Why I Already Hate the New iPhone 7 – Apple’s “Courageously” Adequate Reveal
After spending months following the rumors surrounding iPhone 7, it is fair to say that Wednesday's unveiling was underwhelming and merely adequate. Not one bit was a surprise, not one change made it look like a major upgrade year. Since the event yesterday, many have called it the 6s-s update, and fairly so. Apple once again threw in a few minor design changes, kept the two-year-old form factor, and then had the audacity to call it "courageous."
Courage? Courageously comfortable and perfectly adequate is what yesterday’s big reveal was. As a consumer, my problem is not only with the lack of the headphone jack, or the inability to charge my phone while listening to music. I am hurt with the iPhone 7 reveal because Apple is still throwing bread crumbs trying to appease us. What happened to one massively exciting feature, one major change that the entire iPhone event used to revolve around? Where is the innovation and excitement that we used to wait all year for?
While a perfectly sufficient update for iPhone 5s or 6 owners, iPhone 7 does nothing for those who own last year’s iPhones.
Yes, they gave us water-resistance and fit in dual-lenses, redesigned antenna (which should have come last year), but that is where it ends. Turning a real home button into a flush design may be a way for Apple to remove the button altogether next year. Removing the headphone jack is again Apple's business decision of giving Beats even more dominance in an industry that is already led by the company. But these aren’t features - or removals - that excite a consumer.
My problem is with Apple's inability to stop leveraging their mobile operating system and move ahead with their hardware.
Probably, the only good thing that Apple actually "offered" in yesterday's unveiling was a better camera. But, the dual camera is again restricted to the bigger sibling of the two. How does this warrant the iPhone to be called iPhone 7, and not iPhone 6s Series 2 or any other name that Apple could have concocted?
What Apple could have introduced with the new iPhone 7
Currently using the iPhone 6s, all that could have pleased me was a good camera, fast charging, and a better, way better display quality. I got none of them. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and S7 Edge, the latest phones look outdated, with third consecutive year of similar form factor.
While I could wait another year for Apple to introduce design changes, I couldn't and didn't want to wait for display improvements. Apple claims that the latest displays are 25% brighter and have improved color management. They are, however, far behind their Android counterparts sitting at 2K displays. While we are seeing overwhelming 4K displays in the Android world, iPhones are still stuck with 750p screens.
Yes, the camera is better, but dual-lens is limited to the 7 Plus. When you are sticking to the same form factor for the third year in a row; when you aren’t giving us fast charging that other flagships have long offered; when you don’t give us much deserved display quality - the least you could do is equal camera specs for both the iPhones.
Lack of courage is what it boils down to
During the event and based on the rumors we had seen, I kept wondering if Apple would bring in at least one takeaway feature. In the absence, I was intrigued to see how will Tim Cook convince us to buy the new iPhone without any noticeable new hardware. They did it. They said we needed some vials of courage to get the new iPhone.
Having given myself some 24 hours to think about the changes, I am not sure if I want to make the upgrade this year. Apple is possibly waiting to "think different" for 10th anniversary launches next year. But, who knows if those updates will also be "just adequate," barely there to keep the investors and followers happy.
The million-dollar question is then what do I buy? Where do I go? Should I wait for the iPhone 7s that Apple again will fit in with another few "courageous features" next year? Or maybe I would upgrade to iPhone 7 Plus, even though it feels humungous to me.
With the lack of a good alternative from Google that offers me strong hardware, intuitive user interface design and regular security updates, I guess Apple knows we will stick by its corner even if it keeps sending iterative updates. I suppose it's time to stop expecting innovation from Apple.