Customers looking to delay Apple’s wireless revolution are starting to get some options.
The company’s Air Pods headphones aren’t expected to hit the market until late next month, but a growing number of players are working on ways to get around this wireless feat. The Air Pods look similar to Apple’s existing headphones, but don’t have a chord. When Apple marketing chief executive officer Phil Schiller introduced them at the Apple event earlier this month, he acknowledged that the decision to change up the script required “courage.”
“The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us,” he said of the $159 devices.
The new iPhone 7 has no headphone jack, but comes with an adapter that plugs into the charging port (called the “Lightning port”) for devices that still require a headphone jack.
For Apple fans who are reluctant to embrace this change, Austin-based Fuze is working on an iPhone case that includes a 3.5-mm audio jack for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The company launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $60,000 for the project. At $69, the case would add battery life and also offer protection. It is expected to be ready “before the holidays,” according to the company.
In introducing the product in a video, hardware developer Diego Prince said, “What people put into their own ear holes is a very personal choice, and it’s a choice we should all get the chance to make — not one that should be made for us.”
Apple argues that the Air Pods are about improving the experience for customers, including better sound in the Air Pods in addition to more space in the iPhone for a better camera, stereo speakers and battery life.
“We believe in a wireless future, in which all devices connect,” said Apple chief design officer Jonathan Ive in Apple’s introductory video. “We are at the beginning of a truly wireless future we have been working on for many years.”
Of course, these aren’t Apple’s first wireless headphone offering. The company also offers Beats headphones, which now come with the new W1 chip that comes with the Air Pods.
As Apple introduces new products, it’s become standard for others to bank on after-market off-shoots; the iPhone case, for example, has become an accessory akin to a handbag, so it’s no wonder that the Air Pods would follow suit. Other third parties are hoping to capitalize on the change headphone change with a growing number of headphones that plug into the Lightning port.