I'm sitting on a train listening to the music leaking from another passenger's headphones. He's got an iPhone, although it could just as easily be one of many other smartphones.
Actually, I'm going to take that back. He's got an iPhone 4S and he's using the Apple earphones that came with the device. They're open-backed. Designed to leak sound. Designed to offer a premium experience for the consumer while annoying the heck out of everyone else.
Yesterday the iPhone 5 was announced. A new device with new headphones.
The new iPhone 5 is supplied with 'EarPods'; updated earbud-type headphones that promise enhanced audio quality when compared with the previous design. Yet these earbuds are still open.
Apple says "Adding to the superior audio quality are strategically placed acoustic vents. The most notable of these vents is the one located in the stem of each EarPod. It allows air inside the stem, which acts as an acoustic chamber, to flow out."
They may well "rival high-end headphones that cost hundreds of pounds more". But that doesn't make them any more sociable. And that's an opportunity missed.