It is confirmed: the OnePlus 6T will not have a headphone jack. We’ll let that sink in for a second.
That is proper, the subsequent OnePlus handset might be lacking one of the divisive options on fashionable smartphones, and TechSwitch sat down completely with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei to search out out why now could be the appropriate time to sack the jack.
We should always be aware that Pei did not point out the OnePlus 6T by title, merely referring to the “subsequent OnePlus handset”, however because of the rumors swirling round this telephone we count on it to be known as the OnePlus 6T when it does arrive.
Our first line of questioning was apparent. Why? Why ditch the jack? Why ditch it now? For Pei, it is about timing, and creating the very best smartphone expertise.
“After we began OnePlus, we got down to make the absolute best smartphone, however making a fantastic telephone does not imply placing each element accessible into the system,” he stated.
“You have to make choices that optimize the person expertise, and perceive that at occasions issues that present person worth may add friction.
“We additionally had to consider the detrimental aspect [of removing the headphone jack] for our customers. We discovered 59% of our group already owned wi-fi headphones earlier this yr – and that was earlier than we launched our Bullets Wireless headphones.
“If we had been to try this [remove the jack] two years in the past, the proportion [of wireless headphones owners] would have been a lot decrease and it will have brought about plenty of friction for our customers.”
Pei expects that 59% determine to now be increased because of the introduction of the well-received Bullets Wi-fi headphones – they garnered an impressive 4.5 star TechSwitch review – however even over the 4 months since their introduction customers have change into a little bit extra accepting of a world with out the jack.
It is not a choice OnePlus took flippantly both, as Pei defined.
“It [removing the headphone jack] was a really controversial choice. We’re not doing it for the sake of doing it and since everybody else is. We consider now could be the appropriate time, because it’ll profit the vast majority of our customers whereas retaining the draw back low.
“We knew this was an possibility for a really very long time, we had been simply ready for the appropriate time.”
Pei went on to clarify that there are person advantages to the elimination of the port, which ought to deliver some consolation to OnePlus followers already pouring one out for the headphone jack.
“By eradicating the jack we have freed up more room, permitting us to place extra new expertise into the product,” he stated. “One of many massive issues is one thing our customers have requested us for, improved battery life.”
Pei would not be drawn on what the “new expertise” might be, however we already know the OnePlus 6T will feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, which can eat up among the area left by the exiting jack.
Equally, we had been unable to glean from Pei how battery life might be improved – though OnePlus 6T rumors recommend an even bigger energy pack might be squeezed contained in the handset – however Pei did reveal the distinction could be “substantial sufficient for customers to appreciate.”
OnePlus is conscious that some will really feel inconvenienced by the elimination of the headphone jack, however Pei was eager to emphasize that it is addressing these fears in a few methods.
“We’re including an adapter to the field, permitting you to make use of your three.5mm headphones usually,” he defined. “We’re additionally making a brand new model of our Bullets V2 wired headphones, which could have a USB-C connector.”
It is nonetheless unknown whether or not OnePlus will embody any headphones in any respect within the field with the OnePlus 6T – wired or wi-fi – but it surely’s price noting that the agency has by no means bundled headphones within the field, and we do not count on issues to alter.
OnePlus’ reasoning is sensible, but it surely’s not assured to cease the naysayers and jack-lovers who might really feel a little bit betrayed by the agency.
There might be those that will miss its comfort, to not point out the flexibility to cost the handset whereas having headphones plugged in – one thing that is not potential with the single-port strategy. However issues might run a little bit deeper.
The headphone jack has been a outstanding advertising and marketing device for OnePlus ever for the reason that OnePlus 3, a telephone which launched three months earlier than the iPhone 7 confirmed up with out the port, however rumors had been already rife that Apple was about to ditch it.
It made sense for OnePlus to select up on the paranoia of smartphone customers relating to the rumors, and spotlight the very fact its newest handset got here with the all-important (on the time) port.
You’ve got headphones. The #OnePlus3 has a headphone jack. It’s not rocket science 😉 pic.twitter.com/jdfZWlfMMiSeptember 7, 2016
That advertising and marketing technique did not cease with the OnePlus three although, and the headphone jack has cropped up quite a few occasions since 2016, because the tweet under, from November 2017, reveals.
Right here, enjoying on the truth that it is included the characteristic within the newly introduced OnePlus 5T, OnePlus is actively asking its group what it’s utilizing the headphone jack for.
Excited to see what headphones you plug into the #OnePlus5T’s headphone jack!November 16, 2017
Then, within the build-up to the OnePlus 6 launch earlier this yr, Pei tweeted the outcomes of the annual headphone jack ballot he runs on Twitter, which discovered that help for the port – not less than in Pei’s echo chamber – was nonetheless sturdy.
We would not be shocked if among the OnePlus trustworthy count on the agency to proceed offering the characteristic on its smartphones, and the information that the OnePlus 6T will drop the headphone jack might come as a little bit of a bombshell (though it had been rumored for some time).
Headphone jack demand steady YoY as per my Twitter followers. You’d count on it to lower, no? pic.twitter.com/Qe9Q3cGznPMarch 15, 2018
The longer term
We requested Pei concerning the firm’s strategy to publicizing the headphone jack on earlier gadgets, and about customers probably feeling confused about its newest choice.
“Earlier than it wasn’t the appropriate time, now we now have information to again up that it’s the proper time,” was his easy reply.
OnePlus can also be anticipated by its group to repeatedly push the boundaries of design and expertise, so there’s hope that followers might be extra forgiving after they see the larger image.
All in all Pei is assured the pluses outweigh the negatives, saying “we’re including extra expertise, bettering battery life and decreasing as a lot friction as potential by together with an adapter and launching a brand new model of the Bullets V2.”
Whether or not that is sufficient to fulfill its trustworthy fanbase, and appeal to extra customers, stays to be seen, however whereas the dropping of the headphone jack could also be a giant speaking level at launch we expect issues will die down fairly shortly.
It is price recalling the fuss made (by each the press and the general public) over display screen notch designs in the direction of the top of 2017 and in the course of the first half of 2018. Initially the characteristic obtained a blended response, however a number of months on and customers seem to have accepted the notch and moved on.
So possibly now could be certainly the appropriate time. Time we settle for our loss and transfer on.