Will Apple’s New iPhone 7 and Watch Match The Hype?

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the new iPhone 7. Here, we take a look at the new products.

Prior to today’s launch of the new iPhone 7 and Watch, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a (hilarious) ride with James Corden. It’s definitely a fun way to introduce a new product.

Whenever Apple holds a glitzy event like today’s iPhone 7 launch/lovefest in San Francisco, the tech world buzzes with anticipation over what jaw-dropping apps and features will be contained in the latest product. Apple CEO Tim Cook and his overly excited and upbeat executives took to the stage today to unveil  its new lineup to an always adoring audience.

As is common at these events, Cook and his product people drone on with buzzwords—incredible, stunning, inspirational, inspiring, magical, powerful, groundbreaking, amazing, exciting and, of course, game-changing. But the real question is whether the newly launched products can possibly live up to all that hype?

Here’s a look at Apple’s new iPhone 7 and Watch.

Apple iPhone 7: Not surprisingly, Cook labelled it as the “best iPhone we’ve ever created.” According to him, “it makes all the things you do every day so much better.” Here are the new features that will make our lives so much better:

  • Refined design, with high gloss (seamless surface) black, gold, silver and rosegold finishes.
  • Water and dust resistant—a big breakthrough
  • Advanced camera system “a super-computer for photos.” This includes an optical image stabilizer (eliminates shaky hands), wider lens, allows you to take richer, brighter pictures, low-light photos, improved face and body detection. Oh yeah, it also has a better selfie camera.
  • Improved speakers with stereo sound
  • Longest battery life ever in an iPhone (an average of two hours extra a day).
  • You will no longer listen to music through earphones connected headphone jacks. Instead, you’ll be hooked up through lightning ports. (Adapters will be included for users with old headphones.) Ridiculously, Apple said it took “courage” to get rid of headphone jacks
  • Apple also introduces the new Airpods because it no longer makes sense to “tether ourselves to our devices” with cables. These new earphones connect wirelessly providing superior sound and allowing user to make calls as well. Airpods will sell for $159 (US).
  • Faster performance with new A10 Fusion, a “rocketship” of a chip
  • Runs on IOS 10, Apple’s new operating system which includes HomeKit (home automation software)
  • Starts at $649 (US) Orders start Sept. 9, will starting shipping in Canada on Sept. 16.

Apple Watch 2: Apple’s wearable tech hasn’t caught on in the way it hoped it would, despite Cook’s contention that it’s already the No. 2 selling watch in the world (behind Rolex). The company feels the Watch 2 will boost sales with the addition of faster processing, better fitness apps, built-in GPS, cool hiking apps as well the inclusion of a Pokemon Go game. Plus, it’s water resistant. Starts at $269 (US).

The iPhone 7’s effect on sales

So, is there enough new and exciting about the iPhone 7 that will prompt people to plunk down 800 bucks on a new device? (This unimpressed CNET reviewer doesn’t think so.) Despite having 180 million-plus users, Apple is coming off its worst fiscal quarter since 2003. With  market share declining, it’s not only falling behind Samsung but also facing stiff competition from cheaper devices.

Any time Apple introduces a new product, it hopes to boost sales by capitalizing on user angst: “Will my older model be rendered obsolete by new features?” According to one research firm, more than 30 per cent of iPhone users own a device that’s over three years old.

So, will users hang on to their old phones or will they jump at upgrading what they feel is their outdated set? As long iPhones remain more about status than practicality, I’d suggest people will continue buying the latest offering. That’s the brilliance of Apple.