Hit The Road, Jack

Apple reveals new iPhone 7, lacking headphone jack

Innovation, just for the sake of innovation, isn’t always beneficial. Forward progress has the potential to improve lives and make difficult tasks easier, but “new” isn’t always better. Take the recent Google Glass or Apple Watch. While wearable tech sounds futuristic and the devices look interesting, both items flopped in the market. There simply isn’t a need for the technology.

This brings me to Apple’s new product, the iPhone 7. Apple, always the creators of groundbreaking concepts and gadgets, has returned with the new version of the iPhone. Unfortunately, there is very little ground being broken. Here’s a rundown of some new features: improved camera, wireless headphones, water resistance (in shallow water), marginally better battery life, along with others. All of these are improvements over the last model. However, are these new components really enough to warrant a whole new device? As the saying goes, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” The new iPhone isn’t a “bad” phone; it’s just simply pointless.

I have an iPhone 6. I’ve never had a problem with it. It runs well and accomplishes the tasks I ask of it. Why would someone like me, with a phone that works perfectly, dish out upwards of $849 for a device that does almost the same thing? Other people will, simply because the 7 is “new.”

In the past, new generations of iPhones have had significant increases in technology over their ancestors. Innovations like Siri were added, greatly improving productivity. Now Apple is content with just some minor improvements. The benefits of releasing a new product are clear. Apple will sell millions of devices. It’s unfortunate that the temptation to sell a new iPhone won out over improving the technology enough to actually mandate a new phone.

Some people have called out Apple on this. Across the Internet, there are plenty of complaints about the lack of a headphone jack. The complaints make sense, because there’s absolutely no reason to get rid of the jack. People with high end headphones will no longer be able to plug it into their device. Personally, wired ear buds have saved my phone countless times by catching it as it falls. The jack was a feature that did its job perfectly, but because of the demand for innovation, Apple got rid of it.

Despite this, plenty of people will buy the iPhone 7. In fact, pre order statistics are through the roof. According to T-Mobile and Sprint, orders are up 375% from the iPhone 6. Apple is even running low on stock. The iPhone 7 will be a resounding success for Apple and make the company a fortune. And in a few years, the same thing will happen again.

I don’t want to say that the iPhone 7 is a blatant cash grab, because it is a slight improvement over the last generation. However, the motivation behind its release is to make money, not because the iPhone 6 is obsolete. Apple slapped on a few bells and whistles and is marketing it as a new product. Unfortunately, this is a trend that will continue. You can’t argue with success, but Apple can do better. Innovation doesn’t mean minor improvements. Hopefully Apple will realize that soon.

By Henry Brody

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