it's very simple- the curvature and insetting of the iphone housing prevents anything but very small audio plugs.. i.e. mac hardware.


Classic hardware lock-in.

  • Burton Parker 8y

    That's all kinds of gay, you know, since it's also being marketed as maybe something you might, oh every once in a while PLAY MUSIC ON. Earbuds suck, no love for headphones.
  • burtonator 8y


    No iphone for me! I have existing hardware that won't work with it!
  • alessandro 8y

    they actually sell an adaptor for some 9$, i'm told...
  • Stanley Lieber 8y

    pocket knife, black tape

    I discovered this the hard way as well. I'm sitting here at my desk and I go to plugin my nice Sony headphones and...
  • melisslissliss 8y

    there's a belkin adapter that equally sucks and is about 2 inches longer than it needs to be. regardless. the phone is awesome. awesome. awesome. i played with one/five all day today. and did i mention they're awesome.
  • geeksrus 8y

    this is done to support the mic that you need for the phone use
  • geeksrus 8y

    "classic hardware lockin" thats why BELKIN has the adaptor out and not Apple.. Fools. :)
  • alessandro 8y

    actually apple has one:

    looks way better than belkin's but it costs 19$
  • Michael Vroegop 8y

    Woah, thanks for the comments, folks- looks like this got boingboing'd.

    I want to know why I need an adaptor to use my standard headphones with the iphone. Aren't there existing standards which eliminate this kind of problem?
  • Elix Perth 8y

    For extra laughs, try plugging iPod-bundled headphones into the iPhone.
  • yofal 8y

    Could it be, that with the included microphone/switch on the Apple iPhone headset requires some sort of unique powered connection, and that the traditional ring/tip/sleeve of the generic stereo mini plug could therefore potentially short something out? The adapter Apple makes probably just jumps the hot connection to avoid this issue...
  • yofal 8y

    Compare the plugs:

    Your Sony mini connector has ring/tip/sleeve (three point)
    PICT0007 by vrogy

    iPhone has four (two sleeve, ring and tip)
  • Ryan Txanson 8y

    Well, and remember when people used to steal iPods based on the recognizable headphones? It seems like it would be advantageous with a device such as this that is lusted over by too many people to have a set of headphones that isn't so obvious, incase you don't want to be flashing it around late nights on public transit. ;) On the other hand from this picture it looks like it might be possible to modify the plug so it will fit, without damaging it's ability to function.
  • Rob Meyer PRO 8y

    I saw one of the tear-down sites ( that took it apart mention the reason in passing. not sure if they know for sure or are just guessing, but they say it's for strain relief. If you tug the headphones back and forth, you're putting the stress on the edge of the phone (metal) and the plastic sleeve of the headphone cable; not on the jack itself inside the iPhone, so presumably you won't develop annoying shorts that would require a maintenance trip.

    Sounds reasonable, since if you -really- wanted to gouge people you'd make a totally proprietary connector and license it, instead of just requiring a $10 adapter.
  • Michael Vroegop 8y

    Still... if it's 600$, I'd expect all the functionality of the iPod- and that includes being able to plug my own, high-quality headphones into it, and not having to use an adaptor.

    I suppose strain releif is nice, but my headphones have that built in- it's the corrugated rubber bit around the plug as it transitions to the cord. Also, I've literally worn the paint of my Sennheiser HD457s listening to my nano on the road and walking and biking around Florida- why, all of a sudden, are they incompatible with the iphone? Why the hell do I suddenly have to buy an adaptor or apple's headphones if I want to listen to music?

    I guess us having to spend more money to make it work is a shrewd move on their part, but they should be called out for it nonetheless.
  • Patrick.Dukes 8y

    I don't see this as being a big issue. It doesnt appear to be a scheme or conspiracy, just an interesting design. It will surely prompt other headphones companies to either a.) make an adapter, or b.) make narrower headphones plugs.

    Give it time.
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