The 3.5 mm audio jack once again finds itself as the expendable part of the modern smartphone. This latest controversial move comes from smartphone company everyone least expected: OnePlus.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei sat down with TechRadar to discuss this sudden plan to ditch the audio jack. According to Pei, making the best possible smartphone doesn’t mean that it has to have every available component.
Based on their own data, Pei has said that 59% of their community already owned a pair of wireless headphones earlier this year, before the launch of their own Bullets Wireless headphones.
Armed with those figures, the decision has been made to axe the audio jack from the next OnePlus device (Pei did not mention the rumored OnePlus 6T) because they felt that timing was right and that the backlash wouldn’t be as severe as it would have been two years ago.
But if it’s any consolation, the removal of the headphone jack does bring with it more space for “new technologies”. This, according to Pei, will bring improved battery life. And while Pei did not mention it, we’ll guess that the rumored in-display fingerprint sensor has benefited from this as well.
Pei did mention that they are including a USB Type-C to 3.5 mm jack in the box for those who need it. Plus, they are making a new version of their Bullets V2 wired headphones that comes with a USB Type-C connector.
Nevertheless, this has been quite a shock for everyone, especially since OnePlus has been an advocate of the audio jack since the days of the OnePlus 3 and up to the recent OnePlus 6.