But they’re not as impressed with iPhone 7 as they have been with iPhones of yesteryear. No, there’s nothing wrong with Apple’s newest flagship product. On the contrary, the camera in iPhone 7 Plus is much loved. Gone is the 16GB entry-level model. The new Jet Black color seems to be a big seller. But there’s that missing headphone jack…
Wait’ll Next Year
Touting next year’s iPhone model is a time honored tradition among certified Apple watchers who claim not to be blown away by this year’s model; you know, the one that hasn’t officially hit the streets yet. They cry, “No, next year’s model will be better and greater than ever.” At least, until this time next year when focus changes positions on the calendar.
It should be clear by now that Apple’s revolutionary iPhone has become the quintessential evolutionary and incremental flagship product; always improving, always delighting, always disappointing. Until next year.
OK, so what could be coming next year that we see hints of this year?
Personally, I think we have not run out of colors. Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, Black and Jet Black. But no blue, no red, no Zune-like brown. But thousands of case styles and colors to choose from, so color next year won’t be much different than this year.
So, let me take a moment, pull out the crystal ball from my desk drawer, put on the tin-foil hat, and some 3D glasses, and take a look at what’s missing this year that might make it to an Apple Store near you about this time next year.
First, the Home button. This year the Home button is no longer a button, but has adopted 3D Touch to act like a button, including a little click-like vibration to tell you something is happening, a sleight-of-hand that eliminates all the bad of a physical button, and ushers in a proven technology where a button is no longer really a button but is better.
You know, like the onscreen keyboard of the original iPhone that all those experienced technologists said was ridiculous. Seen anybody recently with a smartphone that also has a physical keyboard?
Alright, where would the advanced 2017 version of the Home button go? How about into the screen itself. How about taking the screen all the way to the sides, left and right, and to the bottom of the case, and nearly to the top (that pesky camera might get in the way)? In other words, a nearly full screen screen with diminished forehead, like a former Microsoft CEO, and a decided lack of the iPhone’s famous chin.
Oh, speaking of cases, what would be better than aluminum? Plastic? That is so anti-Apple. Liquidmetal? That’s a possibility but Apple invested in the technology many years ago and not much of it has been seen since.
Wait. The new Watch Series 2 has a ceramic case model, decidedly somewhat expensive at $1,249, but it could be a harbinger of things to come. Apple already has a number of patents for a lightweight, super smooth, scratch-resistant compound, and it is well known that Chief Design Honcho Jony Ive loves exotic materials. I checked into one of the patent filings, the most recent, and it indicates a process of using a ceramic case coupled with an internal molding of polymer (ostensibly to hold all the electronics into place).
Apple says Watch Series 2, ceramic edition, contains zirconia and alumina which are oxides of zirconium and aluminum which would make a case difficult to break, mostly scratch proof, cool to the touch despite all the electronics nearby, and very importantly, have a by-product that– unlike aluminum– is ‘radio transparent’ for better reception.
A full case screen and nearly unbreakable case are exactly the kinds of challenges Apple loves to meet and excels at bringing to market.
Wait’ll next year.