- OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 6T will not have a headphone jack.
- Co-founder Carl Pei says that removing the 3.5mm port has freed up space for “new technology.”
- A USB-C adapter will be included with every OnePlus 6T and a new pair of USB-C Bullets V2 earphones are on the way.
Just shy of a year ago, OnePlus’ CEO Pete Lau took to the company’s official forums to reassure fans that the 3.5mm headphone jack was an essential part of offering the “best flagship experience possible” for the OnePlus 5T. Now, in a move that is sure to ignite a lot of debate, the Chinese brand has confirmed that the next T series phone — expected to be called the OnePlus 6T — will ditch the headphone jack once and for all.
In an interview with TechRadar, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has attempted to explain the reasoning behind the company’s “very controversial” decision, arguing that “making a great phone doesn’t mean putting every component available into the device.”
“It [removing the headphone jack] was a very controversial decision,” said Pei. “We’re not doing it for the sake of doing it and because everyone else is.”
“We believe now is the right time, as it’ll benefit the majority of our users while keeping the downside low. We knew this was an option for a very long time, we were just waiting for the right time.”
As to what those benefits are, Pei hinted that the removal of the jack has freed up crucial space for new technology. I’m guessing that Pei is referencing the in-display fingerprint sensor which has already been confirmed for the next OnePlus flagship. Pei also hinted that the extra room will be filled with a larger battery.
We already know that the sensor’s addition forced OnePlus to make the device a bit thicker, but something tells me fans will be a little more forgiving of a few extra millimetres thickness than they will be the removal of a much loved feature — especially when other phones with in-display sensors, like the Vivo Nex, have both.
“It is the right time”
The biggest question is why, after years of taking shots at other OEMs and talking up the 80 percent of OnePlus users using in-jack headphones just 10 months ago, has OnePlus killed off the jack now?
Headphone jack demand stable YoY as per my Twitter followers. You’d expect it to decrease, no? pic.twitter.com/Qe9Q3cGznP
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) March 15, 2018
Aside from the need to accommodate new technology, Pei says that its research uncovered that 59 percent of the community own wireless headphones — a statistic he says was established even before the release of the Bullets Wireless earphones earlier this year (sold separately, of course). As such, Pei believes that ditching the headphone jack now will create far less friction now than it would have two years ago.
No doubt in an attempt to assuage angry users, OnePlus will (unlike Apple) include a USB-C adapter in the box with every new phone and confirmed that a new version of its Bullets V2 earphones with a USB-C connector will be available.
What are your thoughts on OnePlus’ decision? I know a few of us here at Android Authority will be less than happy about the decision, but do you agree with OnePlus’ co-founder that now is the right time to embrace a fully wireless future? Let us know in the comments.