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Report: Samsung to remove 3.5mm headphone socket from Galaxy S8

Apple was "courageous" to remove the headphone socket from the iPhone 7, even though it wasn’t the first phone company to do so. Now Samsung will reportedly copy this move.

Back in April, oddly named Chinese smartphone maker LeEco was claiming a world-first in using the USB-C port as the headphone socket, ditching the 3.5mm headphone socket while it did so.

Months later, Apple did so with its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to much derision and mirth over it calling its move "courageous", but was there ever any doubt other phone makers would make the same move?

Samsung, of course, mocked the decision when it launched its ill-fated Note7 device in August, a month or so before the new iPhones launched, which was a time when Apple’s move to ditch the 3.5mm port wasn’t yet officially confirmed.

Apple’s official confirmation didn’t come until September’s launch of both iPhones, so Samsung was correctly guessing and making hay over the fact the Note7 did not have a 3.5mm port.

If only the Note7 had a properly sized battery as well, it might still be on sale and explosion-free, but hey, it did have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Well, the tables have turned, not just with the Note7 literally blowing up in Samsung’s face, but with well-known Samsung fan blog "Sammobile" issuing an exclusive stating the upcoming Galaxy S8 will not be featuring a traditional headphone jack, but instead, will use the USB-C port for both charging and audio.

If true, this would mean you can’t charge an S8 via USB-C and listen to wired USB-C audio at the same time — or at least, not without a double USB-C adapter — but you would be able to use wireless charging and a USB-C headphone at the same time out of the box.

That’s not something iPhones can do without a wireless charging case, so the S8 would at least have that to crow about.

Using a stereo Bluetooth headset is also an option – a device I now use to listen to music on my smartphone, giving up the fiddly tangly wired mess that is most traditional ear-bud headphones.

In any case, here’s what Sammobile had to say in its article entitled “Exclusive: Galaxy S8 is not going to feature a 3.5mm headphone jack”: 

“We can exclusively confirm that Samsung is going to remove the standard 3.5mm headphone jack from the Galaxy S8. This means that all of your existing headphones will not be compatible with the upcoming flagship unless you use a USB Type-C adapter as the Galaxy S8 will feature a USB Type-C port. This also means that you won’t be able to plug in the Galaxy S8 and use wired headphones at the same time.”

Note how the headline states "not going to feature" rather than remove, rip out or some other adjective you will find in most iPhone 7 headlines on the topic.

I guess Samsung’s move is also "courageous", but Samsung wasn’t so courageous with the Note7’s headphone port.

We’ll have to wait and see whether this comes true, or not, but chances are Sammobile is absolutely accurate.

Make of it what you will, but plenty of people online predicted Android makers would follow Apple’s move, even though Apple wasn’t the first to make this move as noted above.

FInally, a recent article noted that "Samsung S8 must be better than excellent", but it seems this excellent-to-be device just won't be compatible with the 100+ year old technology that is a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

Oh well, it must be Apple's fault; reporters say Apple is doomed, after all.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.