In short: The Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy S11 may be the first lineups of Samsung-made Android flagships to lack a 3.5mm headphone jack, South Korean outlet ETNews reports, citing sources close to the Seoul-based company. The tech giant is currently said to be considering such a move, though the reasoning behind the potential move remains unclear. The Galaxy S10 family set to be released in early 2019 will still feature a traditional headphone port, insiders claim, adding that should Samsung choose to remove the connector from its future smartphones, it would bundle all of them with USB Type-C adapters that would allow for conventional earphones to still be connected to such devices, which is what most manufacturers who previously made the same design decision also did.
Background: The trend of headphone jack removal was started by Apple in late summer of 2016 when the Cupertino-base juggernaut unveiled the iPhone 7 line. Many Android OEMs followed suit almost immediately, though Samsung was so far adamant to do its own thing, going as far as to invest in advertising specifically mocking the lack of the popular 3.5mm connector on Apple’s contemporary handsets. Even Samsung’s first foldable smartphone that’s expected to launch next month under an entirely new product lineup is widely rumored to be featuring a headphone jack.
Impact: LG is the only major smartphone maker that still doesn’t appear to be considering removing the headphone jack from its high-end devices but even if either it or Samsung were to do so, it certainly wouldn’t be due to industry pressure given how long they’ve defied the trend. Should Samsung, the world’s largest phone manufacturer, truly do away with the connector, such a move would be the final push toward bringing wireless audio solutions to mainstream popularity, though some industry watchers argue Apple was already quite successful at doing so.