Apple confirmed yesterday the iPhone 7 would not possess a headphone jack but instead require purchase a pair of $160 wireless “Airpods” (or knock-off brand out of Asia via Amazon fulfillment, soon enough).
Was anyone asking for wireless earbuds? Is this a choice we would prefer to have? A great leap forward for wireless freedom? Or another example of a socially engineered capitalist technology age, forced upon us? The latest, greatest innovation from Apple, which proves it can continue to break new ground in the wake of Steve Jobs’ death? Or another product, like the Apple Watch, that nobody much requested or desired? Another step in Apple’s dominance as the world’s most profitable company? Or a rubicon crossed through an advancement that leaves people cold?
FIrst, let’s get Apple’s side of the story. Apple’s senior VP of hardware engineering. Dan Riccio and Apple execs Phil Schiller and Greg Joswiak sat down with Buzzfeed to explain why they jacked the jack. It basically came down to an equal mix of “we wanted more space inside” and “somebody was going to do it, so it might as well be us.”
The newly-owned Gizmodo (Gawker, R.I.P.) is predictably effusive, calling Airpods “The tiny wireless earbuds of the future,” as well as noting that $160 is “is pretty reasonable as far as wireless headphones go.” If you say so, Gizm. But it’s far more likely these airpods are actually just the first wave, and will get progressively smaller and smaller until they can fit in your ear almost without being seen.
The New York Times weighs in on the Airpods addition (by subtraction), as well as the iPhone 7 overall and everything that went down at the Apple event today, in this excellent clearinghouse of information.
Always the contrarians (which is why we like them), Business Insider says “Apple Airpods already getting complaints.”
Mashable’s got one specfic complaint, which is the most realistic one, to our view. People are gonna lose these things. A lot.
Finally: We could have sworn we saw a story on CNN early today that we planned to read and then perhaps share about any health concerns that might come from having so much wireless technology so close to your brain. Now we can find no such story. We must’ve imagined it. Right?