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Samsung's Next Flagship Smartphone May Not Feature a Headphone Jack (sammobile.com) 446

Samsung's next flagship smartphone, which may be released sooner than later due to the Note 7 fiasco, may not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. In fact, Samsung may be one of many manufacturers to make the jump from the 3.5mm headphone jack to USB-C for audio. The USB Implementers Forum published the Audio Device Class 3.0 specification that brings USB Audio over USB Type-C. What this means is that "mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and ultraportable laptops could ditch the headphone jack in the very near future without worrying about having to bake audio support into USB-C or a new, proprietary port," writes Chris Smith via BGR. SamMobile adds: "Removing the dedicated audio plug will also allow OEMs to create smartphones that are slimmer and have better water resistance capabilities."
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Samsung's Next Flagship Smartphone May Not Feature a Headphone Jack

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  • by redmid17 ( 1217076 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:22PM (#53008137)
    I like being able to charge my phone AND listen to music. It's not a niche use. Millions of people do it every day. I don't want wireless headphones. At least nail down wireless charging before you jam every possible output/input through one port.
    • by ProzacPatient ( 915544 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:46PM (#53008247)

      I like being able to charge my phone AND listen to music. It's not a niche use. Millions of people do it every day. I don't want wireless headphones. At least nail down wireless charging before you jam every possible output/input through one port.

      It is as if Samsung wants everyone to abandon them. All of my portable electronics are Samsung but because of non-sense like this along with non-removable batteries and a lack of SD card slots I'll probably be making the jump to LG next time I'm in the market for a new device, but for right now I'm sticking with a Note 4 because, in my opinion, it's the last decent phone in the Galaxy lineup.

    • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:47PM (#53008251) Journal

      I agree. Hopefully they will ADD a USB port and not just leave us hanging. I would like to see an additional port on the opposite edge of my current charging port. Almost every USB implementation includes 2 available ports and they could utilize the existing boards without having to expand the size. I am also not really actively seeking a phone that is thinner overall, make it smaller to better fit in a pocket and flexible to better withstand the squashing effect.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by macs4all ( 973270 )

        I agree. Hopefully they will ADD a USB port and not just leave us hanging. I would like to see an additional port on the opposite edge of my current charging port. Almost every USB implementation includes 2 available ports and they could utilize the existing boards without having to expand the size. I am also not really actively seeking a phone that is thinner overall, make it smaller to better fit in a pocket and flexible to better withstand the squashing effect.

        It's a PHONE. Want multipke ports? Get a hub.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by thesupraman ( 179040 )

          Yes, because watching a movie on a long flight while having your phone plugged in to keep it charged NEVER happens.
          Or are we ALL supposed to 'baaaa' when corps tell us to jump?

          Just another reason to pick up a Chinese phone for half the price, which delivers 90% of the functionality.

          but no, macs4all, I can see that your actual motivation is to defend the retarded choice YOUR religion has already forced on you.
          I suggest you get over it - some of the rest of the world prefers choice..

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by jabuzz ( 182671 )

            Your on a flight, you have to have flight mode enabled. At that point wireless headphones are not an option.

            It is one of the major use cases that shows the stupidity of removing the headphone jack.

            • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2016 @05:24AM (#53009771)
              "Your on a flight, you have to have flight mode enabled. At that point wireless headphones are not an option."

              That's not correct. While "flight mode" on some phones may also turn off Bluetooth, there is no issue with using Bluetooth (or WiFi) on a plane. My phone disables cellular/BT/WiFi when I switch to airplane mode, but I can then turn Bluetooth back on.

              If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.

              Source: FAA [faa.gov]

      • I agree. Hopefully they will ADD a USB port and not just leave us hanging. I would like to see an additional port on the opposite edge of my current charging port. Almost every USB implementation includes 2 available ports and they could utilize the existing boards without having to expand the size. I am also not really actively seeking a phone that is thinner overall, make it smaller to better fit in a pocket and flexible to better withstand the squashing effect.

        To this I would add, make a nice metal detai

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      Did it mention anywhere that they were just removing the audio jack and not replacing it with anything, or are they adding an additional usb-c port that you can plug usb-c headphones into? While I'm not a fan of change for its own sake, at least the latter option doesn't carry all of the same accessibility concerns as the inability to use headphones while charging might.
    • by MouseR ( 3264 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @09:08PM (#53008347) Homepage

      Not being tied to your phone by the short headphone cable could protect you from your exploding phone.

      Smart thinking.

    • That's nice. Use wireless charging.

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @09:47PM (#53008553) Homepage Journal

      Not going to comment on the wisdom of removing the headphone jack, but it'd be trivially easy to add multiple USB ports, solving that problem and a few others too. It wouldn't even affect the thinness of the device.

      Can't see Samsung doing that though, at least, not unless Apple also does it.

      • Where Apple leads they follow, its a bit tragic really. You'd think a company as large as Samsung could come up with original ideas that DONT affect functionality. Yes they had edge, but thats just a gimmick rather than something genuinely useful.

        Lets see how much the next Samsung Wireless Headphones cost. Which incidentaly will probably be incompatible with every other phone.

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      >I like being able to charge my phone AND listen to music.

      Its a Samsung, so you might not want to be too close to your phone when you charge it, you might get caught in the explosion.

      Anyway the good news is that the latest Kindle Fire has a microSD slot so you can use it as an >MP3 player, you aren't just stuck with streaming.

    • Millions? Seriously? Anyway adapters with a double output power+headphone will flourish soon. Apple didn't do it because it's not aesthetically correct.
    • In addition, I wish companies would stop with the "better water resistance" BS. My Kyocera Hydro VIBE, released in 2014, has a headphone jack (and user-replacable battery) and is certified waterproof to 1m for 30min. If Kyocera could do it 2 years ago, Samsung and Apple should be able to do now with these features - unless people want to go SCUBA diving with their phones.

    • Because it went so well when they removed the sd card slot. No 3,5mm=No buy. No SD slot=No buy.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      There are two parties and I like neither. That is why I go with a third party. I now have a Huwaei. I am utterly not brand loyal and have owned Acer, Samsung, Nokia and some I do not even remeber anymore.
      Luckily I live in a country where locking devices is forbidden by law, so I can buy any phone I desire and use that. I also switch providers at will. I do not have a running contract so no iddues there either.

      However I understand why they are ding it. Because you are not really the customer. They do not sel

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:30PM (#53008169)

    Phones are already so thin as to be barely usable with average hands. Why do they keep thinking they need to be thinner? Please help me understand.

    • I fully agree! Now, not just super thin, but often with sharp edges - I guess that it keeps the smartphone case-makers in business.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For tiny Trump hotdog fingers.

    • by ninthbit ( 623926 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:40PM (#53008219)

      Right? Thicken the phone back up with some more battery and leave my headphones alone. I don't give a flying fuck about water proof/resistance. Shit, doesn't a phone going in a pool help their sales?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:41PM (#53008229)

      You don't need a slimmer phone. Samsung and Apple do.

      They are purposefully kneecapping their hardware so that they can continue to "improve" the hardware in subsequent revisions, giving people a reason to upgrade (if they built a phone that people actually wanted to the quality you'd expect from a premium device, everyone would have the same phone for 5-10 years and that's bad for business). It's guaranteed Apple will release the 7S (or iPhone 8) and tout the new and improved battery life like it's some sort of miracle.

      Likewise, slim devices are subject to more mechanical stress than a fat phone. This too is great for hardware manufactures because it means the phone will more reliably fail once the warranty is expired. Good luck keeping an iPhone 7 around for 5 years (or longer).

      It's not about you. It's about planned and forced obsolescence, and nothing else.

      • It's not about you. It's about planned and forced obsolescence, and nothing else.

        These phones have been breaking over and over again and manufacturers have been going out of their way to invest in more durable better glass, less bendyness etc. Phones are super fragile as they are and being sold in contracts with "free" (that's free as in not free at all) upgrades doesn't mean they have an issue with obsolescence. The upgrade cycle for most people already has a 2 year maximum on it, and quite a lot break before then anyway.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      "Why do they keep thinking they need to be thinner?"

      They don't (necessarily think that). It's a bullshit marketing excuse for removing a 25 cent part, then selling you something to replace it to make another $5 in profit. Same with the water resistant BS - it's no harder to make a waterproof 3.5 jack than it is to make a waterproof USB one. The concept is identical.
      • It's actually much simpler to waterproof the standard 3.5 mm mini jack, or even the newfangled "TRRS" jack.

      • It's a bullshit marketing excuse for removing a 25 cent part, then selling you something to replace it to make another $5 in profit. Same with the water resistant BS - it's no harder to make a waterproof 3.5 jack than it is to make a waterproof USB one.

        yes, this is it exactly, you nailed it...don't heed anyone telling you otherwise

        this is *exactly* what is happening

        and no, we don't need slimmer phones, no one is clamoring for it

    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      What are talking about? Phones are massive these days. The current iPhones range from 113 to 192g. My last non-smart phone weighed about 80g, and was also tiny in comparison - more than 30% smaller because components weren't as light.

      The thiness of the current phones also allows to have a larger flat surface to work with, so actually thinness isn't the thing you should be complaining about. My tiny phone I had before had far less area dedicated to the keypad, and I don't really miss having to type every

  • by DaveM753 ( 844913 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:42PM (#53008231)

    It seems to me that this is an example of corporations quite clearly forcing consumers into something they don't want. They only way to stop them is to NOT buy these devices.

    I have 2 older iPods, a smartphone, a surround sound a/v receiver, CD players, MP3 players, ancient transistor radios, etc., and NONE of them work with USB headphones. All of them work with standard audio jacks. I'm not investing in new headphones, dongles, cables, etc.

  • by jef4130 . ( 4679877 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:49PM (#53008263)
    Dear Samsung. Please stop with the thin war and start the "real 24 hour battery" war. Phones have been plenty thin for years.... thicken them back up and put a fatter battery in there. What have people dealt with more than anything? A freaking dead battery. I want a phone that will run like a raped ape on a flight from Dallas to Sydney on a single charge and still be above 35% battery. We want our head phone jacks.. I charge my phone and use my headphones at the same time about every night. My wired headphones have lasted for +8 years now. Are there any 8 year old wireless headphones still rocking it or have they had battery issues? Which then brings up an environmental arrangement... this ramps up the number of old batteries that will get dumped in landfills over time. We all see the removal of the headphone jack for what it really is... a way to force people to purchase something they didn't need in the first place... a dick move like that is something like Apple would do. Just how waterproof are you wanting a phone to be? Are you hoping to corner the "action camera" market? Regards. Jef
    • by 4im ( 181450 )

      Why only 24h? Back in the ol' days, our "feature phones" (think Nokia N95) easily held out several days, if not an entire week. Simpler phones remained usable for a couple of weeks, on a single charge.

      Having to charge every other day, when you have multiple such devices (think phone, tablet, fitness band/watch, etc.) that you have to do it for a whole batch of stuff, every night! No thanks! I can't even stand cordless keyboard/mouse as they'll crap out at the worst possible times...

  • by phorm ( 591458 )

    I have an S5. Good phone. Removable battery. Wateproof/resistant. SD card. Headphone jack.
    My wife has an Asus Zenfone2. Also good with all up the above except the waterproofing. Also cheaper.

    Samsung kills the headphone jack, guess which brand *my* next phone will be.

  • No choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:52PM (#53008281) Journal

    Samsung has no choice here. As the only real competitor to Apple, they can't be left with 40 year old analog technology while the rest of the industry is tripping over themselves to make audio hardware that supports the Lightning connector, which Apple exclusively controls all the licensing for. If Samsung does not remove the analog audio jack, then there will not be a large enough market for a micro-USB digital audio competitor to Apple's Lightning. The only way to get manufacturers to produce enough USB audio devices is to create a large market (and thus a low enough price point to compete with Lightning audio devices), only Samsung moves enough Android handsets to do that, and it has to be done by removing the analog audio jack. Apple has already caught Samsung flat-footed here, and there is going to be a significant delay until companies start producing micro-USB audio hardware. The Lightening audio market will be flourishing (if it isn't already) before Samsung even gets the devices to market.

    Android devices will also face an issue with compatibility. Micro-USB does not by default support powering peripherals. That is what USB On-The-Go (OTG) is for. What this means is that micro-USB headphones will not work on all Android devices, because not all devices support OTG. Especially older ones and the cheap tablet market. That fragmentation will result in a negative impression of Android for some people (these new micro-USB headphones work with my wife's Android phone, but not my tablet - how come?).

    • What stops them from supporting both a headphone jack and adding USB-C headphone support? NOTHING...

      I disagree with the assertion that Samsung NEEDS to push USB-C devices. I.m pretty sure that there are plenty of other uses beyond cell phones... The business environment is much larger than Samsung and a lot of Corps have gone to VoIP which require headsets.

      • From a technical standpoint, what is stopping manufacturers from creating Micro-USB or USB-C headphones now? Nothing. So why aren't there many to choose from? There is no incentive because there is no market. That's what I'm talking about, is Samsung creating a market for those devices. Unless the market is forced, it will not exist, and Samsung phones will not have a vibrant market of digital audio peripherals for their customers, yet Apple will. It's an arms race that Apple is winning, and that Samsung mu

        • Re:No choice (Score:4, Insightful)

          by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @11:00PM (#53008849)
          I can say personally I would never buy USB or lightning headphones. Why? Because I have 20 devices around my house that work with 3.5mm jacks. So until I can find a USB headphone that comes with 20 USB to 3.5mm converters, plus some extra for me to lose, they'll need to wait 15 years or more for me to replace all the devices I have already.
        • Why would they want to "force" a market that has been possible for years but consumers clearly have no interest in? How would this benefit Samsung?

          Who cares if Apple forces an MFI-only digital audio ecosystem, when the existing audio ecosystem is a thousand times bigger? If it eventually turns out that digital headphones are awesome then vendors will inevitably sell them for USB as well (which is a far larger market). Phone manufacturers could happily bundle them too, with no other changes and no need to al

        • Well, for one thing, the audio standard for USB-C was just ratified. It's right there in TFS!

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      40 years? Even if you were talking only about the 3.5mm jack specifically, try over 60. It was commonly used to connect an earpiece to transistor radios since the early 1950's, and the 1/4" phono jack, the same one that is still in use today, predated that by an additional 70 or 80 years, so you're talking about a tech that is well over a century old here.
    • Re:No choice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @09:34PM (#53008481)

      I've never figured out that "40 year old analog technology" angle. My Mark-1 ears are also 40 year old analogy technology, so I think they match up just fine.

      • Your ears are only 40 years old? What sort of nerd are ya? :) You should be able to pick up some genuine Spock ears from the ST-TOS online.

    • I'm not following why Samsung can't be left with the only technology that is optimum for what it needs to do.
    • Samsung DOES have a choice. WTF are you babbling about? Samsung can do whatever they want, but can still leave the 3.5 mm jack in place.

    • You are an idiot to think that Samsung has no choice but to fuck over consumers.

    • 40 year old analog technology

      wrong!

      it is a *data port* that is *also* a ridiculously backwards compatible audio port

      look at Square credit card readers and dozens of other examples...one port, one devices, which works on all smartphones (and tablets!)

      Apple did this because that's how they pump up their profits...they remove data ports, say "innovation!" and reap millions on dongles...it's awful but it's not completely unprecidented (Microsoft is worse but that's no comfort)...

      Samsung is worse than Apple...

    • they can't be left with 40 year old analog technology

      As opposed to all those digital headphones that feature such wonderful innovations such as ... a different connector and a higher price?

    • If Samsung does not remove the analog audio jack, then there will not be a large enough market for a micro-USB digital audio competitor to Apple's Lightning. The only way to get manufacturers to produce enough USB audio devices is to create a large market (and thus a low enough price point to compete with Lightning audio devices), only Samsung moves enough Android handsets to do that, and it has to be done by removing the analog audio jack.

      Good. USB audio should die. Let Apple fanbois have their expensive hardware. Most of the world is perfectly happy with headphones the way they are and if there's a complaint about the connection it's the connection in the first place. Having a 3.5mm jack doesn't stop the ability to support wireless.

      If they remove the 3.5mm jack than my long relationship with Samsung phones will have come to an end. Apple users are locked in. Samsung users are not and there are many Android alternatives.

  • These vendors are idiots. Utter idiots. I'd rather buy a spyware infected smartphone rather than Bluetooth headphones. I have enough radiation around my head anyway.
  • SDC slot. Normal use, I've got different music on different cards. Every few months I'll decide I'm tired of Megadeth and want some Mozart. Vacation, fill up the card with pictures/videos, put another in. Back at the hotel both get emptied to the laptop and cleared.

    Headphone jack. I can use that jack to plug my phone into my stereo. I can use that jack for a 20 year old pair of headphones that still sound pretty damned good. Or I can use that jack for earbuds when I'm trying to exercise my skinny
  • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @09:18PM (#53008395)
    After all, what kind of rube would put a phone up to their ear to talk on? Amiright? Wireless headset'll cover the niche case of using your phone to make phone calls.
  • Toldja So (Score:2, Insightful)

    by macs4all ( 973270 )
    A few weeks ago, when all the Apple Haters were excoriating Apple for removing the 3.5 mm Jack in the iPhone 7, I predicted right here that this would happen within a year after the iPhone 7 came out.

    Guess Samsung is still all about copying Apple ( yet again) after all...

    Now watch as all the Fandroids rush to post that the iPhone wasn't first to eliminate the 3.5 mm Jack, which I also pointed out while those same people tripped over each other to say that the iPhone was completely ignoring their users,
    • A few weeks ago, when all the Apple Haters were excoriating Apple for removing the 3.5 mm Jack in the iPhone 7, I predicted right here that this would happen within a year after the iPhone 7 came out.

      You predicted that someone on the internet would speculate that maybe Samsung might do something similar possibly but is only guessing?
      Awesome skills bro...

    • by narcc ( 412956 )

      There is exactly zero evidence that Samsung is even considering removing the 3.5mm jack. None. It's 100% pure, unadulterated, speculation from one of BGR's worst "reporters".

      You might want to wait to brag about the accuracy of your prognostications until, you know, they actually come true.

  • I would think they would be reluctant to do something stupid like getting rid of the headphone jack.
    Especially after the Galaxy S6 colossal failure with not having the microSD slot and no removable battery.
    Then with the S7 Note still having the locked in battery so they have to change it, and is looking like they have to do a second recall.
    This path with the S8 looks like intentional suicide.
  • I used to defend these guys for 'copying' the iPhone back in the day (to an extent) since that's just how smart phones 'work best'

    That being said, these dozy bastards continue to basically copy Apple every god damned turn. They neuter phones (removing SD cards) they neuter phones (non removable battery) they make obstinate Apple like decisions (cuved only display on the Note 7, UGH) I think one of the only good things they do is wireless charging and the continued support of a _physical_ fucking home bu

    • The funny thing is, I hear over and over again that capitalism is supposed to give the consumer what they want because the consumer is king. It seems to me the consumer gets treated more like livestock than royalty.
    • I like my headphone port, you wanna be smart? Make it 2.5mm like Blackberry tried, let's take another shot at it, see if Nokia, HTC, LG follow suit - let's switch all 3.5mm jacks to 2.5mm over the next decade? But this no headphone thing is bunk.

      How is an incompatible analog port better than an incompatible digital port?

      At least the digital port can be used for other things. And to use your old headphones you'd need an adapter either way.

      The analog adapter would be cheaper. But that's all I can come up with.

      • No need for a DAC in every set of headphones.
        They get their space savings they want.
        Adapter is cheap and already exists.
        Potentially a universal standard.

    • Changing the connector is still changing the connector. Now, instead of saving a bit of space inside the phone (spurious justification at best), you are saving no space and still using a dongle of some variety so you can plug in your 3.5mm cable.

      Leave the god damn thing alone, or do something that is actually better. For the record, neither what Apple has done, nor Samsung possibly, is better.

  • I just want to use a standard headphone and charge at the same time, that's all I ask. I use my phone for music all night and I want my alarm to work in the morning.
  • May Not Feature a Samsung Logo.

  • Just Don't Buy It (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2016 @12:32AM (#53009101) Homepage

    That's all you have to do, and these stupid lame assholes will get fired, and their replacements will know enough not to take away useful features.

    If you buy one, you are part of the problem.
    If you don't buy one, you are part of the solution.

    • That's all you have to do, and these stupid lame assholes will get fired, and their replacements will know enough not to take away useful features.

      If you buy one, you are part of the problem.
      If you don't buy one, you are part of the solution.

      Yes your one missed theoretical sale will definitely be noticed and acted on. We've seen this before, manufacturers follow each other around like sheep - there's not nearly the amount of variety in the Android lineup that you would expect given the freedom of the platform. (where's my phone with a keyboard? where's my phone with a decent battery? Where's my compact phone with a small screen?)

      Absolutely don't buy one. But make a noise too, otherwise you can easily expect other good phones to be hobbled by th

  • People will but any turd marketing people put before them.

    Why not just sell people a sheet of aluminum?
    It's so thin. What a clean design....

  • IT'S A DATA PORT (Score:4, Informative)

    by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2016 @01:25AM (#53009233) Journal

    It's not *just* a "headphone jack"

    Here's what we're removing: a universally compatible **data port** that is also a backwards compatible audio only port that will connect to devices over 100 years old in some cases.

    It works really well and allows device manufacturers like Square to make one smartphone add-on that works with all smartphones.

  • Corporations needed another way to overcharge customers and push DRM to please media moguls, ostensibly.
    Headphones are the easiest target.
  • I'm fine with digital audio output. But I need the ability to charge and listen simultaneously, and don't want to carry a hub around.

    Give me two USB ports, and you've got yourself a sale.

  • I'll just be happy if it doesn't catch alight
  • I've had an iPhone 3Gs, an iPhone 4, and currently a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. I have never used the headphone port on any of them. Good riddance!

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2016 @11:06AM (#53011355)

    for the same reasons I don't use wireless mice or keyboards.

    If the battery is replaceable, then you have to keep batteries on hand for when they die. ( which is constantly and at the worst possible moment )

    If not replaceable, you get to keep buying new mice and keyboards every few years when the batteries ultimately give out.

    In your phone, the battery is likely going to be the first component that dies taking the whole device with it. Being non-user replaceable, this forces you to upgrade to the next phone. It's nothing more than planned obsolesence. Same thing for the wireless, battery powered headphones you'll be using soon.

    I have to replace my headphones soon not because the battery died, but because I've worn out the ear cushions.

    Considering I've used them for at least a DECADE, I'm pretty sure I've got my moneys worth from them.

    Then again, I may just try to replace the ear cushions myself and keep on using them until they truly die.

    New hotness is not always better.

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