Apple Continues to Validate Technologies Initially Released on Android But Make them Popular with the iPhone 7
The Apple iPhone 7 was released with the typical madness that you see in an Apple store the first day a new iPhone is being sold.
It's interesting to note that in early days of smartphones, iPhones were leading adoption of new features and technologies but with the Apple iPhone 7, it's clear that Apple is now taking the familiar role of taking other technologies first introduced elsewhere, and improving upon them to make them cool in a way only Apple can.
For example, one of the features touted is the water resistance, even though this has long been touted as a key feature of phones like the Sony's Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z4,and Xperia X5. In fact, the iPhone 7 is only IP67 certified (dust and water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes) which is the same level used by the almost ancient (in cell phone years) Samsung Galaxy S5. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy Note7 are already IP68 certified (dust proof and water resistant over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes) despite the fact that these Galaxy phones still keep the 3.5mm audio jack (more on this later).
Another touted feature of the iPhone 7 Plus version is the use of dual camera lens, a feature already seen in the LG G5 and Huawei P9. The iPhone 7 Plus has two 12 MP color cameras at the back (one that is 28 mm wide-angle and f1.8 aperture and another that is 56 mm telephoto and 2.8 aperture). By comparison, Huawei used its partnership with Leica to also introduce two 12 MP cameras to work together and provide better picture quality- these two cameras are both f/2.2, 27 mm and one is monochrome while the other is color. Both the Huawei P9 and the iPhone 7 Plus combine images from the two cameras while the LG G5 simply uses the 2 color cameras to switch between normal and wide-angle shooting, One of these cameras are 16MP and f1.8 aperture while the other camera is 8MP and f2.4 aperture.
Probably the most unique product that was announced with the Apple iPhone 7 was the Apple AirPods. Unlike most other wireless headphones which use standard Bluetooth technology, the Apple AirPods also uses Bluetooth as a base but allows for better integration with Apple products. This means you can immediately connect to your different iPhone, iPad, and Mac products at the same time without having to fuss with pairing and switching between Bluetooth connections. To better conserve power, the Apple AirPods only turns on when they are in your ear.
There has been a lot of positive reaction to the Dual Camera and water resistance features, but it will take time for users to get comfortable with the loss of the 3.5 mm audio connector and instead use Lightning based headphones or wireless headphones like the Apple AirPods to enjoy their music. Apple historically been the only company with enough consumer influence to actually kill or introduce a new connector so we expect this will influence other phone makers to follow in this trend despite users not overly embracing the change.
Even if you purchase the iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus, every aspect of the physical design still puts the iPhone in a class by itself compared to the other Android phones in the market. It feels very comfortable in your hand and has just enough weight to make it feel like a premium product. As you run your fingers over the phone, you won't find any uncomfortable edges and the back & edge surfaces have a pleasantly smooth texture. The only part of the phone that feels out of place is the camera lens that juts out of the body.
The display also seems to stick to your fingers making typing words more accurate.
The iPhone 7 also has a unique haptics and fingerprint enabled button. While Android phones use a mechanical or forgo the main front button altogether, the iPhone 7 button isn't clickable when the phone is off. When the iPhone 7 is on, the button becomes clickable and even how hard the button feels to click can be customized.