The iPhone 7 is supposed to be boring.
According to numerous reports and leaks, Apple plans to keep the same general design on the next iPhone that it has used for the past two years. It will have a larger camera, redesigned antenna lines, and no headphone jack, but it will be tough to tell apart from the last two iPhone models at first glance.
Samsung was going into the fall with all the momentum. It released the excellent Galaxy Note 7 a few weeks ago to glowing reviews. The phone has the best design ever put on a smartphone and great features like water resistance and wireless charging, at a time when Apple continues to resist those features.
That momentum came to a screeching halt this week.
First came reports from Note 7 owners that batteries were exploding. Then on Friday Samsung announced it would halt Note 7 sales and recall and replace the units it has already sold. That’s about 2.5 million devices so far.
The timing is perfect for Apple as it prepares to announce the iPhone 7 on September 7 at an event in San Francisco. Even if the phone doesn’t live up to the usual hype, and angers many for missing a headphone jack, a functioning phone will always be better than one that might explode on you.
Without announcing anything yet, Apple has already knocked all the wind out of Samsung. Even after Samsung fixes the problems with the Note 7, the device will remain tainted by those early reports of exploding batteries.
It’s the best gift Apple could’ve asked for ahead of next week’s iPhone 7 debut.