Iphone 7: The good, the bad, the lack of a headphone jack

Cartoon by Joshua Kim

Apple’s new iPhone 7 is one of the hottest items on the market, but seems to be one of the most controversial phones yet. The jet-black iPhone 7 models and all versions of the iPhone 7 Plus were sold out from pre-ordersReuters article reported Thursday. With the addition of water resistance, increased processor speed, improved cameras and longer battery life, the iPhone 7 seems to be a must-have.

Apple works hard to compete with their competitors and maintain their reputation of having top-notch phones. However, when a well-known company decides to take a leap of faith in changing the designs of their phones, they inevitably stir up controversy.

Even though many things improved with the iPhone 7, all of the improvements seem dismissible when compared to the fact that Apple decided to remove the headphone jack and implement a virtual home button. This seems to be the end of the world to music-lovers and people who are not tech-savvy, but this is not the first time Apple has made an undesirable change and forced consumers to adjust.

We all remember when Apple decided to convert to the Lightning charger with the iPhone 5. The new charger promised a faster charging speed, but consumers were not satisfied because this would require iPhone users to purchase new accessories. We see the same issues with the removal of the headphone jack in the newest edition. Upgrading to the iPhone 7 will require users to adjust to Bluetooth headphones, purchase AirPods (Apple’s version of wireless headphones) that cost $159 or use a dongle that has a Lightning connector on one end and a headphone jack on the other if they wish to continue using regular headphones. This change also requires purchasing new accessories. Without the dongle, users wouldn’t be able to easily use card swipers or auxiliary cables since these accessories require the headphone jack.

According to Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, Apple removed the headphone jack in order to improve the processor speed and battery life of the phone; however, compared to the iPhone 6S Plus, we barely see any differences. According to the iPhone specs provided by Apple, the iPhone 7’s battery lasts two hours longer than the iPhone 6s, and the iPhone 7 Plus isn’t much better with a mere one-hour enhancement compared to the 6s Plus. Battery life has always been an issue with the iPhones. Every year, it seems as though Apple’s efforts in improving battery life are never enough. With the new iOS 10, we wonder if the extra hours the iPhone 7 promises will even be noticeable since the new software update offers a plethora of additions that will drain your battery rather than help you preserve it.

The virtual home button is another new, unfavorable change Apple has implemented into the new iPhone models. Apple changed the home button to a virtual one, which uses the latest Force Touch technology in order to prevent wear and tear, according to a CNET review. This new home button vibrates upon touch so users feel as if they’re clicking a button. Although users will no longer run into the issue of their home button not responding when they push down, they now face the issue of having to replace these touch sensitive buttons, which is sure to be costly.

Consumers who have been waiting for an upgrade since the iPhone 5 or older will experience a significant change with the iPhone 7. On the other hand, iPhone users with the latest models, the 6s and 6s Plus, will find that upgrading to the 7 might not be worth the money.

The 6s series and the 7 are very similar. Many of the basic components of the phones have remained the same, such as the size of the phone, pixel resolution and video qualities. The cameras on both models are 12 megapixels with the exception of the iPhone 7 adding two additional cameras to enhance the quality of the photos.

It can’t be denied that the iPhone underwent notable enhancements; however, these costly changes are not for everyone.