By Alyssa Gautieri
Year after year, Apple releases a new version of the iPhone that is slightly faster, faintly more attractive and a bit more functional. And these little changes usually get consumers going crazy.
Since its release in 2007, the iPhone has become the most popular cell phone on the market and has dominated all of its competitors. According to CNN, more than 42 percent of U.S. smartphones are iPhones and 55.3 percent of smartphone users in New Jersey own iPhones.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have finally been unveiled by Apple and for millions of hype-driven fans, the wait is finally over. The new phone was released on Friday, Sept. 16 and according to Apple, the iPhone 7 is the best iPhone ever made.
The new iPhone features a brighter screen, pressure-sensitive home button, water-resistant body, longer battery life, additional camera lens for clearer photos, better speakers and a faster processor. The iPhone has also removed its headphone jack and introduced wireless headphones.
Since Apple maintains such high brand loyalty, many consumers will not even consider the competition when shopping for a new smartphone.
“I have always thought Apple has a cleaner layout than other phones and, in my opinion, iPhones are more user-friendly,” said Molly Mullee, a junior health and exercise science major who has been on “team iPhone” for years.
On the other hand, many critics have stated that since the death of Apple innovator, Steve Jobs, in 2011, Apple has failed to come up with new and creative ideas.
“Apple has squandered its once-commanding lead in hardware and software design,” The New York Times wrote. “Though the new iPhones include several new features, including water resistance and upgraded cameras, they look pretty much the same as the old ones.”
According to Gabriella Cardoso, a junior elementary education major and iPhone user, Apple products have not changed much in terms of design over the last few years.
“The iPhone 7 is basically the same as the iPhone 6,” Cardoso said.
The iPhone 6 was released in 2014, meaning Apple had two years to come up with something creative. But it seems as if the same product with just a few additional features is being marketed again.
In a 107-second advertisement video entitled “Don’t Blink,” Apple summarizes the major updates of the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and AirPods. The company implies in the video that its choice to remove a 100-year-old headphone jack shouldn’t be a “shocker” to customers because Apple is supposed to be all about innovation, right?
But it seems many customers are not happy about the lack of a headphone jack.
“Getting rid of the headphone jack is just another way to make consumers spend more money on Apple products,” Cardoso said. According to her, Apple has shifted its focus from giving consumers what they want to developing products that make the most money.
Michaela Curtis, a junior elementary education major and current iPhone user, agreed.
“The new wireless headphones that come with the iPhone clearly look like they’re going to fall out all the time and Apple is going to expect everyone to shell out money for a new pair when they lose them,” Curtis said.
Many consumers are asking if Apple’s lack of innovation catch up with them in upcoming sales. As of now, Apple still dominates the market and has been the best for nearly 10 years. But maybe it is time for a new company to emerge.