I’ve been on the Apple bandwagon since 2010’s iPhone 4, and apart from a brief and extremely frustrating dalliance with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus in 2012, I haven’t really ever regretted it.
Until today’s entirely underwhelming iPhone 7 reveal, that is.
Even knowing pretty much every single detail of the new phone ahead of time, it was still a big disappointment. Stuff like the dual-lens camera and water resistance are nice, but not really crucial to why I would buy a new phone. Ditto for the battery life.
And no matter what Apple said on stage today, removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 isn’t “courage.” It’s annoying and hovers right on the border of being outright anti-consumer. As TechCrunch points out, it feels like nothing so much as a shameless play to take control of the headphone market — a market that Beats, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple, is already dominating.
Frankly, it’s making me look at my inevitable next phone purchase with dread.
If I follow my own pattern and go to the iPhone 7, I’m losing the ability to use my favourite headphones, unless I use an annoying and unsightly dongle. And even if I use the dongle, I still can’t charge the phone and listen to music at the same time. So long, battery life when I’m on a long flight. And I’m not paying $159 for Apple’s wireless earbuds. Sorry.
I could maybe swallow all of this if the iPhone 7 had something, anything else that was compelling and game-changing. I’m not seeing anything past the usual incremental upgrades to performance.
So now I’m thinking different. From Apple.
A big part of why I had loved the iPhone so much over the last few years was its integration with the Mac. Features like iMessage and Airdrop are absolutely brilliant, and make the iPhone and Mac an unbeatable team.
About a year ago, I switched from Mac to Microsoft’s Windows 10. Now, Windows 10 and the iPhone don’t really play nearly as nicely, but the iPhone itself was good enough that I didn’t mind.
Now, I’m thinking to myself: Windows 10 and Android work very well together, from sending texts to notifying you on a Windows 10 PC when an Android phone’s battery is low. And a lot of Android phones do, and continue to, rock that headphone jack.
So, for right now, my iPhone 6s is going to serve me just fine. One day in the not-so-distant future, though, I’ll be looking for my next upgrade. And the iPhone 7, as presented here today, will probably not be that. I sense I’m not alone, either. And with smartphone sales flattening out, it could be bad news for Apple.