Why Apple's pitch for its wireless headphones and smartwatch was spot on

Apple's iPhone 7 event came and went with very few unexpected announcements.

Why Apple's pitch for its wireless headphones and smartwatch was spot on

It seems that keeping the details of these Apple special events secret is almost impossible these days given the level of interest in anything the company announces.

Despite this, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7S provide some compelling reasons for consumers to upgrade. The initial unveiling, with inevitable voiceover from Jonathan Ive, focused on the design precision and high quality appearance of the new device. Apple is very much still marketing the iPhone as a premium product, and first impressions of the iPhone 7 lived up to expectations.

In terms of new features, evolution was evident in the improvements made to the processor, home button, camera and speakers. However, some would argue we also witnessed revolution with the much-rumoured removal of the headphone jack. Some long awaited features, such as water and dust resistance, were greeted with relief rather than revelry.

The home button is now force sensitive and works in conjunction with a new taptic engine, enabling apps to use subtle variations of vibration feedback to indicate different activities. It will be interesting to see what novel uses developers come up with. The camera improvements look impressive, and will certainly appeal to today's smartphone consumer. The new APIs for live photos and raw image capture open up more possibilities for developers to use some of the features that were previously not available to them. It's great to see Apple opening up more parts of the iOS ecosystem to developers. This in turn provides consumers with powerful, compelling app features utilising the power of the hardware contained in the device. 

One of the most talked about rumours preceding the event was the removal of the analogue headphone jack. Many believed that even Apple would not be brave, or as some would think, foolhardy enough to make that move. However, they seemed to get the pitch spot on. With more technology competing for space inside your smartphone, this old-fashioned analogue interface was taking up valuable room that could be used for more modern hardware. It is hard to argue with that, considering the existing lightning port is a ready-made digital audio interface. With the additional introduction of the new wireless earbuds called AirPods, Tim Cook cleverly described the move as "ushering in the future of wireless audio". 

The event was not only to launch the new iPhone 7 range, but also Series 2 of Apple Watch. With a dual-core processor, built-in GPS and water resistance, it feels that the device is beginning to mature into a mass-market product, similar to how the iPhone revolutionised the mobile phone market. Already the second most popular watch brand by sales, we could be looking at a bright future for the Apple smartwatch as well. 

Ian Lockett is iOS Lead at mobile agency Somo


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