Apple be damned: the humble headphone jack has survived for more than a century

At its latest product introduction, Apple announced what for some seemed unthinkable (and for others inevitable): the next iteration of the iPhone would abandon the traditional 3.5-mm headphone jack.
Apple’s marketing chief Philip Schiller characterized it as a move requiring “courage,” and reaction was unsurprisingly mixed. 
But what made the 3.5-mm jack such a ubiquitous, universal standard?
To Francis Delage, store manager at Moog Audio in Toronto, it’s a classic case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“You don’t need to improve on it. It just works,” he told CBC News.
“We had one standard. You don’t need to make sure, when you buy something, that it’s the right connection, or you need to get something specialized to make it work. You just know it’s going to work.”

Operators work the switchboard of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s long-distance exchange, circa 1930. (Getty Images)

Tip, ring and sleeve