Samsung just eliminated the 3.5mm headphone jack from the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus (Galaxy Note 10+) last week; now, it has started eliminating its anti-iPhone mocking ads around the subject.
Samsung has never been one to shy away from mocking Apple in order to attract buyer attention. In 2016, the Korean juggernaut released an ad titled "Growing Up" where an iPhone user, after years of frustration with iPhone limitations, finally departs from Apple's hardware and "walled garden" app ecosystem for Samsung's "Galaxy."
One of the frustrations in the "Growing Up" ad that Samsung was sure to point out was the loss of Apple's 3.5mm headphone jack and the introduction of its "dongle" cable to connect wired headphones to the iPhone 7. Samsung released a second ad to continue mocking the fruit company for its decision in May 2018, with the company pointing out that needing a "double dongle" sounded "explicit."
Both its 2017 and 2018 ads have been removed from Samsung YouTube channels. The 2017 ad can no longer be found on Samsung Mobile's USA page, or the main Samsung YouTube channel. Some regional channels, such as that of Samsung Malaysia, still feature the ad.
Headphone jack ads removal hint at consumer response
Samsung has eliminated the 3.5mm headphone jack from its Galaxy Note flagship series this year for the first time, but has said nothing regarding its reason(s) for doing so. And yet, the Korean Android OEM already expects some form of consumer backlash for the decision, removing the headphone jack ads from major channels that some Samsung fans could use against the company on social media. As one of Android's most popular OEMs, Samsung isn't oblivious to the kind of reputation-smearing social media outlets give disgruntled customers who are upset with manufacturer decisions on new smartphone releases.
The hypocrisy behind the headphone jack ad removals
The hypocrisy is easy to see: Samsung has mocked Apple for so long about removing the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, but Samsung's "Galaxy" has now followed it in that regard. When a company publishes YouTube ads mocking its rival, it better be prepared to "walk the walk and talk the talk," or else, consumers will notice the about-face.
When Samsung published its anti-iPhone headphone jack mocking ads in 2017 and 2018, it convinced consumers that Apple had made a "misstep" in removing what has proven to be a coveted feature for many smartphone users. The new headphone jack "dongle" cables that Apple supplies require buyers to choose between plugging in their headphones or charging the iPhone, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 is now mandating the same either/or dilemma.
In the past, users could listen to their music via wired headphones while charging their smartphones. This convenience of "doing both" has now been removed for the convenience of thinner and lighter phones with fewer ports.
Why Samsung may have removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from the Galaxy Note 10
As noted above, Samsung has yet to release a statement on its decision to eliminate the headphone jack, but there are a few possible reasons for the move.
Eliminate unnecessary ports, save space for necessary features
First, Samsung wants to eliminate unnecessary ports on its smartphones in an effort to make the most of every little space available. Since the charging port is only used to charge the smartphone, Samsung figures that wired headphone and headphone jack lovers could still have something of the "jack" without needing a separate port for it. Combine the charging port and headphone jack into one while eliminating an unnecessary port could save money and space inside the smartphone that could be used for other things.
The obsession with thinner smartphones is getting to the point where some users believe it's costing them important features.
Some may find this unbelievable or incredible to assert even, but Samsung wants to push users toward wireless charging. After all, the Korean company has invested millions into the feature and has done so for a reason: so that customers would use it. Samsung may think that by pushing out the headphone jack and forcing customers to either wire-charge or wire-listen to music on their smartphones, customers will eventually make the most of wireless charging. After all, it may not be the wired charging customers are accustomed to, but it is a charging method. And, Samsung has added fast wireless charging in the last few flagships so that customers can't say, "We get fast wired charging but slow wireless charging."
The future of the "Galaxy" is wireless
This may or may not come as a shocker, but here goes: the future of Samsung's "Galaxy" is wireless.
At the Galaxy Unpacked event last week, Samsung revealed its new Samsung DeX solution, which was nothing more than a mere USB Type-C cable. Remember when DeX was a charging dock accessory one had to pay for? Samsung's decision to ditch the charging dock for a USB Type-C cable shows the company's commitment to a slimmed-down charging experience. Samsung wants to make mobile more mobile over time; what better way to do that than to go wireless?
There are rumors that Samsung could eventually bring a wireless DeX solution to market, which would mean that not only the 3.5mm headphone jack, but even the USB Type-C cable, will ultimately go the way of the dinosaur.
As for wired headphones, their time will come to an end before USB Type-C charging cables. Samsung sees the future in wireless, not in wired anything, so providing a dongle for wired headphones is something of an accommodation to smartphone users who just aren't quite willing to step forward into the future just yet.
Wired headphones and 3.5mm headphone jacks have been seen as a necessary feature of smartphones, but they're no longer the traditional guests of honor in Samsung's mobile "Galaxy." Now, they're the "establishment" whose time is past. It is a new day in mobile, and headphone jacks and wired headphones are part of the old guard that must die with the dinosaurs.
The change isn't happening just yet, but within the next decade, there will be fewer necessary ports and wires on smartphones. Mobile is mobile is mobile; one cannot desire to be mobile but then limit the extent of that mobility. Wireless is wireless, and one can never be "too wireless." This means parting ways with long-cherished ports and cables.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see Samsung offering free wireless headphones in the Galaxy S11 and Galaxy Note 11 in 2020. Maybe that might appease 3.5mm headphone jack advocates, if only ever so slightly.
Check out Samsung's 2016 "Growing Up" ad below.