Apple has always been unapologetically courageous
or ‘Where is my goddamn hoverboard?’
Like pulling off what must have seemed like a month old and possibly septic band aid Apple has gone and removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 resulting is a storm of anger and complaints from apple fans and haters alike. To add insult to injury apple calling themselves ‘courageous’ as they killed the headphone jack unsurprisingly did not ease the transition.
Apple has never lacked courage. For better or for worse they are indeed courageous. They are one of the few tech companies unafraid of tearing off that band aid and forcing us forward whether we like it or not.
And now here we are at another precipice of change.
The floppy drive, network cable, right mouse button and countless other examples show how apple has repeatedly struck the death nell of various technologies that, though antiqued, were at the time heavily used by many consumers.
This behaviour is not only limited to their hardware but includes other instances such as unplugging the life support of Flash. Showing us that apple isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on old and waning technology.
But wait, isn’t the removal of the headphone jack a financial move based on selling new headphones and pulling users deeper into the apple ecosystem? Duh. Of course it is. But that’s the way the world works. Scientific and technological research that won’t result in more money for shareholders very rarely occurs. Companies almost never make decisions for mankind out of the goodness of their own heart and rightfully so as it would be suicide for most. I apologise if anyone’s utopian bubble just burst.
Yeah, ok, it sucks. At this point I simply cannot imagine being limited to headphones that use bluetooth or having to remember to carry a headphone adapter with me. I rarely have my headphones with me when I need them let alone an adapter. I’ve lost more iPad SD card readers then I care to mention and the new adapter will instantly vanish into the universe of lost dongles, thumb drives and socks. Guaranteed only to reemerge long after they are obsolete.
But this thing is happening whether we like it or not and unless Tim Cook is personally holding a gun to your head you’re in no way obliged to buy the iPhone 7 anyway. There are plenty of other great phones on the market that cram as many consumer wants into their phones with varying levels of success. As for the issue at hand though, the wave of change will pass over us, we’ll start to complain about it less, eventually other companies will fall in line and we’ll feverishly find something else to complain about.
I don’t miss the floppy disk (apart from the nostalgic twinge), I very rarely need plug a network cable in. The single mouse button was nonsense but it’s philosophy successfully spilt over into the ethos of the trackpad. And Flash is gone. Although that last one still irks my soul it didn’t really put up much of a fight did it.
Look, I hate it too. But on reflection it’s hard to denounce the removal of the headphone jack and also be pissed off that we don’t yet have hoverboards. We either move forward or we move back. We’re already way behind as far as I’m concerned. I’m starting to legitimately worry that I’ll never get into space or have my body cryogenically frozen to be awoken later in a Futurama-esk world. Hashtag life goals.
For everyone with good reason or without who holds a grudge against Apple, one thing that is undeniable is that they do push the industry forward. I’m not saying that this move is anything akin to the introduction of the first phone that violently shook the rest of the industry into action. But there’s something there still in this latest cull. I can’t imagine it’s easy to move an entire industry forward through reduction and ensure shareholders that the move will eventually payoff for consumers and profits alike. The risk that comes with a decision like this has to be driven by some level of bravery.
There are a lot of things Apple doesn’t get right and there are numerous articles dedicated to issues regarding their pricing models, repair and replacement ethos, sustainability and recycling and many tech & software misfires. How airdrop remains so completely and unreasonably unreliable without any rational reason continues to both astound and aggravate me.
But they’ve always been courageous.
Is it a mistake to remove the headphone jack? Possibly. Was it too soon? Probably. Should Apple have called themselves courageous as they announced it? No. That part was silly.