I know a longtime iPhone user who’s something of an audiophile. He’s spent a fair bit of money on high-end headphones over the years. The other day he told me that if the next iPhone doesn’t have a headphone jack and there’s a marquee Android phone available that does, he’ll switch. He doesn’t want Lightning headphones or wireless buds. And he doesn’t want to carry an adapter. He just wants to use the headphones he likes. And he doesn’t think he’s alone. What would Apple’s leadership say to someone like him?
“We do understand that this might be a difficult transition for some people who love their wired headphones,” says Schiller. “But the transition is inevitable. You’ve got to do it at some point. Sooner or later the headphone jack is going away. There are just too many reasons aligned against it sticking around any longer. There’s a little bit of pain in every transition, but we can’t let that stop us from making it. If we did, we’d never make any progress at all. The question we ask ourselves when making transitions like these is, have we done all the right things to mitigate it and to explain it and to make what’s on the other side so good that everyone is happy with the change? We think we’ve done that.”