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‘And a 3.5mm jack’ – Why isn’t this a standard?

I was reading through a press release about the Nokia 5800 ‘Tube’ handset. Over a million of them shipped. Good news.

My issue?

Have a read of this sentence. I’ve bolded the problem line.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic offers a complete music experience and features a number of music and entertainment essentials, including a graphic equalizer, 8GB memory for up to 6000 tracks, support for all main digital music formats, and a 3.5mm jack. Built-in surround sound stereo speakers offer the industry’s most powerful sound.

AND a 3.5mm jack?

Now, I understand why the PR feel this needs to be included — because often many handsets ship with some dickhead adapter. For multiple reasons. This isn’t some historical quirk. The ‘open’ T-Mobile HTC G1, launched last quarter, doesn’t actually come with a 3.5mm jack. You need a USB extension.

The fact that Nokia’s PR felt they needed to stick in the ‘and a 3.5mm jack’ fact is indicative of just how rubbish this mobile industry really is.

Whyever would you make a handset that DOESN’T have a 3.5mm jack for your favourite headphones?

Well.

Multiple dickhead reasons are provided, all of them 100% invalid.

3.5mm is the standard, yes? Let’s move on. Nothing smaller, nothing bigger, no USB bollocks please.

Do you think we’ll EVER get to the point whereby we actually have to report that a phone has a 3.5mm jack? Will this finally become commonplace this year?

Or have I had far too much caffeine?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

20 replies on “‘And a 3.5mm jack’ – Why isn’t this a standard?”

or an old-school 6.35mm jack? Agreed. 3.5mm should be everywhere. While we are having a go at the G1, the USB connector they chose isn't even proper mini-USB. It's some wierd USB with a corner notch cut out so you have to buy an extra expensive replacement.

And while in rant-mode, when will nokia let you charge off USB without selling you a different, although looks identical USB cable to do that?

or an old-school 6.35mm jack? Agreed. 3.5mm should be everywhere. While we are having a go at the G1, the USB connector they chose isn't even proper mini-USB. It's some wierd USB with a corner notch cut out so you have to buy an extra expensive replacement.

And while in rant-mode, when will nokia let you charge off USB without selling you a different, although looks identical USB cable to do that?

I currently use both a Nokia N95 8GB and a Nokia E71. I love the E71 and I find I'm using it more and more (due to the keyboard) – however the one thing that I dislike is the use of a 2.5mm port. Even though the phone is newer than the N95 8GB, I feel it is going back a step by including these old school connectors!

I know I can get an adaptor, however I feel that at the planning stage it should have been changed to a 3.5mm connector.

er…the G1 HEADSET connector has a square corner, so it will only fit into a G1. The phone's port is a normal USB, with extra space to allow the proprietary headset connector.

Any mini USB headset will work with the G1, but you can't use a G1 headset with any other USB device.

We were trying to work out why….maybe HTC have seen a spate of box-breaking where people nick the headset? Maybe there's proprietary wiring inside? Who knows.

I currently use both a Nokia N95 8GB and a Nokia E71. I love the E71 and I find I'm using it more and more (due to the keyboard) – however the one thing that I dislike is the use of a 2.5mm port. Even though the phone is newer than the N95 8GB, I feel it is going back a step by including these old school connectors!

I know I can get an adaptor, however I feel that at the planning stage it should have been changed to a 3.5mm connector.

…Is there a 3.5mm standard for microphone / button implementation?

AFAIK even Apple haven't standardised this…I can't use my iPhone buds to pause/start iTunes tracks when connected to my MacBook.

er…the G1 HEADSET connector has a square corner, so it will only fit into a G1. The phone's port is a normal USB, with extra space to allow the proprietary headset connector.

Any mini USB headset will work with the G1, but you can't use a G1 headset with any other USB device.

We were trying to work out why….maybe HTC have seen a spate of box-breaking where people nick the headset? Maybe there's proprietary wiring inside? Who knows.

Well said Ewan, Nokia has the picture now, they’ve had enough nagging from bloggers about the 3.5mm being a standard. I’m not so sure other manufacturers will get the message, or perhaps they are being “dick-tated” by the bigger players who provide the OS and require certain specs.

Agree entirely. There are many things I like about my E61i, but the headphone interface isn't one of them. I had to buy a stupid dongle for the feature connector at the bottom of the phone. Of course, you can never find it when you want it, so it's easier to carry around a separate mp3 player as well.

Agree entirely. There are many things I like about my E61i, but the headphone interface isn't one of them. I had to buy a stupid dongle for the feature connector at the bottom of the phone. Of course, you can never find it when you want it, so it's easier to carry around a separate mp3 player as well.

are you sure? in my experience not even every HTC mini USB headset will work on the G1. I've tried Motorola USB headsets, samsung USB headsets, HTC Touch Diamond USB headsets, none of them worked. Honestly, if it doesn't say G1 on the pack then I'd advise not going there.

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