New iPhone 7: No Headphone Jack, No Problem (Except One Biggie)
Author’s note: A slightly less developed version of this article (no takeaways for marketers there) is killing it on LinkedIn. Over 12,000 views and 100 comments (my best Pulse post ever). Check it out there too if you like.
Don’t you just love it when a new Apple product is released. It brings out the haters and naysayers. (BTW, I'll put the marketing/customer experience takeaways for this post at the very end.)
Last Friday, the iPhone 7 was made available to the public. As usual, the Apple store in my town had a line around the block (I pre-ordered mine through Verizon and it came on time). And now, the Apple critics are in full-on bashing mode. This time because Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.
“How can you live without a headphone jack?”
“They’re taking away our beloved headphone jack.”
“They (meaning old Apple Inc.) are forcing us to buy wireless headphones for over $150.”
“How can I charge my iPhone and listen to music?” (Well, maybe that one is valid.)
“The sound quality over Bluetooth is horrible.” (Yup, if you're an audiophile you'll definitely want to go wired, but for everyday tasks like going to the gym and having conversations, it's fine.)
And on and on.
Let me just point out a few facts if you will indulge me for a minute more (and maybe I will get back to helping you as a marketer, too):
- Whether you like it or not, wireless is the future.
- Wireless headphones have been around for a while, and the good news is the technology is getting better (my son swears by his Bragi’s).
- All new iPhone 7s come with an adaptor, so you can plug your favorite headphones in and not have to spend any money on new headphones.
- Apple has been kind enough to include lightning headphones with your iPhone purchase.
- When was the last time you even thought of a floppy drive? Apple killed it with the original iMac.
Truth is, you cannot stop progress.
One bit of bad news I must put out there: As of this writing, there are issues with the 3.5 mm to lightning adaptor. The volume control and starting and stopping of music using the button on my Bose headphones has been spotty. Also, I can hear but not speak when I get a call. This is a big issue for me, but I hear there's already a fix in the works. Rant over. There … I said it!
What Can Marketers Learn From This?
- Be confident in your decisions. If you consistently break new ground and your customers are willing to adjust to the changes, you become the lead dog on the sled.
- Change is inevitable. Does your brand, customer service, retail stores, product lines, website, etc., need to be “freshened” up? Do it now. In fact, find the “next generation technology” and beat your competitors to it.
- Even if you're not the first to market with a product, if you do it better than the competition, you can be perceived as the leader in the space.
Have you bought the iPhone 7? Tried the headphone adaptor? How is it working for you? And what's your takeaway from this as a marketer? Feel free to comment or hate on my post below!
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.