I have some shocking news to tell you: I don’t own an iPhone–I’m an Android user. Maybe I’m just exposed to a biased group of people, but many people I encounter are often surprised by this news. The Apple vs Android rivalry is real, and people are very brand loyal to whichever side they root for. Since I currently own a Samsung Galaxy S6, I am a bit biased towards the Android side, but it doesn’t mean that I hate Apple. In fact, I really like Apple and their products–I just happen to own an Android phone. If you’ve been on the Internet this past week, you know that Apple recently held their Keynote Event on 7 September. At this event, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 7:
The iPhone 7 was my favorite product announced at the event because it was the most controversial and highly anticipated product to be released at the Apple Keynote. Over the past few months, rumors that the iPhone 7 was going to ditch the headphone plug have created a lot of media buzz. At the Apple Keynote on Wednesday, Apple did in fact confirm that the new iPhone 7 would not have a headphone plug. iPhone 7 users will now plug in their headphones into the Lighting port or connect through Bluetooth. This is a very bold move for Apple, and it has received a mixture of positive and negative reactions from the public:
Big takeaway: Apple’s headphone jack removal will mean more people play music out loud from their phones on public transportation
— Parker Higgins (@xor) September 7, 2016
Have you dreamed of charging your earbuds well guess what
— Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) September 7, 2016
Soon after the Apple Keynote Event, College Humor released this parody video of Apple’s iPhone 7 introduction video. The video makes fun of Apple and iPhone 7 and argues that it is actually worse:
Although many iPhone users are upset that the new iPhone 7 ditched the traditional headphone plug, I think that it is a significant improvement in design to the iPhone. Apple is a company that strongly believes in simplicity and innovation and they did exactly that with this bold move. Contrary to popular belief, the iPhone 7 is not the first smartphone to get rid of the headphone plug. Motorola already beat Apple to it earlier this year with the Moto Z Droid, which connects audio through a USB-C port. Globally, there are more iPhone users than Moto Z Droid users, which is why Apple’s decision to take away the headphone plug from the iPhone 7 is such a big deal–it impacts more people.
Efficient technology strives for minimalism and efficiency. Apple was able to find a way for audio through the Lightning port, so why should they keep two ports on the iPhone that can serve the same purpose? By removing the headphone port, the iPhone 7 is thinner and has more internal real estate for other features. It will be a big move for iPhone 7 users to convert all of their audio accessories and equipment to the Lightning port, but Apple has done this before when they took away the DVD drive from their MacBooks. iPhone 7 users now only have to worry about one port of connection on their phones.
— D (@DasaMihalikovaX) September 8, 2016
One design element that Apple did not focus on that I would have liked to have seen added is wireless charging with the iPhone. The Lightning port is the plug that iPhone users charge their phones. Since Apple gave the port dual functionality now with the iPhone 7, how are iPhone 7 users going to be able to charge their phones and listen to audio at the same time? Wireless charging would have been a useful feature for Apple to release with the iPhone 7 so that users could do both. Apple’s biggest competitor, the Samsung Galaxy, has had the wireless charging capability since the Galaxy S6, so why couldn’t the iPhone 7 have this feature also?
I do believe that Apple values the user experience above all else. Like I mentioned before, Apple strives for simplicity and innovation. Each time they release new generations of their products features are either added or taken away with purpose. By doing this, Apple is finding ways to improve upon their products and create a positive user experience. Although there are mixed reactions towards the iPhone 7, I believe that Apple is doing an excellent job at adapting smartphones for the future– and that is a good thing, especially coming from an Android user.