EDITORIAL: Consumers don’t want bad apples
iPhone 7 falls far below expectations with no headphone port
Most people fall into two camps: Apple or Android. Due to effective marketing that induced compelling social pressures, the iPhone is the preferred choice when it comes to purchasing a phone, and is commonly spotted on any college campus. Today being the owner of an iPhone is not a big deal, but there was a time when teenagers threw tantrums because parents gave them a present that, to their dismay, was anything but an iPhone. It might have been a sentimental present or a financial sacrifice, but if it wasn't an iPhone it wasn't good enough. Recall the appalling demonstration of ingratitude when videos were released of children sobbing their hearts out because they didn’t get the new iPhone? Or the tweets that said, “If I don’t get an iPhone for Christmas, I will kill myself,” or “I swear everyone got an iPhone 4S. I asked for one, and I didn’t get it. Santa I hate you”? Those were the days of iPhone fanaticism, but we now witness the disappointing (d)evolution of the iPhone that once embodied innovation. The new iPhone 7 has failed to impress.
It seems that the difference between one iPhone model to the next diminishes as each model passes. When there is little change from one model to the next, it warrants asking whether the high price tag is even worth it anymore, despite the subsisting bandwagon. According to Forbes, the iPhone has done nothing to change the exterior design of the new phone. It looks the same. Other than a new set of colors (which doesn’t matter, because we’re likely going to put a case over it anyway), it became water resistant and slightly sturdier and it has slightly better camera and battery life. With these lackluster improvements in mind, it begs the question of whether the $649-$849 purchase is justified. Maybe if you’re rich, sure, you can buy whatever you want. That section of society appears to be what the company is solely catering to nowadays — the profligate with bottomless pockets who can afford expensive and miniscule improvements.
When Apple does decide to make a dramatic change, it blunders and alienates a huge portion of consumers. The new iPhone is notorious for ditching the headphone port, and somehow they expect consumers to hail it as innovation and be satisfied. Nilay Patel, the editor-in-chief of technology magazine The Verge, said the change was “user-hostile and stupid,” according to The Guardian. The same article notes Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, said the company had shown “courage” to move its technology on. It is easier to agree with Patel than with Schiller, because “courage” is not charging consumers more for doing what they have been doing without cost — using the wired headphones. The iPhone comes with a dongle that could transform the charging port to a wireless headphone port, but that is susceptible to bending, damage and loss, requiring users to head to the store and buy more, putting even more money in Apple’s coffers. To remove a standard port, Apple must replace it with something good in exchange, if not better, for consumers to benefit and so far Apple has not made a cogent argument for or in defense of the change. “Courage” is not about charging people more for what they have always used, that is called swindling.
Well of course no one has to buy this product. It is up to every individual to decide for his or herself whether buying the new iPhone is worth it. But for those who cannot afford the product and feel disappointed about not having enough money to jump on the bandwagon, remember that you are not really missing out and it is alright to resist to social and capitalist pressures. Apple seems to be relying heavily on the power of its luxury brand name, and if it continues on the same path and offers no real substance to support the quality of products, it’ll be just another Blackberry.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.