Apple caught and is continuing to catch a ton of flack for its rumored impending move to cut the classic 3.5mm headphone jack from iPhones in favor of its own proprietary Lightning port. In a move that supports and undercuts Apple, Intel is also calling for the end of the 3.5mm headphone port in upcoming devices. However, Intel is pushing USB-C as its replacement. You may have heard of USB-C if you have a new Macbook or a recent Android phone. It is supposed to replace all USB ports and is fully reversible as well as smaller than current USB plugs.
According to Intel headphones powered through USB-C can use their own digital amp instead of the device, meaning more consistent audio no matter what device you listen on. USB could also power new features like earbuds that monitor your heartrate or temperature and send that data to your phone. Lastly, removing the 3.5mm would free up space for other ports and drive costs down. These are all similar to the arguments Apple has put forward for its move.
The difference between Apple’s move and Intel’s plan is that Apple’s move is a cash grab aimed at forcing people onto its proprietary platform while USB-C is planned as a new universal standard port, for everything from power to data transfer to video and now digital audio capabilities. In Intel’s near future world, your devices would eventually replace HDMI, USB, 3.5mm, and power ports with multiple USB-C ports instead. We got pretty close to this type of world with standard USB already, but this might be the standard nirvana we’ve all dreamed of. The idea would be a phone with 2 USB-C ports instead of one charging port and a headphone jack. Imagine a world where you only need one type of cable to do anything and realize that world is close, unless you own an iPhone or iPad of course.
Source: The Verge