamless connection, better audio and battery life.
For now, Samsung s move is just a rumor. But if it does turn out to be true, it could seriously shake up the headphone market going forward.