Apple remains innovative with bold product changes

Call them crazy, if you wish, but for the man who was primarily associated with the Apple brand, Steve Jobs, it took a lot of crazy ideas to get the company to where it is today. With a team of brilliant engineers at his side, including friend and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Jobs helped produce some of the most innovative products the world has ever known. Now, since Jobs’ passing in 2011, Apple has continued to prove itself in every market it’s involved in, including that of the smartphone, of which Apple became competitive in with the introduction with the first-generation iPhone on June 29, 2007. Since then, there have been eight other generations of the product, including the most recent generation, which includes the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which were released on Sept. 16.

Controversy has been brewing ever since this release, primarily regarding Apple’s decision to discard the headphone jack and replace it with the ability to connect wirelessly. The way they simplify wireless listening is by allowing users to purchase their all-new Apple AirPods, a pair of cord-free in-ear headphones that automatically connect to any Apple device they are set up with.

While you might scream when you first hear the price for these earbuds ($159), if you didn’t already know, the price is for good reason. Apple has expanded its technology by fixing its new W1 chip inside the earbuds to allow the user to pair instantly with any personal device via iCloud. The headphones will have a battery life of five hours and will also come with a portable charging case that can provide an extra 24 hours of battery life. Not to mention the AirPods pause when you take them out of your ears and resume when you put them back in. So with all of these features, the expensive price tag makes sense.

Many will argue that this severely limits what iPhone users will be able to listen with and this is true. Since Apple will not be providing the AirPods with the iPhone, they will either have to connect via Bluetooth or purchase the AirPods when they are released in late October 2016 (or use the lightning-port-to-headphone-jack adapter that will be provided with both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus).

However, this is something that Apple has done ever since it was founded — designing their products so they are only compatible with their own products. Whenever this has happened, they have often been met with fuss, but consumers have still adapted to the changes. Long ago, when developers decided to make Apple software only work on Apple operating systems, people still bought them. When Apple engineers decided to get rid of the disc drive when designing their new MacBook, consumers still showed up in droves at Apple’s stores to purchase the product. So it’s safe to say that even though the iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack, its sales should still have positive growth.

These changes also further prove just how innovative Apple can be. Some of their biggest innovations came in the form of the original iPad, which popularized the tablet computer industry. Another was the introduction of the MacBook Air, which gave us a computer with a slim design and superior processing power compared to others, even ones that were larger in size. This is a company that is not afraid of taking risks and proving itself in the long run.

Even with these new changes to their products, Apple will still be a main staple in households across the United States, and you can expect that many will be handing over that $159 for a new pair of AirPods. In the end, we’ll see what consumers make of the new changes, but if the history of technology has taught us anything about Apple, it’s that they always seem to make it work.

Nathaniel is the Culture Editor and is a fourth-year journalism and business administration student at the University of Maine. He have been writing for The Maine Campus since November of 2014, covering everything from community events to films.

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