Apple’s decision to do away with the iPhone’s headphone jack in 2016 still causes some fans great pain. The free Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter found inside every iPhone box helps by ensuring you can still use your favorite cans with the latest models — but not for long.
Apple will stop bundling the adapter with its next-generation iPhone lineup later this year, according to a new report. If you don’t already have one, you’ll have to pay to obtain one.
Apple wants use all to use wireless headphones with our iPhones — preferably a set of its own AirPods or Beats. But many don’t want to fork out for them, while some music lovers still consider wired alternatives to be far superior.
For those iPhone users, there’s a Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter in every iPhone box. Just plug it into your handset’s Lightning port and you have a 3.5mm jack that all of your existing headphones will connect to just fine — and you don’t have to pay a penny for it.
But whatever you do, don’t lose it.
Free adapters will disappear in 2018
If your adapter does go missing, you might have to pay for another one to use with your new iPhone this fall. One analyst expects Apple to stop bundling free adapters with this year’s iPhone lineup.
Based on earnings reported by Cirrus Logic, the company that manufactures audio hardware for a number of Apple products, including the iPhone, Cowen analyst Matthew D. Ramsay warns that free dongles are disappearing.
Cirrus’ guidance for the second fiscal quarter “all but confirms that Apple will not bundle the DAC headset converter ‘dongle’ in its new iPhone models,” reads Ramsay’s note to investors. The same claim was previously made by Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis in April.
A new adapter is just $9
Cirrus produces the DAC chips required for audio conversion inside Apple’s Lightning-to-headphone jack adapter, as well as other chips for Apple. In fact, the iPhone-maker accounts for a whopping 76 percent of Cirrus’ revenue.
The good news is that those adapters aren’t that expensive. Apple sells its official one for just $9, while third-party alternatives — some of which allow charging simultaneously — are also available. You can also buy headphones with Lightning connectors already attached.