Earlier this Month, Tim Cook took to the stage to announce Apple’s next round of updates surrounding the company’s products, as well as its endeavours in areas such as education and charity in a bid to enrich the lives of others with technology. However, throughout the event all excitement felt was derived from the anticipation of Apple’s next iPhone update, an announcement that Tim Cook saved until last. This was preceded by the announcement of the Apple Watch update (Apple Watch: Series 2) and a new collaboration with Nintendo, as the gaming company brings Super Mario to the iPhone (the first time that the company has brought one of its original brands to a smartphone). Apple is renowned for its innovative nature and after a backlash of criticisms over the last few years (claiming that the company no longer knows how to innovate), the tech giant took a shot at proving those critics wrong. Following the latest event, one word is on everyone’s lips: wireless.
One of the highlights of the event, held in San Fransisco, was the company’s focus on pushing the industry forward through wireless technology by removing the headphone socket from the iPhone 7 and announcing a new pair of wireless Apple earphones called Airpods. With dwindling iPhone sales as a result of an oversaturated market and a world where people are no longer wanting to upgrade their smartphones annually, an investor would be forgiven for getting cold feet after Apple’s event. But here’s why a little faith in the company will go a long way at this point in time: Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and release a pair of wireless earbuds is a risky one at a time when the company is the target of so much criticism, but Apple is doing what Apple does best – innovating.
It’s sometimes difficult to forget that with innovation comes change, and with change comes controversy. The tech world is a financial monster of an industry that has relied on the continuous innovation of companies such as Apple and Google. Unlike Google, Apple have embraced innovation in a much more complex (and albeit less frequent) way. Simplicity, style and the idealogical belief that technology should never feel like technology when you’re using it drives Apple’s innovations. It’s an ideology present and obvious in the company’s software and hardware, where simple, intuitive user-oriented operating systems live in harmonious singularity with sleek, minimally-designed shells. Apple’s decision to push the industry towards wireless technology is merely a much-needed, and obvious, step forward – and a vital move for its future as an innovator. In the past, Apple’s decision to embrace change was at first met with criticism; the iPhone was called a gimmick, and its move to ‘Thunderbolt’ was dismissed as a money-grabbing ploy. But it’s obvious that this move to wireless is proof that Apple’s ideologies have not faded in the wake of dwindling iPhone sales and constant criticism.
First impressions of the Airpods are extremely positive (although their design has been criticised) and many commend Apple not only for the far superior wireless technology used in the headphones (in the form of a microchip called ‘W1’), but also for their daring. Only time will tell whether or not Apple’s move will have the same impact on the industry that it’s had in the past. But one thing is certain: This tricky, needlessly criticised Post-Jobs era of Apple isn’t afraid to take risks.