After months of rumors, it’s official: the iPhone 7 will forgo the traditional headphone jack, which is being removed to make the next iteration of Apple’s smart phone even slimmer. Instead, the iPhone 7 will sport a sole lightning port. The phone will ship with a pair of ear buds that connect through the lightning port as well as a lightning-to-headphone-jack adapter for traditional headphones and speakers. Apple also announced the AirPods, a set of wireless ear buds. The removal of the jack will probably push iPhone users to use the AirPods or separate wireless Bluetooth headphones, because the lightning port adaption means users won’t be able to charge their phones and listen to music through wired headphones at the same time.
Why is this happening? Here’s Apple vice president Phil Schiller, who announced the switch during an Apple event that took place this afternoon in Cupertino, CA: “It really comes down to one word: courage. The courage to move on and do something better for all of us.”
The kind of corporate logic seems pretty inane, but maybe that’s what it takes to provide users with a better battery, and water resistance. (Alternately, foreign engineering.) Courage! The courage to make a slimmer phone, and mildly inconvenience millions of Westerners. It’s your boilerplate Silicon Valley exceptionalism—make a slight change, and call it a moral revolution. Months from now, we’ll have misplaced our AirPods, as well as the dongle that’ll make our old headphones work, and we’ll end up begrudgingly paying $500 for a new set of wireless headphones.
Also, the camera is slightly fancier, and there’s Super Mario. Preorders open on Friday.