Apple’s Unlucky Seventh

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Apple recently released the newest iterations of the iPhone at an Apple Special Event on September 7. With added features like stereo speakers and an IP67 rating which makes the newest iPhones water-resistant the latest iPhones have certainly improved. However, by failing to keep up with similarly priced flagship Android smartphones, the newest model illustrates the growing gap in innovation between Apple and other smartphone manufacturers.

If you’re embedded within the Apple ecosystem, only then might this be the upgrade for you. Added functionality of the dual-lens camera on the iPhone 7 Plus allows you to get two times optical zoom, which has been a significant problem for smartphone cameras. In addition, the lowest storage configuration for the latest iPhone 7, 32 GB, eliminates issues with the inadequate capacity of 16 GB.

With these positive features, though, comes the less-exciting removal of the headphone jack. Traditional headphones will still work, as Apple includes an adapter. But, without buying a separate dock, it will be impossible to charge your phone while listening to headphones. Apple’s removal of the headphone jack serves as another push by the company to further polarize its products from Android and Windows counterparts. It’s also another push for Apple to market its Airpods, a pair of wireless earbuds. An emerging new segment of headphones will accompany the sales of the new iPhone as a whole market of individuals seeking higher-end headphones with lightning cables develops.

If you’re not particularly beholden to Apple, there are numerous counterparts that offer more features. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has an IP68 rating, which makes it more water-resistant than the iPhone. It also has a higher resolution display, a dual-curved screen, microSD card expansion compatibility and much more customization with Android. To be fair, the Note 7 did experience a battery issue and was plagued with recall. However, the bolder design still illustrates the lengths that other companies are going to win customers.

The reason Apple is experiencing problems in regard to its pushes for innovation is that the company doesn’t face competition. Only Apple develops products running iOS and MacOS, while multiple Andriod and PC manufacturers are contending with each other. With this competition, they struggle to top one another and the group that benefits the most is the consumers, as ultimately these companies are all trying to win our business with lower prices and higher functionality. Apple’s desktop and laptop models haven’t been updated in years, something unheard of in the PC industry as new versions are released almost every year. This lack of innovation isn’t going unnoticed, as, according to CNN Money, Apple sales have fallen for a second straight quarter.

There’s no doubt that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are better than the previous models, but they simply can’t compete with other smartphones on the market. Higher-resolution displays and added functionality are just some of the features found in other Android flagships and not the iPhone. If you don’t need the new iPhone now, you’re better off holding off until 2017 when Apple is rumored to completely redesign the iPhone 8 for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.