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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bose changed its headphones to satisfy Apple, and everybody wins

"CNET: Did you change from an L-shaped plug to a straight one because you wanted the plug to be more compatible with iPhone cases?

GARRETT: We started with a straight plug, then switched to a 90-degree [L-shaped] plug, thinking that it would provide a more robust and durable solution for customers because it wouldn't have the lever arm on the jack so you wouldn't break the phone or the plug.

Turns out we don't get to dictate the geometry of the connector that goes into the phone. So we're not making design decisions so the connector will fit in cases better; we're making design decisions so they'll meet the specifications that Apple gives us so we can be part of the MFi [Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad] ecosystem just like everybody else.

What we've discovered is that when you go to a 90-degree plug they're getting so small there's not enough room to make all the electrical connections you need -- robustly. And that was always the weak point of our cable; it was always breaking there [at the plug]. We went to a 45-degree plug thinking we'd have more space but instead it's just aggravating because it spins and is never really lined up and gives a bad customer experience."

Bose changed its headphones to satisfy Apple, and everybody wins

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