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Apple Might Stop Including A Free Lightning To Headphone Jack Adapter This Year

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The three iPhone models rumored to arrive this year won’t come with a free headphone jack adapter, analysts predict. Apple may truly be phasing out wire-based experiences once and for all.
  ( Stephen Lam | Getty Images )

Apple might truly be done with the headphone jack. The Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter that comes bundled for free? Gone, according to an analyst.

The three rumored iPhone models slated for this year won't carry them inside the box. The claim comes from Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his colleagues.

"We currently model no dongle this year," they predicted, as MacRumors reports.

Is Apple Ditching The Free Headphone Jack Adapter?

Do keep in mind that analysts' predictions are just that — predictions. As such, they're not concretely indicative of what Apple's actual plans may be, although certain analysts, such as Ming-Chi Kuo, are often right on the money. The analysts alleging the headphone jack adapter removal say it might take until May or June to determine for certain.

Barclays has a pretty decent track record when it comes to Apple's plans. Last year it accurately predicted that the Cupertino brand will continue bundling the free adapter in the box alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. As MacRumors notes, Barclays visits supply chain partners in Asia to obtain this kind of intel.

Headphone Jack: Stay Or Go?

It was a controversial decision when Apple removed the headphone jack starting with the iPhone 7. Controversial because at the time, the company didn't have a strong, sound argument for why it made such a drastic change, save for Apple's marketing boss, Phil Schiller, saying it was because of "courage."

Shortly after Apple, other manufacturers began removing the headphone jack from their phones as well — even Google, which previously even made fun of Apple. Others, however, stayed put. Companies including Samsung, OnePlus, and a host of others still put a headphone jack on their phones.

Though drastic, the decision makes sense — for Apple, that is. The adapter has always felt like a temporary solution as the company slowly phases out wire-based headphones. It seems Apple wants its audience base to switch to wireless listening experiences entirely, and that's apparent with how it's pushing the AirPods to be the de facto audio accessories for its mobile products.

Apple sells a Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter for $9 as a standalone purchase, which is pretty cheap compared to the competition. Even still, some users might think they shouldn't pay to get a feature that's been a standard component in consumer electronics since decades. There are still debates on whether people should stick with the headphone jack or welcome a wireless future. By removing the adapter from the box of every iPhone sold, Apple makes it clear that it treats the headphone jack as defunct.

Which side are you on? Sound off in the comments section below!

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