Monday 20 November 2017

Adrian Weckler: Why this iPhone is all about moving away from old-fashioned headphones

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, talks about the features on the new iPhone 7 during an event to announce new products, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, talks about the features on the new iPhone 7 during an event to announce new products, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, talks about the features on the new iPhone 7 during an event to announce new products Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Adrian Weckler in San Francisco

This iPhone 7 is largely about two things: a better camera and a move away from wired headphones.

There will be some disgruntlement about the headphone port as many people have invested significant sums in their own high quality earphones or headphones. However, Apple is probably on the right side of history. When it comes to phones and portable tech, wired almost always gives way to wireless. Few use DVD or USB ports anymore. And improvements to the quality of audio streaming over Bluetooth mean that you're not taking a significant dip if you go wireless for your music.

The new dual-lens camera that comes with the iPhone 7 Plus is probably the best snapper on any phone, ever. It will hammer more nails into the coffin of the consumer camera market. Unless you're an enthusiast or a professional photographer, there is simply no need for a standalone camera anymore.

On the business side, bean-counters will be watching closely to see whether this iPhone can reverse a recent stagnation in handset sales for Apple.

Many pundits had predicted flat sales after this launch, believing that Apple is holding off until next year (the 10th anniversary of the iPhone) for a major overhaul of the handset.

And its launch price (from €779 for the iPhone 7 and from €919 for the iPhone 7 Plus) will keep it in a premium bracket.

But Apple has been unexpectedly handed a boost with the news that arch-rival Samsung has had to recall all of its latest Galaxy Note 7 phones because of a fire hazard. That phone was (and will be) a major contender for the attention of iPhone 7 customers.

But Samsung's technical problems are likely to delay rollout of its flagship phone by several weeks, handing Apple a critical advantage in the pre-Christmas sales cycle.

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