The upcoming Apple iPhone 7 will bring more radical changes to the much awaited smartphone. The latest leaks show a Smart Connector (like on the iPad Pro), a dual lens rear camera and the most controversial of all, no headphone jack. The horror.
Apple’s biggest changes have always caused mixed reactions. Yet the company has always ‘forced’ the tech world to constantly change and adapt, continually releasing innovative devices that have changed the way we work and play. We look back at some of the more controversial changes that Apple introduced to the tech world.
Omitting the floppy disk
In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple to revitalise the company. A year later, the company released the iMac G3 after slashing most of its product line. The sleek and colourful G3 was best known for its sole reliance on USB ports, and the omission of a floppy disk drive. Many believed Apple was insane, but the company believed that CDs and the internet would make the floppy obsolete.
Apple’s prediction rang true. Today, nearly every computer accessory uses USB, and the floppy disk was officially pronounced dead several years later.
No to Adobe Flash
Steve Jobs famously published an open letter in 2010 to lambast Adobe Flash for its poor battery efficiency, security and lack of touch support as reasons why Apple will not allow Flash on its handheld devices. Many derided and criticised the letter, some even accusing Steve Jobs of hypocrisy over Apple’s dominance over its products.
Google later ended Flash support for Android in 2011, and just last year, cybersecurity company Hacking Team revealed a critical vulnerability in Flash that could be used to infect malware. Now the tech industry is pushing to adopt HTML5 for web video over Adobe Flash.
When the iPhone 5 was introduced in 2012, Apple ditched the 30-pin connector it had used since the third-generation iPod for a new ‘Lightning’ connector. This caused a chorus of disapproval not only from consumers who’ve invested in docks and other accessories, but also from manufacturers of tech products to cars that have already made products that used the 30-pin connector.
Apple made the transition smooth by releasing a number of backwards compatible adapters for existing accessories. Four years later, the all-digital Lightning connector is widely used.
The latest Apple MacBook brings along another controversial decision that’s driving people crazy. With only a single USB-C port to handle power, data, video output or any accessory, Apple believes that wireless connections are the future.
This change to the MacBook, along with the rumoured headphone jack omission on the upcoming iPhone 7 proves Apple has always been fearless about these transitions, whether consumers like it or not. These risky changes, successful or otherwise, have always been Apple’s defining factor, especially among its competitors that have always taken the safer route.