When the iPhone was first rolled out in the fall of 2016, it’s future was considered quite uncertain. To be sure, this was a modest upgrade at best. Other than adding in some additional colour, the matte black and the glossy black, there wasn’t anything majorly positive about this phone relative to it’s older siblings.
However, one thing did stand out from the crop that was of great concern. Apple removed the headphone jack as it needed to free space. Although at first this was seen in a very negative light, it was actually the thing that needed doing. The requirement by the consumer for lighter yet more powerful systems generated this need to find space so other technologies could be fit in the phone.
Apple’s Ability to Lead
This undertaking was not considered insignificant. The jack, throughout it’s history, had been wildly successful. Most users that listened to their phone used the jack as opposed to say using a USB connection. Many users had spent substantial amounts of money on high end listening apparatus which would have to chucked and replaced. A lot was invested in headphones such as Bose, Beats, Seinhouser etc all with a hefty price tag.
However, Apple decided that the space needed to keep the device:
- slim, lite and well designed
- deliver new technologies
could only be done by finding some additional space in the current design. To do this, they naturally looked at the jack and the space used by it to allow for the advancement of the technology.
Apple was more than likely aware of the kind of backlash this might have produced. Regardless they moved forward with the removal of the jack likely assuming others would eventually follow.
Although there was a backlash to this move, people who bought the iPhone 7 would be without jack. The phone still sold and the stats indicate that it is selling well. Apple loyalists have always been inclined to be a bit on the bleeding edge of tech due these kinds of risk. They go along and Apple has been able to historically move faster than say a Microsoft who has to take care not to rattle their corporate clients. For Microsoft they have to take much more of an evolutionary approach to advancement while Apple has had the historical advantage of being more revolutionary.
Others are Now following Suit
Other companies have now started to forgo the jack to allow listening either through the charging port or via USB. USB will probably become the solution of choice.
HTC, Samsung etc have announced the removal of the jack in some of their phones for exactly the same reason that Apple did. They need the space. Apple has led the trend which is nothing new to them except that there was the potential of a large consumer backlash.
iPhone 7 the Best Selling iPhone
The iPhone 7 so far is proving to be Apples best selling iphone. In this Globe and Mail article “Strong iPhone 7 sales set the stage for Apple’s next upgrade” the author discusses the benefits of Apple’s rise to glory with the iPhone 7 and the assist that will give to its 10 year anniversary of iPhone with the release of the iPhone 8 expected to be a substantive upgrade.
The iPhone 7 led the way to jackless Smartphones with the followers following suit. The risk has paid off not only in providing a mechanism to further enhance Smartphones but to ensure the viability of the iPhone. Others would not follow suit if this had been a disaster. Rather, it’s what was needed and Apple took the chance.
Android might be the biggest Smartphone group but the iPhone is once again outselling all phones on the market individually. This portends an optimistic future for Apple on the Smartphone front. As such, Apple stock is once again doing extremely well. The market is investing and frankly, it would be a difficult call as to what other company one should put their money in.
We have seen with Apple that mistakes can lead to big consequences. However, no one will deny Apple credit for something they have done well. Their delivery in the Smartphone market from day one has been astounding and till this day they continue to impress. Apple is much more though than a one horse and pony show and although they continue to do well in the Smartphone sector, they should never take their eye off their other awe inspiring products.