Business

Apple’s Headphone-Killing ‘Innovation’ Might Not Be About Headphones At All

Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

By eliminating the universal 3.5mm headphone jack from its products, Apple may be positioning itself to corner a rapidly expanding market.

The company released its much anticipated iPhone 7 at a conference in San Francisco Sept. 7, and one change to the new model drew a lot of attention from consumers and techies alike: the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. (RELATED: Here’s What The iPhone 7 Is Bringing To The Table)

While the coverage of this move has largely focused on the company’s new wireless headphones, there may be another reason Apple chose to remove the headphone jack: third-party payment systems like Square, Intuit, and PayPal will no longer be able to compete with Apple Pay on Apple product lines.

Each of the aforementioned companies relies heavily on an attachment device that hooks into the 3.5mm headphone jack. The attachment allows businesses to swipe consumer credit or debit cards when they make a purchase.

Apple Pay, conversely, allows users to pay for goods and services with just a touch of the iPhone. Essentially, Apple Pay makes physical cards obsolete. If cards are obsolete, Apple has a monopoly on the growing instant-pay market. Eliminating the 3.5mm jack could be the first step in ensuring that debit and credit cards become useless in the marketplace, opening the doors to a future cashless society.

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