It seems that a growing number of iPhone owners aren’t overly happy with the speculation suggesting that Apple is planning on ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack on the next-generation iPhone. Reports pertaining to the removal of the standard headphone jack on the iPhone 7 have been growing in number over the last few weeks, with a number of sources all but confirming that it’s a done deal for Apple’s 2016 smartphone offering. That design decision appears to have ruffled more than a few feathers with over 200,000 disgruntled fans signing a petition that calls for the 3.5mm audio jack to be retained.
The online petition has already surpassed its goal of gaining the support of 210,000 people. At the time of writing the petition – which comes with a somewhat aggressive tagline that “Apple is ditching the standard headphone jack to screw consumers and the planet” – had 217,053 signatures via the SumOfUs website.
It’s understandable that iPhone owners would be somewhat hesitant about the move from the standard 3.5mm headphone jack to a universal Lightning solution that would handle power, data transfer, and audio output, but the wording in the petition attempts to attract signatures by playing on the environmental impact of such a decision:
Apple is about to rip off every one of its customers. Again.
Not only will this force iPhone users to dole out additional cash to replace their hi-fi headphones, it will singlehandedly create mountains of electronic waste — that likely won’t get recycled. According to the United Nations, up to 90% of the world’s electronic waste is illegally traded or dumped each year.
After claiming that the planned move is “right out of the Apple corporate playbook”, it then carries on to suggest that Apple’s interest in being a green company and investing in renewable energy sources only came about thanks to public pressure. The sheer amount of signatures on the petition will probably be more than enough to force Apple to actually take a brief moment to think about the decision, but probably nowhere near enough to prevent it from going ahead with that move.
The Cupertino-based giant has already released a standard as part of its MFi Program that allows third-party manufacturers to produce Lightning-equipped headphones. It’s likely that the existence of this speculation will not only ruffle a few more feathers along the way, but also force accessory makers into acting sooner rather than later to get audio-based Lightning products available for the iPhone 7 launch later this year.
Apart from the Lightning headphones option, users will also obviously be able to use Bluetooth-enabled headphones, and there are likely going to be adapters available for converting 3.5mm jack to Lightning should you still want to use your old pair of headphones.
If you wish to voice your concern on the matter, head over here to sign the petition.