The iPhone 7 is really just a testing ground for next year's iPhone

Apple introduced a new iPhone on Wednesday, but it won’t work with a lot of your old stuff.

This seems to be the biggest complaint of Apple’s new iPhone 7. The phone lacks a headphone jack, meaning if you want to use the new iPhone, you need either wireless headphones or an unsightly dongle Apple is including with all new phones.

But Apple has done this before. Before the iPhone, even before the iPod, there was OS X.

Released in 2001, the original OS X “Cheetah” was buggy, slow, and ran very few applications. If you wanted to run an old program, you had to take the time to dual boot into OS 9 and use its unsightly interface. It sucked. But at the same time, it was incredible. OS X was beautiful and like nothing that came before it. Apple customers — a much smaller user base than now — could see where the company was going with the OS, and eagerly awaited each update and what would come next.

As OS X took hold over the next couple of years, more and more companies released applications for it. By 2008, it held almost 10% of the PC market share. Not bad for a company that was on its death bed ten years prior.

OS X was a massive change from Apple — and it needed time for both developers and customers to get used to it. Apple could be doing the same thing with the iPhone 7.

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 6S last year, they introduced a new monthly payment plan that let users upgrade each year. This is the first year users will be able to take advantage of that program. Some — who need the latest and greatest — will. Others, who like the headphone jack and don’t see the need to upgrade just yet, will hold onto their current model and wait another year. After all, aside from longer battery life and an upgraded camera, there aren’t many reasons to upgrade immediately.

This gives Apple a bit of time to see how users react to the lack of a headphone jack. Think of it as an “adaptability” year — a year to answer questions like “Will customers accept this?” and “Will the headphone manufacturers support this?”. It gives users a year to know that the next iPhone probably won’t have a headphone jack, and they should take that into account the next time they’re looking for new headphones.

The iPhone turns 10 next year. There are already rumours circulating that it’s in for a massive overhaul. If this is the adaptability year, don’t be surprised if there is a completely redesigned — and totally revamped — “iPhone X” next year. It won’t be the first time Apple threw away everything that came before.

NOW WATCH: Watch Apple officially unveil the iPhone 7

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