Google Slashes Prices for Headphone Dongle After Outcry
Google has thrown its hat in the ring to be the next challenger against Apple's dominance over the smartphone world. (That title is subjective, depending on who you ask.) There's no doubt, however, that Apple's influence is everywhere in the consumer tech world, both aesthetically and in terms of the way things work. Google's Pixel 2 smartphone is making its rounds across tech blogs and commercial breaks, and we reported before that Google might be following in Apple's footsteps by issuing special licensing for accessories.
But today, we're discussing another way Google is following in Apple's footsteps: It took away the headphone jack, and people are not happy about it.
They're so unhappy about it, that Google was forced to slash the price of the adapter that allows users to plug traditional headphones into the USB-C port on the phone. This is similar to the adapter (or "dongle") that Apple introduced to allow users to keep the same headphones they used before the omission of the headphone jack. (RIP)
Gadgets 360 reported that, when Google first unveiled the USB-C to 3.5mm dongle, it was $20. Last week, the company knocked the price down to only $9. This is coincidentally the same price Apple charges for its dongle. What's more, Apple includes a dongle when you buy a new phone. (I know this because I finally upgraded to an iPhone 8 Plus, and I live in fear every day of losing my headphones.) Google is doing the same, too, but like any small piece of plastic, they can be lost easily. So, users were rightfully upset that, if and when users need to replace the tiny adapter, they'd have to shell out twice as much as iPhone users.
The other problem people are complaining about with removing the headphone jack in favor of only one port is that they can't charge their devices while they listen to music. Google Pixel users can get a third-party adapter for that, too, but if Google makes good on its accessory certification program, items like that might be harder to come by, or, at the very least, more expensive.
Wireless charging has solved that issue to an extent, with Apple finally joining the party (and allowing third-party accessories), but now with the Essential Phone, iPhone and Google Pixel saying no more to the headphone jack, it truly could be the end of the headphone jack as we know it.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.