Samsung has traditionally eschewed a number of trends in the smartphone industry, such as the removal of the once-ubiquitous headphone jack that started with Apple’s iPhone 7 in 2016. However, a new report suggests that the South Korean tech giant will finally be doing away with the feature, starting with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 later this year.
Citing an unnamed source familiar with Samsung’s plans, Android Police reported on Thursday that the company is expected to kick off its “wind-down” of the 3.5mm headphone jack and also do away with physical volume and power buttons with the Galaxy Note 10. The publication wrote that Samsung will likely be replacing the external power, volume, and Bixby buttons with “capacitive or pressure-sensitive areas” that would stand out through raised bumps or textures — effectively introducing a “faux button” concept when the Note 10 arrives in a few months from now.
While Android Police stressed that it’s still unclear whether Samsung will also be removing the headphone jack and traditional physical buttons on next year’s Galaxy S11 flagship phone, the outlet added that the Note series has traditionally been “fertile ground” for new design and technological paradigms. This, Android Police added, is because Samsung’s most loyal customers have generally been appreciative of the company’s Note devices and have usually turned out to be the early adopters when new tech features are introduced.
As noted in a separate report from TechRadar, Samsung has, together with LG, been among the few Android phone makers to stick with headphone jacks, even as companies like Google, Huawei, Motorola, and OnePlus have done the opposite by ditching the feature. Commenting on why Samsung could be considering removing the headphone jack, the publication speculated that the company might be planning to introduce a larger battery, or possibly looking for a way to make the Galaxy Note 10 considerably slimmer than its predecessor.
“That said, the latter reason seems unlikely, given the device will always need a place to hold its signature S Pen, which is far larger than the 3.5mm area taken by the headphone port,” TechRadar added.
In addition to the possible removal of the headphone jack and physical buttons, Android Police wrote that Samsung appears to be planning two different Galaxy Note 10 variants, including one smaller version “by Note standards.” No details on the device’s announcement date have been confirmed, though if Samsung stays true to its usual schedule, the Galaxy Note 10 might be introduced sometime in August.