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Apple Claims it Took "Courage" to Remove Headphone Jack

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Apple (AAPL - Free Report) hosted its highly-anticipated keynote event today, and the company confirmed the fears of tech users and Apple fans everywhere when it announced that the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices would not include the industry-standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Instead of the familiar headphone plug, iPhone 7 users will connect to the phone’s Lightning port, which is also used for charging the device. Apple will include a pair of EarPods with a Lightning connector, as well as an adapter for analog headphones, with every purchase of its latest phones.

As if we weren’t already confused enough by Apple’s decision, the company’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, left us scratching our heads when he attempted to explain Apple’s rationale for moving away from the standard headphone jack.

“The reason to move on: courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us,” said Schiller onstage.

Excuse me for my cynicism, but I don’t quite see how Apple’s new headphones will “better us all.” In fact, the decision reeks as an attempt to force users towards the company’s own accessories instead of buying third-party headphones.

Along with the new Lightning-based headphones that will come with the iPhone 7, Apple announced its new “AirPods” today. With a similar design to its iconic EarPods—minus the cords—Apple’s AirPods are wireless in-ear headphones that are equipped with infrared sensors and will only play when they detect that they are in a user’s ear.

Sounds pretty good until you realize they will retail for about $160; that’s no cheap purchase after a $650 upgrade to the new iPhone.

For more coverage on today’s announcement from Apple, check out our simple list of everything that was covered onstage: Here's Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

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