Apple’s Latest Gambles
Apple prides themselves on taking risks. However, some of their latest moves have investors and analysts wondering how these gambles will pay off. Most notably, the iPhone 7 doesn’t include a headphone jack, and the latest Macbook doesn’t have a USB port. Can they convince their customers that “Apple knows best?”
Will this Affect Popularity?
Rationalizing the Headphone Jack Issue
Unsurprisingly, these changes weren’t met with a warm reception; an online petition to keep the headphone jack on the iPhone garnered over 200,000 signatures within the first day. Apple had a few tricks up their sleeve, though. Removing the jack has finally allowed engineers to make the new iPhone completely waterproof; it also allows the phone to accommodate a larger battery.
Coupled with operating system improvements and better camera technology, the iPhone 7 quickly sold out during the pre-order phase. It’s performed so well on the market that naysayers are still scratching their heads.
No More USB Port
The new Macbook only has a single USB-C port. While it’s a powerful port that acts as the laptop’s charger, can connect to external hard drives, and stream hi-def videos to televisions, the fact remains: it’s only one port. For users who need to attach printers, cameras, and other devices the new MacBook doesn’t provide that option.
The new MacBook hasn’t proven as popular as the new iPhone, but its presale numbers were still high. Some attribute the MacBook’s sustained popularity as a testament to Apple’s fanbase, others to its increased computing power.
For people who still need headphone jacks and USB ports, there are dongles and adapters available. These, however, are far from perfect solutions for many users. Sadly, it seems that the best option for these people is to “get with the program” and embracing Thunderbolt and wireless accessories.
How these Changes Affect Repairs and Upgrades
If Apple is to be believed, the absence of the headphone jack and the USB port will not affect maintenance and repair. However, newer headphones (specifically Bluetooth) are still working through sound quality and device-pairing issues.
While many are unhappy with Apple’s recent changes, it hasn’t hurt their popularity. Although Apple is once again ahead of the curve with these recent omissions, other companies are following suit when it comes to “cutting the cord.”