Yes, iPhone 7 is on the way and it’s enough of an upgrade to keep Apple in the black for another year, even if sales continue to drop. 2016 represents the 10th year of iPhone. For all the incremental innovation, just compare iPhone 7 to the original in 2007.
Apple is not in trouble, folks. The company remains well positioned to drive the technology industry forward for another year. Other than the iPhone itself, two elements of Apple’s product presentation struck me as being watershed moments; that position in the space time continuum where something small happened that will affect people for years to come.
First, no headphone jack in iPhone 7. While that missing connector will move us kicking and screaming into a wireless earbud and headphone future, Apple is doing this in baby steps, not a massive movement.
Instead of putting wireless earbuds into every new iPhone 7, Apple is including a Lightning-to-headphone jack dongle to bridge the included wired earbuds from their analog past to the digital Lightning connector future, which itself merely is a bridge to the real future– wireless. $159 will get you AirPods, remove the dongle from your iPhone, and bring you into the future.
No matter how you look at it, Apple is exercising some courage and gambling that the customer base– despite the noisy ones who would complain about an iPhone app that dispenses Godiva dark chocolate– will go along for the ride, just as it did with the missing floppy disk (literally destroyed sneaker net, no?) in the original iMac.
That’s what Apple does. Complaining, in public, in private, or directly to CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s headquarters in One Infinite Way, Cupertino, CA, won’t save the headphone jack. It’s gone. Get over. Move along. Nothing to see here anymore. Wireless is here already. Apple made a bet it cannot lose and will not lose.
Second, Apple shuffled the deck. The Watch deck. Watch Series 1, which is the original Watch model with a dual-core CPU, and the new entry-level wearable, tilted from being a fashion statement– say goodbye to the $17,000 Watch Gold Edition, and hello to the $1,249 Ceramic Watch; itself a more affordable fashion statement– to the exercise wearable of choice, thanks to built-in GPS.
Yeah, yeah. I know. Fashion and exercise clothing and equipment fit together like fingers in a glove. Not all exercise clothing is fashionable, but that’s the tilt Apple made with Watch Series 2, new bands, new health and exercise applications, and new exercise monitoring options, not to mention yet another deal with Nike.
Apple has managed to straddle the divide between fashion and exercise and health in a way that FitBit and Samsung and everyone else that makes such gadgets wishes they could do. Is it any wonder that only Rolex makes more money selling watches than Apple? Talk about disrupting an entire industry.
While I’m on the subject of big bets, here is another watershed moment in the history of Apple add-on products. Those $159 wireless AirPods Apple plans to move in big numbers during the holiday season, are ripe for falling out of ears, and I’m certain that already some enterprising young business person– man or women– is working on an Exercise Cord; a simple device that connects the two– left and right ears, respectively, to a single cord that wraps around the neck to ensure that $80 of those $159 AirPods does not hit the ground while running, biking, or hiking.
An AirPod cord is a likely success. You’ll know for sure as soon as Samsung includes them with their wireless earbuds.