OnePlus abandons sinking headphone jack ship, joining Apple and others

The phone maker, which has stuck with the 3.5mm jack long past competitors, plans to drop it from its next model.

OnePlus announced USB-C headphones in advance of the new phone.

OnePlus has been one of the few phone companies sticking with analog 3.5mm headphone jacks rather than joining the crowd switching to USB-C-based digital audio. But today, the company announced its first USB-C headphones, the Type-C Bullets, which are perfectly priced for bundling at $20, presaging its move away from the legacy jack in its imminent upcoming phone.

The company confirmed the move in an interview with TechRadar, in which OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei implied that now's the right time to (as TechRadar puts it) "sack the jack." OnePlus' research shows that most of its users have gone wireless, anyway, with only 41 percent still using wired -- almost half that of the previous year. 

Pei also said the 6T would have better battery life than the current OnePlus 6.

There are several reasons many people still prefer the old jack, such as wanting to be able to use older headphones they've invested a lot of money. Or, prefer analog wired headphones to wireless or USB-C wired because of the cost or ease of replacing them when lost -- some of us lose headphones a lot. But with its new $20 Type-C Bullets, at least the company shows it's possible to make a decent, cheap replacement.

Lots of companies have ditched the jack in favor of USB-C, but none more vigorously than Apple: when it announced the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR yesterday, the last-remaining iPhones with a jack -- the iPhone 6S/6 Plus and SE -- vanished. Plus, Apple stopped including a conversion dongle in the box for the new iPhones.

While the name for the new OnePlus phone hasn't been confirmed, we've seen "OnePlus 6T" in leaked box shots. We do know it will have an in-screen fingerprint sensor.

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