So it’s that time of year again, the time every tech-head is eagerly awaiting. Yup, that’s right, Apple’s annual San Francisco event where the newest must-have technology is announced. Okay, so it’s not the most exciting tech talk of the year but it definitely warrants a discussion.
This year Apple launched the iPhone 7. It has been hotly anticipated and rumours have been flying for months, but will it actually take off?
iPhone 7: What We Know and What I Think
Aesthetically the iPhone 7 looks very similar to its predecessor, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus; and the internal differences aren’t much to write home about either.
First up, the fingerprint recognition home button has been replaced by a pressure-sensitive button. Personally, being the cynic I am, I’m not on board with this upgrade. If you haven’t accidentally unlocked your phone trying to sneakily check your notifications at work, then you won’t understand my disdain.
So the iPhone 7 boasts a better camera. But doesn’t every new phone boast this? Maybe I’ve been spoilt, but this is a feature I expected; until a camera can make me look like Zooey Deschanel I won’t be impressed.
We are told the iPhone 7 has a faster processor and improved battery life. Okay, so this excites me, but again, I’m dubious (shock, I know). Initially all iPhone’s have a good battery life but they gradually deteriorate and I just don’t believe ‘improved’ software is immune to wearing out.
Lastly, but certainly not least, the removal of the headphone jack. Now this is where my real upset lies and if you’ve been anywhere online recently you’ll be aware of this feature, or lack of.
Basically, Apple have created wireless earphones and yeah they are pretty cool. The earphones are fitted with sensors that detect if they are removed and will automatically pause the audio; likewise, if you double tap your wireless earphones it will activate Siri, your digital assistant. They have a five-hour battery life, and they look cool, and they sound cool. Yeah okay, they are cool, but they are just not practical; easily lost, easily broken and not easily replaced.
Honestly, my main gripe is that they’ve priced these earphones at £159 and removed the headphone jack from the handset i.e. they’ve removed our choice. It’s all well and good offering and encouraging your customers to purchase a new product, but backing us into a corner? Now that I’m not okay with. This comes just after reports of slumping sales and competitors catching up. It comes at a time when Apple are amid a European tax bill debate. It comes at a time when Apple should be cultivating customer loyalty, not unsubtly money grabbing.
This tech move harks back to their change of charging port on the iPhone 5 that caused a similar stir. Oh, did I mention the iPhone 7 is apparently waterproof, but Apple warranty mysteriously doesn’t cover water damage? Yeah.
The problem with global brands like Apple is that they don’t need to market and nourish customer relationships like a smaller business does; but how many more faux pas will their customers allow?