New iPhone 7 Signals A More Wireless Future

Another day, another new iPhone release.

Friday was the big day where Apple unveiled the iPhone 7, and it showcased some new features that we were all expecting — a better camera, a better screen display, better battery life, but…wait…where’s the headphone jack?

In one of Apple’s more controversial iPhone releases, it announced that the new iPhone 7 would be headphone jack-less, meaning you’ll need a new way to listen to your Spotify playlist at the gym or your favorite podcast while you take a stroll.

For many of those who woke up bright and early to pre order their iPhone 7, they were just as surprised. And Apple’s been hearing them loud and clear. Many took to Twitter to share their woes, wondering why Apple would take away such a key component of their device.

So, why exactly did Apple decide to get rid of the headphone jack?

According to Apple, this was done in order to make room for additional technologies, like the A10 Fusion Processor and battery cell. Fair. But this “act of courage” (as Apple phrased it) is also a part of the company’s larger vision to move consumers toward a wireless future.

With this change, Apple is promoting their “AirPods”, the new wireless headphones that will be available late October. This solution to the headphone jack uses Bluetooth technology and eliminates the issue of tangled headphones altogether. However, until AirPods become available, iPhone 7 users who were lucky enough to receive their devices by mid-September will have to settle with using the adapter provided to them with their purchase.

Passport’s Product Manager, David Kim, weighs in:

“Apple, saying that courage was their driving motivation, sounds slightly arrogant at first. But when you calm down for a moment, you have to realize that they’re right. They’ve had the occasional blunder, but their complete control over their software and hardware stacks has enabled them to aggressively shape consumer technology.

Wireless headphones, while readily available, are not the default mainstream option. There are ubiquitous wired earphones available at every retailer, often for just a few bucks but of course lie in an extensive price range. Wireless headphones tend to occupy the mid- to upper-tier of price. The fact that Apple made a move to (mostly) cut off a wired option is a message for consumers to take an active step toward our wireless future. The industry will subsequently follow its consumer demands and take more than a few safe baby steps.

The approach in developing enhanced wireless technologies, employing tremendous battery life and providing no-nonsense syncing are classically intentional and holistic of Apple. What follows is the commoditization of wireless products. What feels like a hand deep in our wallets now will eventually bring us to a point where we forget this latest offense… and fixate on the next perceived one.”

Apple’s most recent transition signals a move toward a future that’s bigger than just wireless headphones — this may be just the first of many technologies to go wireless. For example, will wireless charging soon go mainstream? While it’s been argued that wired technology may actually be faster than wireless, the flexibility and appeal of these wireless products may soon dominate in popularity.

Only time will tell to see how users react to the change. But one thing we do know is that where Apple leads, consumers will follow. And it looks like Apple is taking consumers one step forward in the path toward a more wireless future.