After it was rumored that Apple would get rid of the headphone jack in the highly anticipated iPhone 7, hundreds of thousands of people have petitioned to keep the Apple feature a constant in the forthcoming iPhone.


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It’s alleged that Apple will be scrapping the 3.5mm socket, instead leaving headphones to be plugged into Apple’s custom made “Lightning” port. This would force headphone manufacturers to pay Apple to use their Lightning ports on products.

The Apple petition purports that the “jack move” would “singlehandedly create mountains of electronic waste.” It will also be a blow for a piece of technology that has been remarkably resilient. The 3.5mm headphone jack is essentially a 19th Century bit of kit; it is a miniaturized version of the classic quarter-inch jack (6.35mm), which is said to go back as far as 1878.

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Initially, the quarter-inch jack was used by operators in old-fashioned telephone switchboards, where plugging and unplugging connections were necessary for telephone calls. Of course, as miniaturization changed audio equipment, the plug had to have a smaller alternative.
The 3.5mm version quickly became popular, spreading by the use of headphones on transistor radios in the middle of the 20th Century.

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