The September 7th Apple event has come and gone. Apple showed off the iPhone 7, Apple Watch Series 2, and AirPods with a few software details in between. The event went by the script with the rumors and leaks largely identifying everything that Apple detailed. Even if there were no rumors, Apple had a relatively bland event with little of noteworthy announcements. Apple announced the iPhone 6 in 2014, and a lot has happened since then in the world, but not as much for the iPhone line.
The event went by the book revealing a new iPhone with a faster processor, improved camera, and subtle internal enhancements. Last year’s iPhone 6S was a relatively uninspired event with 3D Touch being the main distinguisher of that year’s new iPhone. The iPhone 7 feels like another S year with a similar exterior design accented with the typical hardware boosts. It’s tough to get excited about another faster chip when the current phones don’t struggle with any tasks. An improved camera is nice, but the 4.7” model only leaves you wanting the dual lens system on the 5.5” Plus. The other enhancements include better color accuracy on the display, new stereo speaker system, and a new glossy black color. All of which aren’t exactly device changing additions, or things to truly see the potential beneficial use cases.
When considering an upgrade, it’s best to think about what the new phone can do better than your existing phone. The core excitement of an Apple event is to see all new use cases to entice you to actually want to buy a new device. Those weren’t present in this event, and it’s tough to find a really appealing reason to upgrade. If you simply look at the 4.7” device, it’s even tougher to find reason to upgrade, even from the 2014 iPhone 6. You gain 3D Touch from the 6S, optical image stabilization from the Plus line, more speed, and double the storage options. Moving from the 4.7” iPhone 6 to the 5.5” Plus at least presents a bigger screen and the dual lens camera system. Regardless, the 2014 iPhone isn’t all that different from the 2016 iPhone, especially when it comes to day to day usage.
Beyond the run of the mill iPhone 7 announcement, Apple also unveiled the Apple Watch Series 2. Part of the presentation felt like the second edition was created to entice new buyers, but not make owners who bought the initial release feel bad. The Apple Watch Series 2 essentially improves water proofing, boosts screen brightness, adds GPS, and increases the processing power. The processing power increase is a standard addition, but at the same time Apple is touting that watchOS 3 will improve app performance for the first generation. Apple made no mention of the battery life of the new series 2, and it was tough to find what it could do different beyond tracking your swimming exercises. The first generation dropping to $269 with the new processor might have been the only intriguing aspect of the Apple Watch segment.
The Apple event was a slow moving train through sleepy town with numerous stops that weren’t worth getting off the train for. The AirPods were one of the few intriguing points, but were limited by the $159 price point with unclear details on staying in your ears during exercise and offering any noise cancelation. Apple tried to add a spark with Nintendo with new apps for both iOs and Apple Watch. Super Mario Run finally brings Mario to the iPhone, but essentially provides an auto-runner one touch experience with a new skin. Pokemon Go is coming to the Apple Watch later this year many months after the initial hype with notifications that simply push you to reach for your iPhone.
Apple’s September 7th event elicited more yawns than oohs and aahs continuing the trend from last year.