Apple invited a wave of controversy earlier this year when it decided to remove the iPhone’s headphone jack, replacing it with headphones that connected to the handset’s charging port, and was lampooned for describing the move as an act of “courage”.
But it appears that its arch-rival Samsung is set to follow in the company’s footsteps next year by releasing the next version of its flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, without the 3.5mm audio port.
According to SamMobile, the Galaxy S8 will be unveiled at February’s Mobile World Congress trade show and will use the phone’s USB-C charging port as its audio output. This will mean the same situation as the iPhone 7: users will have to listen either through special headphones that connect to the port, use an adapter, or use wireless headphones.
It also means that users won’t be able to charge the phone via the port while listening to music at the same time, unless they use a separate adapter that provides two ports. This may be less of an issue than with the iPhone 7 since the Galaxy S8, like its predecessors, is likely to have wireless charging that replenishes the battery when placed on an pad.
The iPhone 7’s lack of a headphone jack raised eyebrows when it was first revealed, but after several weeks of using the devices many users say it has become a non-issue. Getting rid of the port allowed Apple to increase the size of the battery, improve the phone’s vibration feedback and helped make it water resistant.
Samsung may also be able to make the phone thinner than its predecessor by getting rid of the jack. SamMobile also reported that the Galaxy S8 may have stereo speakers to improve the external audio quality.
The site also claims that Samsung will ditch the home button from the S8, with a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display. In combination with the device’s curved screen, this could mean the display covering almost the entire front of the device, a design that Apple is reportedly preparing for with its own iPhone 8 next year.
Samsung is in dire need of a successful flagship device to revive its fortunes after the failed launch of the Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled after several units were found to be faulty, leading to explosions.
Mobile World Congress, which runs from February 27, is typically where Samsung unveils new Galaxy S devices.