Prediction: Removing Headphone Jacks from Phones will Backfire on the Decision-Makers

Thesis: In the (near) future, more people will use the loudspeakers on their phones in public.


  • People will continue buying smartphones in the future.
  • Smartphones in the future may omit headphone jacks (in an attempt to push bluetooth headphone sales?)
  • Bluetooth headphones cost more than $0
  • Bluetooth headphones will not be included with smartphone purchases for a significant amount of time (roughly years)
  • A significant portion of phone buyers in the future will not buy bluetooth headphones
  • People in the future will continue to use smartphones in a way that produce noise, as they do today (e.g. play music/games, watch videos, etc)

Since less phones in the future will include bluetooth headphones, and less phones in the future will allow for the use of corded (AKA cheap) headphones, and since people in the future will still use their phones in a way that produces noise, I predict the future will hold for us: more people using the loudspeakers on their phones in public places.

I think this is a glorious failure mode, because: affluent people usually like quiet in public; the decision to remove headphone jacks from smartphones was made by affluent people, and (I believe) the consequence of this decisions will be that affluent people will have to deal with people using the loudspeakers on their phones, in public, more frequently.

So suck it, tech world. Whatcha gonna do about this shit?

As an aside, I imagine that this change will be accompanied by more restrictions on using phone loudspeakers in public places – the metro north already has a “quiet car”, which I find pretty classist. I can’t imagine that the affluent people will like the surge of loudspeaker-sounds. And I figure that, instead of addressing the root cause of the problem (either including bluetooth headphones with smartphones, or bringing headphone jacks back), the affluent peeps will instead decide to segregate out the people who are too poor to buy their way into privacy.

2 thoughts on “Prediction: Removing Headphone Jacks from Phones will Backfire on the Decision-Makers

  1. I wonder what the minimum price for bluetooth headphones will be in the future. Right now I purchase headphones from the dollar store because of my tendency to lose everything immediately. Even $20 for a pair of headphones is too expensive for me, especially as wireless headphones are even easier to lose.

    • Yeah! Also I wonder what will be the market for used things — right now you can find used wired headphones for pretty much free, and there’s a good chance they’ll work just about as well as when they were new. One problem I see with bluetooth headphones is that they require active power, hence batteries — probably built-in. Batteries have a maximum number of charge cycles before they degrade and eventually stop holding charge altogether. So even if bluetooth headphones are cheaper in the future, I foresee that they’ll be even less useful because of the charge cycle depletion.

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