On Sept. 7, Apple unveiled a new set of devices that included the iPhone 7.
Reactions to this new edition of Apple’s flagship product have been mediocre at best, as many Apple regulars find the new phone to be underwhelming. Some go so far as to say that the previous edition, the iPhone 6s, was better.
Despite its habit of changing the structure of the iPhone with each new number – a short, smaller iPhone 4, a taller iPhone 5, and a round-edged iPhone 6, the iPhone 7 maintains the general shape of 2014’s iPhone 6. However, there are still some key changes. This year’s device came with the removal of the headphone jack from the bottom of the phone, as well as a stereo speaker system and a new and improved home button. The home button, a signature part of the iPhone since the first in 2007, has been removed and replaced with Apples Force Touch system. The phone will read how hard you are pressing and deliver different levels of vibration to provide the sensation of pushing a button.
While many don’t mind this change, the removal of the headphone jack caused major controversy. No longer can users plug in any old set of headphones and listen to music. Apple decided to instead take the path of headphones that plug into their “Lightning” charging port or of wireless headphones, which they dubbed AirPods. The headphone jack was removed due to the amount of space it occupies inside the phone, space that is precious in a device that is constantly trying to slim down its size. The jack was also a large obstacle in creating a water resistant device, which Apple has now accomplished. The iPhone 7 was given the classification of IP67, meaning it can be fully submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It also has double the storage and more battery life than the iPhone 6 models. But aside from these changes, the iPhone 7 is essentially the same phone as its predecessor.
Even though we have only known the 2016 device’s design for a little over a month, rumors for the 2017 device have already started to flood in. It may be named iPhone 8, which deviates from Apple’s usual 2-year cycle in which they release a device and a subsequent “s” version the next year. According to sites such as MacRumors, Tech Times, and Mashable, the iPhone 8 will see a complete redesign and will essentially be a new phone all around. Perhaps attention toward the 2017 phone contributed to an underwhelming and non-innovative iPhone 7 this year. For what will be Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone, it seems they are pairing with a company called Energous to create wireless charging capabilities for the iPhone 8. The next model will continue the iPhone 7’s trend of no home button, but will also have some brand new features
Most iPhone users will be familiar with bezels, or the top and bottom of the front of your phone outside of the display. Don’t become too comfortable with them, because it seems Apple will extend its display upward and downward as well to cover the entire screen’s surface, following the trend that Samsung’s “Edge” devices are starting. Essentially, if you look at the front of your iPhone 8, you will only see screen. This is by far my favorite rumor, seeing that it will be a visible change, and we don’t see many of those these days. Of course faster processors and bright, colorful displays are great too, but what satisfies me the most is when I can look at a phone and see something new.
If these rumors come to fruition, Apple will have made a bold choice to move away from its formula of simply making the same phone, but thinner. Some say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but why leave it there when you can make it something even better? While starting to fall behind Samsung in the smartphone industry, 2017’s iPhone 8 may be the fresh new take on a familiar device that Apple needs.