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article imageSamsung planning to ditch the headphone jack with the Galaxy S8

By James Walker     Dec 6, 2016 in Technology
Samsung is planning to remove the headphone jack from its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone, according to a report today. The company will follow Apple in making the controversial move, locking out users of "legacy" earphones.
Samsung made a point of mentioning the continued existence of the Note 7's headphone jack at that phone's launch in August. Just a few months on, it's ready to stop laughing at Apple and follow the company's lead, SamMobile reported today. The Galaxy S8 will join the small but growing roster of phones to do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack and use a single port for data, audio and power.
The change means you won't be able to charge the S8 and use wired earphones at the same time. Everything will connect through the S8's single USB-C port, a compact connector that saves space and allows for a thinner chassis. This will pave the way for a new design and aesthetic facelift.
It's not yet known how Samsung will convince consumers of the benefits of the new approach. Apple's decision to axe the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 remains controversial. Many fans have lamented the rise of dongles, adapters and unwieldy converter cables. After mocking Apple before the iPhone 7 even launched, Samsung could be about to fall into the same trap.
SamMobile also revealed details on another rumoured feature of the S8. In its first major design rethink in years, Samsung plans to also remove the home button below the display. The S8 will use software keys at the bottom of the screen instead of the S7's physical home button and capacitive back and recent app keys. To make this change, Samsung will move the fingerprint sensor under the display, creating a unique design that's essentially a single sheet of glass.
There's still a lot of unknowns surrounding the Galaxy S8. As the launch gets closer, more details will leak out though, revealing Samsung's response to the iPhone 7 and its own Note 7 disaster story.
The company is thought to have postponed the S8's launch until April, giving it additional time to develop the handset. In the wake of the Note 7's recall, Samsung wants to up the quality of the S8 to avoid similar issues again. It also needs to develop eye-catching new features to restore consumer confidence in its brand.
Samsung is planning to make artificial intelligence a big part of the S8, according to other recent reports. Technology acquired from digital assistant Viv Labs will be integrated into the S8's software, giving Samsung its own AI to rival Google Assistant. Viv is differentiated from the competition by the ability to write its own code and effectively build new components. This allows it to understand the user's intentions and devise an appropriate action.
Samsung seems to be aiming high with the S8, raising the quality bar to reclaim the trust of customers. It will try to migrate headphone users towards the modern USB-C connector by adding cutting-edge features and revising the design, perhaps leading to the S8 being the most distinctly new Galaxy in several years.
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