On October 4, 2016, Google introduced the original Pixel smartphone, which was billed as Google’s first phone “inside and out.” During the launch, the company didn’t shy away from mocking Apple for ditching the jack. During the event, a promo video aired that said: “3.5mm headphone jack satisfyingly not new.” There was a coughing voice as well in the background.
Fast forward to October 4, 2017. As the leaks suggested, Google showed some “courage” and launched Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL without a headphone jack. This time, at the event, the company didn’t mention why it didn’t choose to include the jack. Contrary to that, during iPhone 7 launch, Apple repeatedly argued that audio’s future is wireless. However, Google didn’t hesitate to make some other jabs at Apple at the event.
Why did Google ditch Pixel 2 headphone jack?
Talking to TechCrunch after the event, Google product chief Mario Queiroz tried to justify this move. “The primary reason [for dropping the jack] is establishing a mechanical design path for the future,” Queiroz said.
The “design path for future” being talked about here is thinner bezels. The company thinks that removing the jack will make it easier to make the shift. Removing the bezels will help the display to go closer and closer to the edge.
The absence of headphone jacks also paved the pay for Google’s own AirPod competitor, the Pixel Buds. It also gave the company to push Google Assistant more aggressively by bringing real-time translations to Pixel Buds.
The upcoming death of bezel also pushed Google’s move to P-OLED for Pixel XL. In the upcoming iterations, we can surely see a bezel-less smartphone from the factory of Google.
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