So are Apple being brave, controlling or have just made the biggest faux pas that a big business can ever make?
Last night saw the launch of the iPhone 7. But for once no-one is really talking about its size, its look or battery life, today they are talking about a ‘no headphone jack’ controversy and the introduction of the Airpods. Apple themselves say that it would make way for more components, and that I don’t doubt, but they have made rather a bold claim by saying that it took “courage’ to take the step.
Personally I believe someone ‘going over the top’ in World War 1 is more courageous but in a world where reality TV and being famous for doing very little is common place, perhaps it is in modern day sayings. The announcement came in a year that they saw handset sales shrink as well as their market share as well as getting walloped by the European Commission demanding £11bn in back taxes.
The 3.5mm headphone jack was made popular by Sony’s Walkman but had previously been introduced into one of the companies radios back in 1964. But Apple aren’t the first; the biggest yes, but not the first. Lenovo’s Moto Z and some Chinese manufacturers have already launched without the socket’ so this could be us catching up with the Chinese population.
It seems that Apple have indeed taken a gamble. Wireless earphones are now going to need to be charged and the louder you have them, the quicker the battery will run out. Interestingly the headphones that can be used with the lightning connector there are only 8 pairs currently in manufacturer and they have to pay Apple a licence fee to use it’s proprietary connector. Is it an upgrade too far when actually most humans want stability? Yes things change, but it’s a bit like driverless cars. Good idea in principle, but we’re all bit uncomfortable about it aren’t we?
It has some other upgrades and updates and to be honest no-one is really talking about them , but what will the consumer make of it all?
Yes Apple products are still part of the world’s obsession with ‘Musturbation’; (A term used by the Art of Brilliant for the demand to have ‘stuff’ to prove our worth), and yes they certainly have made the world shift beyond recognition when it comes to technology for the everyday man, woman and child, BUT is this a change that perhaps has gone a little bit too far too soon?
The best ‘ode’ to the headphone cord that always gets tangled up no matter how you leave it, was it was compared to the string of a Tampon. Always reassuringly there and because it was, easy to drag out whenever you needed to.
Remember them being stuck down the side of your sofa or at the bottom of your bag? Without that wire, how much of a pain in the ass would that be? Well thats what you’ll be saying when you ‘mislay’ one of your Airpods. In fact I can’t find anywhere that says they can still work if you lose one. And the is where I think Apple have gone wrong personally.
When the original charger cable goes our the headphones break, people simply go out and buy another one from as little as £1. But to the average person who perhaps prioritises their mobile phone technology over other needs, will now have a gun pointed to their heads asking for a sum of money, just so that you listen to the music personally, that you probably downloaded from the iTunes store in the first place.
So is this ‘courageous”, brave or a step too far, too quickly when we’re not quite ready for it?
I’m writing this as I listen to an Audiobook on Steve Jobs, who wanted to make things simple. Well Apple, I believe you’ve taken ‘simple’ that little bit too far at the moment, but I’ll give you a chance when I upgrade my phone again. The jury is out, and there is nothing stopping them from bringing it back…otherwise I’ll end up ditching the dozens of pairs of headphones I already ever.