Apple held one of its webcasted press conferences today to announce new product developments, and the big news is that, yes, they are really removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. The phone comes with stereo speakers for the first time, and they can produce twice the volume of the speakers in the iPhone 6 and 6S. They’ve also improved the camera and the design and the home button among other updates, but come on: no headphone jack?!
Instead, iPhone 7 will be packaged with Lightning-enabled EarPods that connect through the same port where you charge your phone, as well as an adaptor to connect your traditional analog headphones. Apple will also be happy to sell you a pair of wireless AirPods with a battery that lasts 24 hours (at first) or several wireless Beats models. Why abandon the analog jack? Per Apple’s Phil Schiller, “It really comes down to one word:
money courage.” He really said that! The courage part. Not that money part; that was just implied.
In other music-related news, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned there will be a new Apple Music interface in the next i0S update. Despite the revised look, Cook sounded more focused on keeping up the service’s momentum than adding new features. He noted the service now has more than 17 million users and has played host to more than 70 exclusive album launches. The show began with a Carpool Karaoke segment featuring Cook, Pharrell, and James Corden, a promotion for the standalone Carpool Karaoke series Apple recently commissioned, and it ended with Sia performing her new Kendrick Lamar collab “The Greatest,” which premiered this week on Apple Music. Kendrick was not there, but Sia’s teenage dancer avatar Maddie Ziegler was, of course.
Lastly, although this has nothing to do with music, I was happy to learn Mario is coming to the App Store for the first time via the new mobile game Super Mario Run. I was less happy to learn that “We are going to keep pushing Apple Watch forward.”
Watch videos introducing AirPods and iPhone 7, and the Carpool Karaoke (via Verge), below.