The Beginning of a Wireless World: iPhone 7 Release

Are you the type of consumer who upgrades their smartphone every couple of years or earlier? If so, you’re an early tech adopter who welcomes new gadgets with open arms (and you probably budget for the ever increasing price of our beloved handheld devices.) On the other hand, if you’re the type of person that only upgrades when necessary, you are probably clinging on to your iPhone 5…or 4?

The iPhone 7 released earlier this month. After a lot of speculation on the new generation, you have probably noticed your news feeds cluttered with mixed messages about its reception. With Apple pressing to increase sales, their campaign to build excitement has been evident this year.

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However, the release of this generation left many confused and distrustful of this year’s new iPhone. Despite a new list of updates such as its water resistance, impressive camera lens, and stereo, some things didn’t go over too well with consumers.

Arguably, the most notable change was the elimination of the headphone jack and the introduction of the wireless Bluetooth powered AirPods. The issue is that people who look forward to new Apple products are typically introduced to an addition rather than a subtraction from the design of the phone. Apple didn’t appeal to logos enough by convincing consumers that taking away the outlet feature is actually an advancement. They could have framed this “too much too soon” move by emphasizing that this change is leading up to something beyond what we know now- a completely wireless world.

“From the start we designed Lightning [iPhones charging portal] to be a great digital audio connector,” said Apple’s marketing chief Philip Schiller. His justification for Apple’s decision was one word: “Courage.” Instead, the former comment which attempted to appeal more to pathos doesn’t give consumers total confidence in the switch.

Ethos driven statements lacked in the company’s announcements and explanation of the new iPhone. It was unclear why they are “fixing” something that in our eyes isn’t broken. Regardless, if you are adamant about using your headphones and want the new phone, you can use the Lightning adapter. The catch? You can’t charge and plug up to listen to audio at the same time.


Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

If you’re Team Apple and have the iPhone 6/6s, tech experts don’t think you should feel an urgency to buy into this next generation. If its time to upgrade, this may be the best time to take the plunge (no pun intended…because the iPhone 7 is water resistant.) What do you think about the move to wireless and parting ways with your headphones? Could you justify upgrading?

-Laura Rojas ’17


21 thoughts on “The Beginning of a Wireless World: iPhone 7 Release

  1. I have had an iPhone ever since I could remembered and have always been skeptical of the new upgrades when they are first released. Personally, I don’t think the wireless headphones are necessarily as step forward. I believe it will take some getting used to, but with time wireless headphones will take over.

    • Sara, I have always felt the same about Apple’s changes to the iPhone. In a way, we could say that the leaps of faith consumers have when they buy new iPhone contributes to Apple’s success. More times than not, these changes don’t become obsolete. Instead, they becomes the standard for other phones.

  2. Being someone who is pretty much wireless I don’t mind them removing the headphone jack. I own wireless headphones, connect my phone via bluetooth in my jeep to listen to music, bluetooth speaker for the beach and so on. The only worry I have is the functionality of their wireless headphones , are they even worth it or do you need to invest in a better pair? I don’t force the air pods to be very successful.

    • Rachael- that’s my question too. Clearly, Apple wants their headphones to be the standard so I wonder if this will create the opportunity for Apple to expand their product line with a variety of sizes and fits for a wireless headphones selection. They never did that with the wired headphones but this is probably the best time considering people have different needs when it comes to comfort. This could make Apple the one stop shop.

  3. Living in a digital world, the release of the new iPhone has been a big topic amongst my friends. I understand that new technology is often received as unnecessary at first but eventually is accepted by the public, however the iPhone 7/7s seems too much like a marketing plot. If you get rid of headphones it will become necessary for iPhone 7 owners to purchase wireless headphones or the adapter. It will be interesting to see if this will backfire on Apple because consumers don’t want to purchase the extra bits or if this will be the first step in a completely wireless world.

    • Nia, I see where you’re coming from about it feeling like a marketing plot. To me, it’s slightly reminiscent of when Apple switched to the Lightning cord. Those who had the old chargers had to buy the adapters. Now? The wide chargers are obsolete and everyone has moved on with the new chord. I wonder if Apple will consider alternatives to the charging/wired headphones. For example, is there a dongle bit out there that splits so you can do both? This would create an easy fix (with the downside of having to dole out a little cash.) I see why it feels like a marketing plot but like I wrote to Rachael above, I think it’s also an opportunity for Apple to break in a new product line of a variety of wireless headphones.

  4. This post was very informative about the new Apple product; I really liked how the author was able to use egos, pathos, and logos to relate the iPhone to readers. As a new owner of the iPhone 7 I have mixed feeling about the product because it is true that it inst much different from the 6/6S. The new advantage of the phone being waterproof is AWESOME considering I live in a beach town. However, I couldn’t agree more when it comes to “fixing” something that wasn’t broken, with the headphone situation. Due to me really liking the headphone jack for running ect. I was disappointed with the switch. Overall Apple is a great brand, I have never been disappointed in anything that I have purchased from them, so needless to say in the end I am happy with my new phone but hope to see some bigger changes with the next launch.

    • Allison, thank you! Looking at the iPhone 7 with the rhetorical approach can be a good example of how important it is to view different situations with all three lenses. It helped me better understand the different sides of Apple’s strengths and weaknesses and I’m glad it did for you too. Based on my research and the pure fact that iPhone’s 10th anniversary is next year, I think we should expect to see bigger changes with the next launch. Fingers crossed!

  5. First off I want to start by saying that you formulated a greatly designed and well worded article. It was good that you touched on the fact that removing the headphone jack is in fact an advancement in the phone increasing processing speeds, while also highlighting the fact that they did not use this information as much to their advantage as they should have. While you touched on the effects of removing the jack you also showed how users can still use their corded headphones if they truly desire to do so.

    • Dylan, thank you! I think this is an important lesson to view situations with a rhetorical approach. It will strengthen your arguments if you use all three lenses because in large part, it eliminates bias when you’re scrutinizing something.

  6. I think you really hit the nail on the head with this issue. I too watched the Apple release and was highly disappointed. I think they really made the jump too soon. Every year a new I-phone comes out it is a struggle for me to not want to buy into the brand new because who doesn’t want to have the newest technology? I think they have potentially lost a lot of customers through this switch, and I am very curious to know their numbers and if the I-phone 7 sales have been as high as previous sales. I think they really shot themselves in the foot to the switch of something that has worked for 25 plus years. I agree why fix what is not broken?Therefore I will not be buying the new Iphone 7 and will continue to use my current phone, well until this one is unusable. Definitely highly disappointed in Apple and this move of so called “courage.”

    • Rachel, thank you! I’m curious as well. When I’m ready to upgrade around 2018 I wonder what will have unraveled by then for the new generation in terms of the wireless world Apple is helping forge. Maybe they’ll make a more appealing product line for wireless wear for example.

  7. I think that Apple is running out of ideas, that is why they are trying to fix something that isn’t broken. It’s a cool idea, however all it’s doing is costing the buyer even more money. We now have the wireless headphones, but are more likely to lose the tiny buds. Or we could spend more money to buy a cord that hooks the two buds. Instead of all of this we could have just stuck to the original headphones.

    • Lacey, I definitely think a dual dongle bit would be helpful especially when people don’t feel like having to worry about charging their wireless headphones. In a world where we are stuck plugging up to walls, I’m most curious about how they’ll elevate wireless headphone technology and all the pieces that come with it such as battery life.

  8. I honestly do not see a point in having an iPhone 7, other than for Apple to make additional money. In my opinion, this phone lacks originality. The only thing that makes it different than any other phone, is the one thing that consumers are enraged about: the lack of an earphone jack. No one should have to pay an additional cost just to listen to music wirelessly and privately. Overall, I think this a big money-racket. “Courage” is definitely not the word I would use to describe the direction that Apple is moving with this new technology.

    • Mary, I understand your frustration. Seeing that people are upset at this, it will be interesting to see how Android phones approach Apple’s forging into a wireless world. I’m sure plans are already underway so maybe they will have a leg up to marketing it better to their customers. I think this is an ebb in the ebb and flow that the iPhone generations go through so I think it’s best to see how other companies respond to these changes in their own product lines.

  9. I too think the move by Apple is too soon and a bit disrespectful. Many people use earphones or headphones and still want to use them without worrying about their battery life from a wireless mode. While the company may see this as a step forward, it is also a step back in convenience as if one is not able to charge their accessory devices then they cannot be used.

    • Matthew- Apple definitely jumped head first with the headphone changes, I agree! Convenience may be lost but from my research, I found a lot of skeptics were quickly converted and actually liked the change. I’d love to give it a try given I won’t be upgrading from my 6s for a while.

  10. I was really considering upgrading to the next iPhone because I have a free upgrade coming up this Christmas but when I saw all of the changes that were made, I got a little nervous. I think that the wireless headphones sounds like a good idea until you lose those tiny earbuds before you even leave the store. This is definitely something to keep in mind… still not sure what I am going to do when the upgrade time comes. Great article!

  11. I was excited for the new iPhone to come out but when I saw the new features I became a little unsure. Although i really like what they have done with the camera, making it more resistant to water, the new colors, that is all great but making the headphones wireless seems like a money scheme. I can see people losing these headphones left and right, also the headphone jack being offered as an add on falls in the same category. Even though I don’t agree with this approach I will probably still buy the iPhone 7 just like everyone else.

  12. I think you ask your audience some very real questions, and I think you were smart to write about the new iPhone. Reading your post just reinforced my idea that I already had which is: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. My point in saying this is that I believe that Apple had no business launching another iPhone without fixing the problems consumers are already dealing with. You are absolutely right, Laura, consumers are not used to upgrading their phones but losing amenities that come with it such as the headphone jack. It is very obvious to me that Apple launched the iPhone 7 as the “standby phone” before they figure out a better development for the headphone jack.

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