Google just revealed the Pixel 6A at Google I/O on Wednesday, and while it has a number of impressive specs for a midrange device, it’s missing one that the company has celebrated on its A-series line for years: a 3.5mm headphone jack.
As many smartphone manufacturers have moved on from the headphone jack — a trend largely kicked off by Apple with the iPhone 7 in 2016 — its presence on the A-series line has become more and more of a distinguishing feature. Google even made a ridiculous two-minute ad celebrating the headphone jack in the Pixel 5A that parodied Apple’s elaborate design videos. That video was titled, in part, “The Circle Comes Full Circle.” Well, it seems the circle is coming full circle again, as now Google is the one set to drop the headphone jack from its next phone.
The thing is, this isn’t even the first time this circle has come full circle. In an ad for the very first Pixel — released in 2016, the same year as the iPhone 7 — Google noted this key feature: “3.5mm headphone jack satisfyingly not new.” But the headphone jack was gone from the Pixel 2 released just a year later. The first A-series Pixel, the Pixel 3A, would bring it back, but not until 2019. Once again, Google has parodied Apple only to become a parody itself the following year.
Google would not tell us why it dropped the headphone jack for the Pixel 6A when we asked. But it’s possible the company wants to make a more convincing case to sell you wireless headphones — and wouldn’t you know it, Google revealed the new Pixel Buds Pro at Google I/O as well.
Update, May 13th: Added that Google wouldn’t tell us why it dropped the headphone jack.