When Apple introduced the iPhone 7 in 2016, many found it preposterous for the device to not come with the 3.5mm headphone jack. Aside from missing out on such a universal feature, the device didn’t really stand out since it still came with the thick screen bezels from the iPhone 6s. 

Back then, Phil Schiller’s justification to the removal of the audio port was Apple’s “courage” to let go of the old and welcome newer technologies. The remark didn’t really make sense until the Cupertino giant unveiled its 10th anniversary smartphone last year. 

The iPhone X debuted with an edge-to-edge design. Without the headphone jack, there’s more space to cram in other hardware components, as pointed out by Engadget. The iPhone X was a big upgrade from its predecessor, and Apple made sure that the handset really screamed “innovation” at launch. 

Interestingly, it didn’t take long before other smartphone makers deciphered the message Apple was sending about a future where smartphones no longer come with the headphone jack. Just a few months after the iPhone 7 was introduced, Xaiomi ditched the audio port on its Mi 6 phone. 

Google eventually realized the opportunities that this change presented. It bid goodbye to the 3.5mm jack starting with the Pixel 2 last year. Amid the backlash for the controversial decision, Google reasoned that it decided to move to the USB-C audio port “to provide a better audio and digital experience, as we move towards a bezel-less future.”

This year, more vendors switched to USB-C and got rid of the headphone jack. The Pixel 3 XL, LG V40 and OnePlus 6T all launched sans the universal audio port. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei previously told TechRadar that by removing the headphone jack, they were able to increase the size of the battery inside the 6T. They were also able to equip the device with a fingerprint sensor under the display. Moreover, Pei noted that the decision won’t be a big deal considering that 59 percent of their clients were already using wireless headphones.