Dinged by a Dongle

Apple has announced that a free dongle or headphone jack will no longer be included with new Apple phones. Instead, they instead to ding consumers who want to use a plug-in jack by making them pay to purchase one.

Newly purchased XS, XS Max, XR, and the iPhone 8 will no longer include a standard audio jack dongle in the box. While these only cost a few cents to make, they retail for about $9, or probably a hundred times markup.

Who is affected?

Anyone who wants to use an audio jack will be affected, including those who have depleted the charge on their AirPods need charging or those who want to use a regular old wired headset.

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Retailers profit

For Best Buy, dongles have been a goldmine. In the past couple of years, Best Buy’s top-selling Apple product has been dongles, except for a brief surge for AirPods in the Spring of 2018. As someone said, “Apple is now a dongle company that just happens also to make smartphones and laptops.”

Apple has its excuse ready: most people don’t use the audio dongle, so adding one to every iPhone box is ‘environmentally and economically wasteful.’ As someone pointed out, if that were the case, it would be easy enough to add a voucher for a free one. But, wait--

Apple profits

The ‘wasteful’ sentiment is counterintuitive to a raw fact: in spite of flat iPhone sales, Apple’s profits are up 32% from a year ago, $11.5 billion in profits. Apple is making a killing, which can partially be attributed to the poor sap who lost an AirPod or the guy who had to toss his flimsy 3 ft jack thanks to exposed wires. (That’s $5.3 million an hour last quarter and $24.7m an hour on average over the 90 days for you numbers people.)

The consumer pays

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO admits the Watch, AirPods and ancillary hardware up 60 percent. “Ancillary’ being the dongles you have to keep buying because the Apple charger cords are flimsy and because aftermarket units tend to offer a fire hazard with their economically more attractive product.

For those in the cell phone repair business, Apple’s move is a shot in the arm. More customers, rather than switching to Apple’s latest and greatest, are hanging on to their gently used cell phone even if the screen breaks or some other repair is needed.

Call us at 480-695-6756 if you need a highly-rated, expert cellphone repair company to repair your iPhone, Samsung, PS4, XBox, iPad or tablet.