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My Thoughts on iPhone 7 2016

 

Background: Our household buys one new iPhone a year and then passes them around. This year I get the iPhone and I not really happy. The total cost is much higher than previous years and the headphone arrangements is really poor.

  1. No wireless charging Why not ? No, really, why the HECK not ?
  2. Not cheaper The model I’m planning to purchase is £100 more expensive than equivalent model from last year. (iPhone 7/ 128G). Thats nonsense, it should be cheaper or at the very least same price.
  3. Proprietary Wireless AudioApple has introduced (AFAICT) a proprietary system for wireless audio between handset and headset because Bluetooth is broken. No one is holding the the IEEE to account as a standards organisation. Why isn’t Apple making an open standard that anyone can use ?
  4. Mandatory Wireless headphones I’m not basically opposed to removing the headphone jack. Apple could have seeded the market first by announcing new wireless audio this year. Then remove the socket in a couple of years when wireless headsets exist so I can treat them like a consumable.
  5. Expensive Headphones entry level price on the proprietary wireless headphones is US$159 (AppleAirpods or BeatsX). Thats not cost practical by any measure I have. It also represents 15-25% of the purchase price of the phone.
  6. Accessories sales are hidden costs I see them as consumable items. Quality isn’t a mandatory requirement. Digital music quality is compromised at source, balanced in production and sound is always subjective. Must have cheap headphones that can be treated as consumables.
  7. iPhone colours don’t matter. The majority of people use a case to give some protection these expensively fragile things. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen an iPhone without a case)
  8. Camera improvements meh. Nice but limited value. I don’t take photos to look amazing to other people. (Yes, I know some of people care but I really wonder what your motivations are)
  9. Other hardware better CPUs, force touch, etc etc. All about inline with competitors so expected. Nothing really exciting. No doubt Apple does it better but that is built into the price and its expected.
  10. Extra storage Finally. 128G as the mid-tier option. Sure, power efficient flash storage is hard but this is overdue.

Comments

  1. I feel like the 6s is the phone to have now. Wondering if residual value of the 6s and 6s+ will actually increase as a result of the “good for Apple” choices they made for the 7.

  2. I think Apple mania is starting to slowdown a bit as a few years ago the launch of a new product would be essential viewing, but now I can hardly be bothered. I will just wait until my wife hands down her IP6 in a year or two’s time and stick with my 5s.

  3. Gordon Fraser says:

    Over-priced, with expensive non-commodity expansion peripherals in a locked in legacy platform. It is sold in luxury ‘brand’ stores where you are made to feel special and buying the product is all part of an event thrill – and therefore the price.
    Many other options exist out there but we are afraid of feeling foolish in front of peers, and open to failure for having the audacity to even consider another cheaper and flexible option.

    Sounds like many of the things I have heard you rail against for the last few months?

    • Its more nuanced than that. For example, in the case of SD-WAN I think the tradeoff for proprietary/closed against cost reduction and ease of use are readily justified.

      In a commoditised market, the use of closed/luxury products becomes more questionable. So I have chosen to use Apple products because they were markedly better and more reliable than Windows/Android. As the market matures and products converge, the gap is less and so should the price be.

  4. peter hessler says:

    A lot of my friends are comparing the removal of the headphone jack to removal of floppies, but I think that is a bad analogy. Floppies were seriously flawed at the time, and there were already far better options on the market.

    But,unlike floppies, wired headphones are not seriously flawed. And even assuming they were, wireless are not far better. 5 hours battery life? RF interference? Codec quality? Interoperability? Use on an airplane? Yet another charger to bring along? Weight? Trivial to lose? Etc.

  5. Dig into the packetpushers (or family budget) and buy one of these:

    http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/official-global-version-xiaomi-redmi-note-3-3i-pro-prime-special-version-smartphone-2499464#comments (the official standard/ 3GB 32GB gold version turns out the
    cheapest).

    I know you can argue around Androids security, update issues etc. But with a modicum of common sense and a drive to set yourself free from Apples grip on your wallet (which I admit comes with that warm feeling of great customer service) try it out for a couple of months and if not for you then just sell it for virtually what you bought it for.

    If you use Google services a lot then it’s a no brainer, if you don’t it’s a no brainer (learn to adapt), if you want to try out the freedom of having a twin sim phone then it s a no brainer…..you get my drift :-)

    It also has expandable storage of upto 128GB. Don’t worry about MIUI 7 (which apes the iphone interface to make ‘you’ feel at home) you have the freedom to “Google it” by installing all the Google apps.

    To (ah-hem) most likely avoid the import tax etc then buy and ship the slow free way….

    And for balance I have one of these: https://www.vmall.eu/uk/honor-7-grey-281214/ upsurped by the Honor 8 – https://www.vmall.eu/uk/honor-8-blue-292297/ – both highly recommened as well.

    Cheers

  6. Good insights, Greg. The relationship of Apple to standards in general (external storage), and interconnects of all forms is a very uneven one. I DO like the family context for phone distribution. It is by need (age does not factor) or in the manner that the weakest and youngest of the children gets the oldest phone…..so Darwinian :) (of course, he’s a Brit!). The last few phones have been underwhelming. I used to be under their spell, but now I upgrade Androids when the battery dies, so I get about two years or so…

    • “that the weakest and youngest of the children gets the oldest phone” – we have a rough guidelines that whichever child has the oldest phone gets the newest hand-me-down from the my wife or myself. We get the newest first because we put less wear and tear on them (my teenagers spend a lot more time on the phone and don’t last as long).