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Report: 1% of US smartphone buyers think headphone jack is top-three feature

For the first time ever, we can say we're part of the 1 percent.
August 21, 2019
OnePlus 7 Pro vs Galaxy S10 Plus USB C port and headphone jack

Ting, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the United States, conducted a survey of over 3,600 U.S.-based smartphone buyers. It found some very interesting data, including that only one percent of respondents said that the headphone jack was a top-three feature to them when picking a new phone.

The question asked of the 3,640 responders was “What was the first, second, and third most important factor in choosing your new phone?” Responders were able to pick from a pre-selected list which included price, screen, camera, battery, storage space, specs (RAM, processor speed), operating system, headphone jack, and “cool factor.”

Of those choices, only one percent of responders put the headphone jack as one of their three most important factors.

As surprising as that might be, the top factor isn’t surprising at all: price. According to Ting, around 35 percent of responders chose the cost of the smartphone as the biggest factor in their decision to buy or not buy. This relates well to news from yesterday regarding the runaway success of OnePlus in the U.S. which offers a premium smartphone experience for much less money than most competitors.

The second-most important factor was the operating system of the phone with 30 percent of responders picking that one, and the third-most was specs at 14 percent.

It seems very few people care about headphone jacks while a great many care a lot about price.

Only five percent gave the screen priority, and — quite surprisingly — only four percent prioritized the battery. Two percent cared a lot about the “cool factor,” which suggests the average smartphone buyer in the U.S. cares more about having a cool-looking phone than they do a phone with a headphone jack.

Considering the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is now officially the first flagship device from the company to not feature the headphone jack, this survey might simply be another indicator that the time of the headphone jack is slowly fading away.

Ting’s full report is filled with other interesting tidbits including that most people plan to keep their smartphones for three-to-five years (much longer than the usual two-year cycle) and that people prefer to pay outright for their device rather than on installment.

Click here for the full report.