Who’s your Daddy? Apple, right? Who does not like Apple gear? Well, various members of the self-righteous technorati elite politburo who seem to find criticism with every new feature Apple brings to a product.
What about when Apple takes a feature away? Headphone jack, I’m talking about you. Sure, the nattering nabobs of negativism denounced Apple’s ‘courage’ at getting rid of the anciently antique technology in favor of wireless. Critics missed the point.
Apple yanked the headphone jack from iPhones a few years ago, saying it took courage to do the deed to the venerable sound plug, but it was the right thing to do.
Yes. It was. The right thing to do for Apple. How so?
Remember, as much as headlines point to Apple changing to a Services company, everything Apple does is rooted in hardware. Apple is a hardware company. Collectively, Apple hardware sales– revenue and profits– dominate the company’s financials and hardware customers form the basis for ongoing success.
No hardware, no customers. No customers, no Services.
What happened when Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone? Noise. Customers complained; some called in an assault on the customer base. Others snickered and snarled. But it didn’t take long before competitors pushed out new smartphones also without the headphone jack.
What’s going on?
Why did Apple remove the headphone jack? To save space for a larger battery? That’s laughable. To get rid of a hole where water and dust could cause damage? I’m still laughing.
Apple plays a long game, often skates to where the puck will be, occasionally skating to where the company wants the puck to be. That’s what ‘courage’ brought to the headphone jack.
The courage to grow the wireless earbuds business with AirPods, AirPods Pro, Beats wireless headphones, and, well, you get the idea. The best way to grow wireless products is to get rid of the wired connections.
Apple did that and now the company has another hit product. AirPods. Would they be the product hit they are if Apple had left the headphone jack in iPhone? Probably not.
Apple knows how to make room for the future as well as it knows how to make room for more money coming in the door.
There was a method to Apple’s courage.