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The first smartphone with no headphone jack wasn’t an iPhone


Ask many of us when the headphone jack began disappearing from smartphones and so they’ll most likely level to the iPhone 7 from 2016. It’s surely the best-known instance, the one who precipitated many Android telephone makers to apply swimsuit.

Then again, Apple wasn’t the primary. Because it seems, Oppo used to be the primary primary logo to ditch the headphone jack with the Oppo Finder a complete 4 years ahead of the iPhone, and once more with its mid-tier Oppo R5 in fall 2014. Right here’s why Oppo pulled the three.5mm port first, and why Apple’s transfer in the long run resonated extra with the general public.

Learn extra: The most efficient telephones with a headphone jack

Why Oppo got rid of the headphone jack

Merely put, Oppo got rid of the headphone jack for the sake of bragging rights. At 6.65mm thick, the Finder used to be dubbed the thinnest smartphone on the earth when it used to be introduced, and Oppo ditched the headphone jack to score that slim construct. Historical past repeated itself two years later with the even thinner R5, which — at 4.85mm (0.19in) thick — used to be slightly thicker than the micro-USB port you used to fee it, and a three.5mm port would had been a troublesome are compatible. The R5 misplaced the slimmest smartphone crown to the 4.75mm Vivo X5 Max (which incorporated a jack, we’d upload), however it used to be obviously an crowd pleasing tool at a time when flagships just like the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 had been relatively chunkier.

To its credit score, Oppo did come with an adapter with the R5 so customers may just use current headphones with a three.5mm jack. Unfortunately for those who couldn’t abdomen dongles and tangled wires, the R5 arrived neatly ahead of Bluetooth earbuds had been in reality able for the mainstream. You had been creating a aware sacrifice within the title of aesthetics.

Apple’s causes for pulling the headphone jack had been more effective. Whilst you most likely take into account the corporate justifying the removing as a question of “braveness,” the tech large additionally famous that losing the legacy port freed up precious inside house. Apple may just are compatible a more potent Taptic Engine (haptic comments) or a bigger battery, as an example. Whether or not or now not you purchased that argument on the time, the iPhone X and long term Android telephones made a greater case via cramming a number of options into designs that remained quite skinny.

Why Apple made the idea that “in style”

Lightning cable connected to an iPhone 7

However why did Apple spur the telephone business to drop the headphone jack when Oppo’s effort received little floor? Apple’s clout surely helped, for a get started. As a large telephone logo with a protracted historical past of trendsetting, it might make the idea that palatable to competitors that had been reluctant to take the lead. Even Samsung, which blasted Apple for forsaking the three.5mm port, quietly pulled its complaint after freeing the Galaxy Be aware 10 collection.

That wasn’t the one clarification, thoughts you. Apple paired the iPhone 7 release with the debut of the unique AirPods, giving consumers a suite of wi-fi earbuds that had been simple to arrange and handy to make use of. Whether or not or now not you noticed this transfer as a cynical ploy to power accent gross sales, it made the removing of the headphone jack more straightforward to swallow via making wi-fi audio just about pain-free. AirPods surely resonated with the general public, turning into wildly a hit and provoking a wave of copycats.

In that mild, Oppo’s transfer used to be too little, too quickly. The corporate didn’t have sufficient affect in 2012 or 2014 to shake up the business via eliminating the headphone jack, and the Finder and R5 neither received a lot from the selection. Apple succeeded via creating a more potent argument and having the entire items in position on the proper time.


That is the 13th publish in our “Do you know” collection. In it, we dive into the historical past books of Android and shopper generation to discover necessary and fascinating details or occasions which have been forgotten through the years. What do you wish to have to look us quilt subsequent? Tell us within the feedback and take a look at our earlier entries within the collection beneath.


Correction, Would possibly 2, 2021: This text at the start mentioned that the Oppo R5 used to be the primary smartphone from a significant logo with out a headphone jack. Then again, whilst Oppo used to be the primary large title to drag the jack, it in reality did so two years previous to the R5’s release with the Oppo Finder. The textual content has been amended to notice this.

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