Steve Wozniak tells Apple: Don't kill the headphone jack in the iPhone 7
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned the iPhone giant that removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from its upcoming device would be a grave error.
Wozniak said Apple should think carefully before "ticking off" customers with the controversial decision to remove the port, which has been present on every iPhone since the original was released in 2007.
"If it's missing the 3.5mm earphone jack, that's going to tick off a lot of people," Wozniak told the Australian Financial Review.
After co-founding Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976, Wozniak left the company in 1985. He still maintains some connection with the company through stock ownership and an annual stipend.
Wozniak's warning may have come too late. Rumours have been circulating for months that Apple will ditch the 3.5mm port on the iPhone 7, shaving 1mm off the thickness of the phone and making way for Lightning or wireless headphones.
With Apple due to announce the next generation of the iPhone in a fortnight's time it is probably too late to change the design of the iPhone 7 if it has indeed been made without the port.
The removal renders the majority of headphones obsolete, and requires customers to have wireless headphones or Lightning EarPods, which Apple is rumoured to be designing.
"Mine have custom ear implants, so they fit in so comfortably, I can sleep on them and everything. And they only come out with one kind of jack, so I'll have to go through an adapter," said Wozniak.
"I would not use Bluetooth... I don't like wireless. I have cars where you can plug in the music, or go through Bluetooth, and Bluetooth just sounds so flat for the same music."
However, Wozniak said he does trust Apple not to take big decisions such as this one lightly.
"If there's a Bluetooth 2 that has higher bandwidth and better quality that sounds like real music, I would use it. But we'll see. Apple is good at moving towards the future, and I like to follow that," he said.
Apple has a track record of making design decisions that seem controversial at the time, but retrospectively are obvious given the development of technology: it was the first company to get rid of both floppy disk drives and CD drives in its computers. And it called for the early death of Adobe Flash as the underpinning of interactive content online.
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 7 in the second week of September. It is expected to come with an upgraded A10 processor and could have 3GB of RAM, at least in the 5.5-inch version. It will probably look similar to the current generation, but could have an upgraded, bigger camera, pressure-sensitive home button and no 3.5mm headphone jack.