By Craig Dietel
Ever since Apple’s iPhone 7 hit the shelves on Tuesday, Sept. 13, it has received mixed reviews from critics. The biggest issue consumers seem to have with the new product is the lack of a 3.5 mm headphone jack. However, the removal of that 50-year-old technology was actually a brilliant move.
Apple is known for it’s innovation, and this is just another prime example of the courage and veracity it takes to be innovative. Skeptics will complain because now their headphones that utilize the 3.5 mm port will become obsolete if they want to upgrade their phone.
This is simply not true. Apple provides an adapter in the box that allows customers to continue to use their old headphones, as well as the new standard Apple EarPods with a lightning adapter. Apple also released its new Bluetooth AirPods, which will offer a “game-changing listening experience” and promise to combine “crystal clear sound with a new sense of freedom,” according to Apple’s website. Sadly, this option comes at the high price of $150.
In addition, removal of the headphone jack creates prime real estate on the phone for a plethora of new features, most notably, another external speaker. This was a much-needed update because the external sound quality of Apple phones has been dwindling compared to the competition. Now, with another speaker, Apple is able to utilize its new stereo speaker system, which, according to its website, is two times as loud as the iPhone 6S.
Along with having a superior speaker system, ditching the headphone jack let Apple create its first-ever water- and dust-resistant iPhone. According to its website, “You’re protected like never before against spills, splashes and even dust.”
By eliminating that extra opening in the phone, Apple was able to join the rest of the cell phone industry in creating water-resistant phones, something consumers have been asking about for years.
Obviously, a lot of people are up in arms about this historic change in Apple’s iPhone lineup, however, there are easy fixes to their concerns that come at no cost to people who decide to upgrade this fall. Apple is known for its revolutionary ideas and the 3.5 mm audio jack is an aging technology. Things are moving in a wireless direction and have been for years.
I would be willing to bet that in five years, the rest of the cell phone providers will end up removing the headphone jack from their phones, as well, in favor of a different port that allows better sound quality for digital audio files. It may not be the lightning port, but something else will eventually come along to replace that old technology.
At some point, people thought that CDs and DVDs were the new thing, but now, everything is digital. Watch as Apple continues to be a pioneer in how consumers receive new technology. Apple does not make decisions that might bankrupt the company. Yes, it wants to make money on new adaptors and the like, but it also wants to build the best product — a product people love. I think they have done that with the iPhone 7.