This story is part of, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.
, the follow-up to last year’s flagship, is almost here. Today, on the last day of , Samsung will host a virtual event ( ), where the latest Galaxy S smartphone is expected to be unveiled, about a month earlier than last year’s announcement. for months now about the new device, fueled by . ? Will it sport a sleek new design? ?
And the perennial question: Will it include a headphone jack? All we can say right now is, probably not. But if we learned anything in the time since(the very same day the ), it’s that anything is possible.
show a similar design to the S20 lineup, with an in-screen fingerprint reader and a centered hole-punch front camera. But one thing you won’t see in the is a headphone jack, which tells us it’s probably not in the cards for the S21. for all three models of the S21 also did not include mention of a headphone jack.
There has been some unsubstantiated conjecture about Samsung reintroducing the headphone jack as a sort of experiment in 2021. The thinking here is that a headphone jack could be enough to differentiate the Galaxy flagship from other premium phones from the likes of Apple and Google, which have also forced users to convert to either the or dongle lifestyle in recent years.
It’s an interesting theory, especially if you remember Samsung’s initial reaction to Apple’s original removal of the headphone jack from its 2016 handset, the iPhone 7. Apple’s move became a punchline at Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 launch event that same year. And, mocking the iPhone’s unwieldy dongle setup. But the tide changed and, in 2019, it, too, left the headphone jack on the cutting room floor. , the first of the Galaxy S line to nix it.
History may repeat itself with the Galaxy S21. When Apple decided not to include a charger or earphones in the box with its iPhone 12, Samsung mocked that decision as well. But now “what’s in the box” page from Samsung that only lists a USB-C cable (sans charging brick), ejection pin and Quick Start Guide, citing environmental reasons. And not including headphones in the box is yet another piece of evidence against the inclusion of a corresponding headphone jack.. A leak from tipster Evan Blass shows a
One reason phone makers love to lose the jack: thinner bezels. Thin is in, and a smaller bezel footprint allows for a larger screen without adding to the phone’s overall size.
Another, perhaps more cynical reason: The company’s own wireless earbuds ought to sell better when its phones lack a wired headphone jack. Samsung may be offering a pair of wireless earbuds along with the S21 as a preorder bonus, though it’s not clear whether this offer will be available in the US.have gone like gangbusters, likely thanks in no small part to the iPhone’s excised jack. And Samsung’s got its own line of wireless earbuds, the , and , with an equally prolific rumor mill hyping the allegedly forthcoming . So it would make sense for Samsung to stick to its decision to bid the headphone jack adieu. Plus, if the latest leaked promotional slides are accurate,
We expect to get our answer later today at, but in the meantime, .
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