Expectations on the iPhone 7 had been carefully managed by Apple to ensure that it wouldn’t disappoint investors, media and customers. It was known beforehand that it wouldn’t have any new revolutionary features, that the design would remain the same and that the biggest change was the removal of the headphone jack.
The media reviews have consequently been somewhat muted, but overall positive.
So why will the iPhone 7 be a hit and why should you get one?
As we’ve repeatedly stated in this blog, in presentations and during insight sharing sessions, innovation is about solving customer problems and not about launching new technology.
Apple could have launched eye scanning authentication, a back side screen, a bigger battery for extended battery life, an external thermometer, a 3D/VR camera (or maybe they did but we’ll get to that later), and a myriad of other technically feasible features.
Instead they focused on solving customer problems with incremental innovation which is great. This is exactly how we believe the most successful innovation should be done.
So what are these problems and solutions by Apple?
1. Water Resistance
The digital natives bring the phone with them wherever they go, including the bathroom, the beach, the gym, and lo and behold, out in the rain. The number of smartphones that get damaged by water is astounding. Dramatically improved water resistance gives more freedom and will save quite a few phones.
2. The Headphone Jack
The number of cables we have to carry around and that constantly need to be untangled are a customer experience disaster. Why do headphones still have cables after 50 years and huge improvements in wireless technology? Apple removed the headphone jack forcing us to consider the wireless alternative with a nice pair of wireless headphones available as an optional purchase.
Whether we like it or not, Apple is tackling a big issue and we will be thankful for this in the near future. In addition, they will make a ton of money from wireless headphones. And if you still want to use wires you can use the lightning port.
The smartphone camera has revolutionized photography and photo sharing. The quality of photos can mean the difference between no recognition, 100,000 likes and shares or simply a nice memory. The camera software and hardware has improved enormously over the past ten years, but there’s still room for improvement, and one challenge with the small scale of the lenses is limited focus. Try taking a photo with focus on people in the foreground, while trying to show depth.
Apple solves this on the iPhone 7 Plus by adding a second lens and the result is astonishing. For instagram-addicts, the iPhone 7 Plus will be a must-have gadget.
And there could be a second reason for the double lens, but now I’m just speculating. What if it could turn the phone into a virtual reality or 3D camera in the future with a software upgrade?
How often do you wish you had carried a wireless speaker with you to play music on the beach, in the hotel room on holiday, for the picnic or maybe while singing in the shower? The digital natives have grown up with having and sharing music wherever they go and this is now a something that people of all ages have embraced.
Therefore improving the external speakers is actually of great importance whether it’s sound quality, better stereo sound or louder volume. We cannot tell how big the improvement is yet, but we can’t wait to find out.
5. More Problems Solved
We found at least three other customer experience problems that the iPhone 7 solves. Did you find them too? Send us your list so we can compare and post the results.
And tell us if you are going to buy the iPhone 7. I know I definitely will.
Magnus Jern, President DMI International