Word on the street suggests Samsung could be dropping Bixby on the Galaxy S21 AND bringing back the headphone jack…
The headphone jack disappeared off of iPhones many years ago now, making way for Apple’s next billion-dollar product, its AirPods. Following the trend, plenty of Android brands jumped on the bandwagon, with Samsung being one of the first. The last couple of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones did not have a headphone jack, but all that could change in 2021.
According to leaks, meaning unsubstantiated claims, Samsung is keen to trial whether bringing back the headphone jack on the Galaxy S21 will have a positive effect on sales. The S20 and S10 did not sell well, so it appears as if Samsung is willing to try anything to bolster sales of its flagship device in 2021. Again, this is just a leak at present – it is NOT official.
Additional reports also claim that the Galaxy S21 will not feature Bixby either; according to leaks, Samsung is considering using Google Assistant in its place on the Galaxy S21 range.
Like The SD Slot, The Headphone Jack Might Return To Galaxy S21…
Back in the day, nearly all of Samsung’s flagship phones shipped with MicroSD card support. Then, in 2015, Samsung removed the SD slot on the Galaxy S6, a move that angered plenty of its users. Samsung then reintroduced the SD card slot the following year aboard the Galaxy S7.
Since then, SD slots have been a staple on Samsung’s phones – both in the low and high-end segments of the market. But could the headphone jack get the same treatment in 2021? A return to the Galaxy S21, while not a huge deal for most users, would be a welcome addition to the handset.
I have tons of pairs of wireless headphones, but sometimes I just like to plug in with a wire. With a wired connection, you don’t have to worry about connectivity issues, and, for the most part, you get better sound – especially if you’re using high-quality wired headphones and an HD source of music.
Why Would Samsung Bring Back The Headphone Jack?
According to MauriQHD, a Twitter-based leaker, Samsung believes that bringing back the headphone jack on the Galaxy S21 would create “free publicity” for the headset, as media outlets – places like KYM, for instance – would go “crazy” about the reintroduction of a much-missed feature.
And with weak sales for its Galaxy S20 series, Samsung needs all the help it can get with the Galaxy S21. Things have been so bad in 2020 that we got a discounted and arguably better Galaxy S20 FE which is essentially the Galaxy S20, just without all the pomp and fluff. The Galaxy S20 FE is also quite a bit cheaper than both Samsung’s entry-level S20 and Apple’s iPhone 12.
What About Samsung’s Wireless Headphones?
Like Apple, Samsung makes a fair amount of revenue from its wireless earbuds. Samsung makes a range of very good wireless earbuds that, in nearly every instance, are better than Apple’s AirPods. But wouldn’t bringing back the headphone jack hurt sales of its wireless headphones? Potentially.
But that’s not the point of the move to bring back the headphone jack on the Galaxy S21. The point, according to leaks, is to see if it has a positive effect on sales and adoption. If it does, Samsung knows that the headphone jack is something A LOT of customers want. From here, it will then be able to assess whether or not to bring it to other models in its phone range.
Personally, I could definitely see this happening. Samsung is never averse to testing things out on its phones, especially when there’s the promise of higher sales. Bringing back the headphone jack would be an excellent A/B test for the Galaxy S21 against the Galaxy S20.
If not much else changes, save for the usual arbitrary spec updates, and sales are much higher, one could conclude that the headphone jack was partially responsible. In this respect, the test – even if it is only on one model – does make sense. Businesses are always A/B testing stuff, so I do not see why this couldn’t happen come January when the Galaxy S21 launches.
For a more detailed look at Samsung’s incoming phones, check out all the latest Galaxy S21 news inside our dedicated hub.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.