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Google just confirmed the real reason Apple killed the headphone jack

Published Oct 6th, 2017 11:13AM EDT
Pixel 2 Headphone Jack
Image: Google

Apple will forever be remembered as the company that killed the headphone jack. Other companies did it before the iPhone 7 came out, but none of them received as much criticism from the public. Apple tackled the issue head-on during the iPhone 7 launch event, explaining why it chose this path. Sort of.

Google followed a year later, which isn’t surprising considering that Google wants to be more like Apple when it comes to product design, and this week’s Pixel event proves that. After mocking Apple’s iPhone 7 last year, Google was a lot less vocal about its decision to dump the headphone jack this year, shying away from really addressing the matter during the event.

However, we now know why the Pixel 2 phones do not have 3.5mm ports, as Google just explained it.

Talking to TechCrunch, Google’s Mario Queiroz said that Google wants to make all-screen phones. And having a 3.5mm headphone jack inside the phone doesn’t fit with that design strategy.

“The primary reason [for dropping the jack] is establishing a mechanical design path for the future,” Queiroz said. “We want the display to go closer and closer to the edge. Our team said, ‘if we’re going to make the shift, let’s make it sooner, rather than later.’ Last year may have been too early. Now there are more phones on the market.”

That’s also why Google launched the Pixel Buds, a direct AirPods rival, but also a product that’s meant to “solve” the problem it created by removing the aging audio port.

Back in January 2016, some eight months before the iPhone 7 was actually unveiled, a sound theory explained that Apple wanted to launch all-screen phones in the future, devices that didn’t have a home button. To do so, Apple needed to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack since it wasted so much space.

Can’t we have it both ways? Nope. Well, not unless you like thicker devices. Even if you do, Apple and other companies will never consider making bulkier devices just so they can put a 3.5mm headphone jack inside an all-screen phone.

Google, meanwhile, will probably unveil an iPhone X rival around this time next year. Let’s see if it’ll also sport an unsightly notch.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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