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In 2018, the headphone jack is a rare beast

The wireless industry is deploying the latest and greatest at the Mobile World Congress. Nineteen phones have been announced around this industry event, including the latest from Samsung, Sony, Nokia and LG. These are the phones that manufacturers will push on consumers in 2018. The 3.5mm jack is available on the vast majority of phones although the 3.5mm jack should be considered as standard equipment on phones. Mid-level entry level – it disappears from flagship phones at a rapid pace.

Of the 19 phones announced at the MWC 2018, 17 sport the classic 3.5mm headphone jack. It lacks these three models: Sony XZ2, Sony XZ2 Compact and the Nokia 8 Sirocco. Interestingly, the predecessors of these three phones included a 3.5mm plug.

Of the flagship phones announced at the MWC 2018, half include the 3.5mm headset including the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the LG V30s ThinQ. Samsung even went so far as to make a joke about the port when unveiling the S9 saying that the phone is innovative because the 3.5mm port means that Bluetooth is not necessary.

The 3.5mm jack has been slowly disappearing from phones since 2016. In April of the same year, LeEco announced a series of phones that dropped the jack for the benefit of audio via the USB -C. Slowly other manufacturers have followed the same trend, including Apple in September 2016 with the iPhone 7. Since then, several flagship phones have abandoned the socket, including Google Pixel line, Moto Z, HTC U11 and Xiaomi Mi 6.

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The line is more and more defined between phones that have a headphone jack and phones that do not have one.

Most phones announced at the MWC 2018 are mid-range phones at a low price and all have a 3.5mm jack. Several flagship phones have also been announced at the show, and only half of them include a headphone jack if specialty phones like the Land Rover Explore and the Cat Rugged S61 are excluded from the dataset (these models have a jack headphones but will only be sold in limited quantities).

Several manufacturers have not announced any new products at MWC 2018, including Motorola, HTC, Xiaomi and Huawei. It is highly unlikely that these manufacturers include a 3.5mm plug on future flagship phones after excluding previous models.

It's hard to see phone makers abandoning the 3.5mm jack of cheap phones until the price of Bluetooth headphones drops dramatically. Some phones cost less than the price of mid-range Bluetooth headphones.

At this point, in early 2018, the headphone jack is only standard on entry-level phones. On flagship phones, more often than not, the 3.5mm becomes harder to find and could be a great way for manufacturers to stand out from others in years to come.

Telephones announced at MWC 2018

Sony XZ2: No headphone jack
XZ2 Compact: No headphone jack
Nokia 8 Sirocco: No headphone jack
Samsung S9: Headphone jack
ZTE Blade V9: Headphone jack
] ZTE Blade V9 Vita: Headphone Jack
ZTE Tempo Go: Headphone Jack
LG V30s ThinQ: Headphone Jack
LG K8 (2018): Headphone Jack
LG K10 (2018): Headphone Jack
Nokia 8110: Headphone Jack
Nokia 1: Headphone Jack
Nokia 6: Headphone Jack
Nokia 7 Plus: Headphone Jack
Land Rover Explorer: Headphone Jack
Alcatel 3: Headphone Jack
Alcatel 3x: Headphone Jack
Alcatel 5: Headphone Jack
Cat Rugged S61: Headphone Jack

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