Apple has never been afraid to declare that technology has moved on, and that something we all thought of as essential is now legacy equipment. It did this first with the 3.5-inch floppy drive, omitting it from the iMac G3 in 1998 because Steve Jobs held the view that the CD-ROM had rendered the medium obsolete.
Apple was also one of the first companies to abandon optical drives, with the MacBook Air being the first Mac to launch without one in 2008. The company of course later dropped optical drives from the Retina MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.
Finally, in launching the 12-inch MacBook, Apple also declared that every prior port except the headphone socket was no longer necessary.
Each time Apple has done this, there have been anguished complaints and negative press. Apple has weathered the storm each time, and other manufacturers tended to quietly follow Apple’s lead a little later. But in seemingly planning to abandon the oldest and best-established standard of them all – the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack – I believe Apple is being a little more careful in how it has prepared the ground …
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