HP iPAQs need 3.5 mm headphone jacks

HP iPAQ Data Messenger and iPAQ Voice Messenger

HP iPAQ Data Messenger and iPAQ Voice Messenger

Right, as everyone knows, HP announced two nice iPAQ devices last month, the iPAQ Data Messenger – which is like the iPAQ 612c with a slide out QWERTY keyboard, flush touchscreen (so it’s easier to reach the “Start” and “X” buttons at the side of the screen using your finger, instead of a stylus) and 2.5 mm headphone jack – and the iPAQ Voice Messenger, the direct successor of the iPAQ 510 with a larger screen and “half QWERTY” keyboard (as in QW-ER-TY, RIM Blackberry style). Both offer welcome updates over their respective predecessors.

Both the HP iPAQ Data Messenger and Voice Messenger Pocket PC phones currently list 2.5 mm headphone jacks built in. For the Data Messenger, the 2.5 mm jack a nice change from the “mini USB headphone jack” (can you believe it?) on the iPAQ 610 and 910 phones whose adapters to 3.5 mm were hard to find (HTC’s adapters are shaped with a slight difference and don’t fit). I don’t really have a big issue with 2.5 mm headphone jacks since I’ve been using a 2.5 to 3.5 mm adapter (see the picture above) with my HP iPAQ hw6915 to plug in my own set of headphones, and such adapters are easy to find…. but here’s an idea.

The 3.5 mm headphone jack is probably the most widely used port in the world for headphones (that’s why they’re also known as “the standard jack”) and allow users to swap out the pair of “in the box” earphones for another pair they love. Not everyone likes the “hang from ears” headphones usually included in the retail packaging of their mobile phone (I don’t!) and usually would want to swap it out for a pair in-ear headphones or “over the head” headphones.

I’m not complaining about 2.5 mm jacks since plenty of 2.5-to-3.5 adapters are available out there, for only 2-3 bucks too! As long as there’s a way to plug in my own set of headphones, I’m happy… But won’t it be more convenient if someone actually built that 3.5 mm headphone port right into the device? The old iPAQ h6310 phone (you know the one with the huge 3.5 inch touchscreen launched back in 2004?) had a 3.5 mm headphone jack, so why can’t the latest iPAQs have them too?

In addition, including a 3.5 mm headphone jack built right into a phone opens up the ability to tout the device to the public as a “music phone”, as what other manufacturers have been doing lately. So yeah, not only does it benefit users in terms of convenience, it also makes marketing sense to the company! Equals more sales.

Seeing that the iPAQ 910 announced last year had tweaks from the initial press picture, to the pre-production unit, to the final design when it was finally available in June this year; I hope HP does some tweaks for the better… at least on the iPAQ Data Messenger which is their current flagship iPAQ phone (based on specifications). Fingers crossed =)

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