People are mad at Samsung for killing the headphone jack in its latest phone, but it’s a smart business decision
- Samsung unveiled its latest smartphones last week, the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.
- A lot of people are upset that the Galaxy Note 10 is the first major Samsung smartphone without a headphone jack.
- One can only assume that every future Samsung phone after this one will also launch without a headphone jack.
- Customers can get angry about this move, but removing the headphone jack was a smart business decision on Samsung’s part.
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Samsung last week pulled the wraps off its second flagship phone of the year.
The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus have almost everything you’d want out of a phone: a big, gorgeous screen, large batteries, and solid cameras.
But many people noticed there was one notable feature missing from the latest Samsung phones: the headphone jack.
Yes, after years of Samsung ads mocking Apple for removing the headphone jack from the iPhone, Samsung just went and did the exact same thing for its own smartphones — pulling those old advertisements it made in the process.
A lot of people are understandably frustrated. Given how Samsung lambasted Apple for killing the most popular port for wired audio, it’s reasonable to think that many looked to Samsung’s devices as a bastion for the headphone jack. And now, it looks like the Korean conglomerate is following in Apple’s footsteps after all.
But it’s more complicated than that — and if you consider how Samsung, not customers, might look at the value of the headphone jack, it makes a lot of business sense to see it gone.
What does Samsung get out of the headphone jack? Not much. Samsung makes and sells lots of headphones, but the vast majority of them are wireless. Some come with a wire just in case, but Samsung has really embraced Bluetooth.
These $350 Samsung headphones, for instance, are wireless noise-canceling headphones designed to compete with the likes of Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony’s 1000XM-series headphones.
But Samsung’s really been pushing these headphones most of all: The $130 Galaxy Buds are truly wireless earbuds that get recharged from the case they’re in.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are meant to compete with Apple’s AirPods, which have become a cultural status symbol unto themselves.
But the Galaxy Buds are $30 cheaper to start versus AirPods, and your Galaxy phone (S10 or Note 10) can actually charge the case wirelessly if you just plop the case onto the back of your phone. The iPhone can’t do that.
So yes, people have tons of old headphones lying around, but Samsung makes no money if you’re using your dusty old headphones with your brand-new Galaxy phone. That’s why Samsung has built several wireless-audio solutions at an array of different price points. Samsung wants you to buy more of its stuff.
Samsung likely could have included a headphone jack in the Galaxy Note 10 — if it wanted to.
Samsung said it needed more space for a bigger battery, but if the company was able to fit a pen in there, it could’ve also accommodated the small, 3.5mm port.
Fans can be upset, but this decision was not about space — it was about money. And from Samsung’s perspective, killing the headphone jack only opens up more opportunities for additional purchases.
The Galaxy Note 10 starts at $950, and the Note 10 Plus starts at $1,100. Samsung’s headphones cost anywhere from around $30 to well over $1,000.