Menu
No courage: Microsoft still requires audio jack port in Windows phones

No courage: Microsoft still requires audio jack port in Windows phones

Microsoft hasn't cut a requirement for Windows smartphones to include a port for audio jacks, while Apple and Android phones are moving on from the legacy technology

Apple said it took "courage" to remove the audio jack port from the iPhone 7 and replace it with wireless audio. Microsoft hasn't yet mustered the courage to cut the aging port.

Microsoft has retained the headphone jack as a minimum hardware requirement for Windows 10 Mobile smartphones. The company declined to comment if it would make the headphone jack an optional port.

The headphone jack port isn't a requirement for other Windows devices, including laptops, desktops, tablets, or IoT devices.

Apple gave several reasons for removing the port, saying it was old technology, and it blocked the integration of newer technologies in the already compact iPhone 7.

Before Apple, Android phone makers like LeEco and Lenovo also cut headset jacks from some mobile devices to move on from legacy technology.

Windows Mobile phone makers could still include wireless audio alongside headphone jacks. But the phone makers will lose opportunities to make devices thinner and experiment with new technologies to replace the headset jack.

Beyond wireless audio, there's a big push to make the USB-C port the replacement to headphone jacks. Pushing audio through USB-C port and removing audio jacks will allow smartphones to be thinner.

It's important to move on to newer technologies, but Microsoft's hesitance to remove the headphone jack requirement has technical and financial merits, said Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research.

There was a user backlash when Apple removed headphone jacks from the iPhone 7. People were upset at being forced with the extra cost of buying a wireless headset. Moreover, the wireless headsets have to be charged.

The quality of wireless audio isn't as reliable as it is on headphone jacks, O'Donnell said. Apple has, however, developed a special wireless audio chip that delivers audio from the iPhone 7 to the AirPod using three separate communications protocols. That ensures continued high-quality audio streaming.

Microsoft still sells Windows phones but has been cryptic about their future. Other Windows phone makers include HP, Acer, Alcatel, and Lenovo.

Smartphones with Windows have been taken a beating at the hands of iOS and Android. Shipments of Windows phones totaled 1.48 million in the third quarter of 2016, plunging from 5.87 million units in the same quarter a year ago.

The market share for Windows Mobile reached a rock-bottom 0.4 percent during the second quarter, declining from 1.7 percent a year ago, according to a report released by Gartner last month. By comparison, Android's market share was 87.8 percent, and iOS's share was 11.5 percent during the third quarter.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments