Apple recently unveiled its newest creation: the iPhone (News - Alert) 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Since its introduction, there have been some contradicting views as to whether or not the new phone is as impressive as Apple says, with some skeptics even questioning if we’ve hit peak phone. Despite the critics, masses still preordered the phone and rushed to the store to pick it up on September 16. I had the unfortunate experience of going to an AT&T (News - Alert) store the following day, and let’s just say people weren’t happy that they were all sold out of the new “jet black” option. For some further insight into the craze, I spoke with Jordan Edelson, founder and CEO of Appetizer Mobile.
In the debate over the newest iPhone, Jordan falls into the category of people who think it has a lot to offer. He admits, though, that Apple (News - Alert) played it a bit safe with the release of the 7, but provides some insight into why by saying, “I think they’ve done a good job of refining what they have and really making the necessary changes to the device, kind of warming up the public to where Apple wants to go. But for them to be able to go in that direction, they need to make people feel a little uncomfortable. The example being the removal of the headphone jack. They needed more room internally inside the device to be able to fit in some of the new modules that they’re going to be adding for the internals as well as the ability to eventually waterproof the device. So they’re moving in that direction to create the ultimate iPhone.”
Jordan went on to talk about the headphone jack specifically, saying it’s part of a master plan. Apple wants everyone to be entirely connected through their ecosystem, thus making it harder for consumers to switch to other brands. Jordan commented, “If you have an earpiece in someone’s ear all the time you’re going to be able to have a more direct line of communication outside of just the phone that might occasionally be in someone’s pocket or they put down. Now with AirPods, they can actually connect you directly with Siri, who will probably eventually be able to proactively listen to what you’re saying…eventually it might be an always-on scenario, where if you need something you’ll just talk out loud and Siri’s going to go ahead and process that request for you.”
The same can be said for the Apple Watch, and it’s certainly not a stretch to think that Siri will get to that level eventually; the “Hey Siri” feature is already moving in that direction.
The removal of the headphone jack, though, is a big deal breaker to many people. Whether they want to use traditional headphones, are worried about not being able to charge their phone and listen to music at the same time, or simply just don’t want to buy overpriced AirPods, customers are pretty angry about it. That’s why Jordan’s observation is an important one—Apple is slowly making changes to the phone in order to prepare people for future changes.
In order to create the ultimate, waterproof iPhone, they’re going to need to go completely wireless. This means no headphone jack as well as wireless charging, which Jordan thinks is a necessity for the iPhone 8. Given the current backlash, imagine if Apple had gotten rid of both ports at once? People would be freaking out even more.
Based on these observations, it’s clear that the iPhone 7 is Apple’s way of “warming up” consumers so that they’re ready for even bigger changes with the iPhone 8.
One of the most popular features of the 7 is the new camera. Jordan believes that this improvement, with the dual lens, is an indication of Apple’s investment in augmented reality (AR). He said, “At the end of the day, AR is all about giving the phone the ability to see as well as possible.”
The 7’s new camera improves functionality in low light conditions, and takes amazing pictures. The camera’s ability to let more light in will improve the overall camera performance, thus bettering its ability to accurately see the world around you.
AR capabilities with the iPhone 8 could be great for all sorts of users. Jordan predicts we will see an even better camera with the iPhone 8 release, coupled with software to support an AR type of ecosystem.
Additionally, we may start to see some apps that are going to allow the phone to detect the world around it, pull in contextually relevant information and really help the phone understand what’s around it.
If a phone can fully understand its environment, this opens up a whole new world of opportunity for developers as well as advertisers and marketers—just think of all the cool new ways you could start interacting with apps or ads.
These predictions of AR, genuine waterproofing and wireless capabilities are promising. For now, we have the iPhone 7, which appears to be a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Changes are coming, slowly but surely, as Apple looks to make the best iPhone possible. And, hey, at least the iPhone 7’s batteries aren’t exploding.