On this week’s Battle for Time, The Tite Group’s content editor, Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, breaks down the emotions people went through before, during and after Apple’s iPhone 7 event.
We all know what the arrival of crisp morning air and changing leaves means.
The much-anticipated Apple product launch.
Let’s be real though: no one spent their minutes on the new Apple Watch Series 2. For all intents and purposes, this past September 7th was really the iPhone 7 launch.
It got rid of the headphone jack, an industry standard. It offered the AirPods in replacement.
But hey: it’s also water resistant, faster, thinner, has a nicer camera, the usual stuff.
There were tears, some out of frustration and some out of joy.
And it all happened because of Apple’s “courage.”
This is what captured our minutes this week.
1. The elimination of the headphone jack can be the beginning of a case study on necessary and unnecessary disruption.
To reiterate, the headphone jack is an industry staple across the board (50 years running to be exact). Regardless of Bluetooth and other wireless technology, people like their headphones.
People like taking calls without looking like they’re talking to themselves with earpieces. People don’t want to spend the extra money on buying wireless headphones because iPhones already cost enough as it is.
In the words of Phil Schiller, “it really comes down to one word: courage. The courage to move on and do something better for all of us.”
But better for who? Perhaps the removal was necessary to include the other new features in the design and this isn’t the first time Apple has removed certain ports.
It’s also not the first time the tech industry has made moves to render an entire way of functioning as obsolete (floppy disks, anyone?).
But there just doesn’t seem to be a legitimate reason for this move.
Airs of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Apple has always been on the forefront of innovation, but “innovating” for the sake of “innovating” seems counterproductive.
The only thing that’ll require courage here is not losing the new AirPods that have been offered in replacement, making sure one always carries the new adaptor with them and resisting listening to music while charging one’s phone (since that’s now impossible).
2. Still, this move proves that Apple owns us.
Regardless of Apple’s shares dropping 2.67% after the iPhone launch (the second largest fall of the company’s stock price following a launch), people are going to trudge on.
Commentators might gripe about having to buy the AirPods or getting little in return for such a huge change, but they will go along with it.
After those iPhone 5’s and iPhone 6’s start working slower because they can’t keep up with the iOS updates, people will most likely upgrade.
Audiences like what they like. And they’ll do what it takes to get what they like.
Since it’s unlikely that people will part ways with their iPhones all at once, they’re going to end up falling back in line and buying those wireless products that will work with their new iPhones.
It’ll probably end up something like this:
iPhone 7: no headphone port
iPhone 8: no home button
iPhone 9: no phone. just an empty box. give us your money.
— Zac Galifianakis (@ZacGalifianakis) September 12, 2016
3. Apple is making us look at the rest of the industry to see who will measure up.
Apple doesn’t just own us. It seems to own the rest of the industry, with competitors like Samsung sprinting to keep up.
This isn’t to say that others haven’t come up with things that are as good as, or even better than an iPhone.
For example, some Android devices have had better specs in terms of RAM, display and battery. Yet Apple beats even this out by establishing a standard so that app designers know what they’re getting.
Not to mention that mobile carriers offer far more upgrade packages for iPhones than they do for Androids.
So what’s the bottom line? Apple doesn’t just introduce features and design elements that are better than their previous line-ups.
It specifically targets key groups and designs for the benefits of those groups with special niche offerings.
In trying to keep up with Apple, competitors are forgetting the bigger picture. And as much as we don’t want to support a monopoly of the tech industry, it’s hard to deny that Apple knows how to expertly navigate the fine recesses.
In our fine opinion, people have voted. Voted with their time AND wallets. They clung onto all the details and hints they could get about the new iPhone, but now we’re not sure how many people will be willing to share their dollars in the aftermath.
Yet still, Apple is Apple after all. We doubt people will be dropping off the bandwagon any time soon.
At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.
What will win this week?