When Apple unveiled the new design of the iPhone 5, one of the significant changes was that the headphone jack moved to the bottom. Every iPhone prior to the 5 has had the headphone jack on the top and the analog connector on the bottom. However, this isn’t the first time Apple has had the headphone jack at the bottom. Older generations of the iPod touch and nano once sported the bottom headphone jack.
Some people don’t like the change but I personally love it. I think from a design standpoint, it makes a lot more sense. Let’s look at a few use cases of the benefit.
Use Case #1: Phone is on desk
With the headphone jack at the bottom, users can sit at their desks and listen to music and keep the phone right-side up. On the older models, your phone would be flipped upside-down. Having the phone right-side up allows a user to easily read push notifications and answer calls without having to flip the phone around or read it upside-down. The other aspect is the headphone cable will not interfere with the screen.
Use Case #2: Phone is in user’s back pocket
Most users who listen to music on their iPhones are on the go as they walk. Put your phone in your pocket naturally. What you’ll notice is you more-than-likely will put the phone with the headphones sticking out of your pocket. This is so your headphones don’t get jammed up in your pocket. Users will now grab their phone naturally without having to flip the phone in his or her hand.
Use Case #3: User is using device while listening to music and/or charging
One use case someone brought up in a negative way was the headphone jack getting in the way of holding the phone as you were charging it. As you see in the photo above, I can still squeeze a finger in there (that’s what she said) with no major issue.
Use Case #4: User is driving and has phone connected to dashboard
When the new connector docks are available for cars, users can now connect both peripherals at the bottom instead of having a headphone jack at the top and the power charger at the bottom. This allows a cleaner connection without cables getting in the way of your driving experience.
As you can see, there is a lot of thought and consideration for Apple making this move to bring the headphone jack to the bottom. I comment this move and think it is optimal for most users.
What is your opinion?