June 2015 - Dateline Cupertino, CA - In a somewhat anticipated, kind of lackluster presentation that felt old and threadbare, Apple announced the debut of the iPhone 7 today to tepid applause and few accolades.
The 4G LTE smartphone runs iOS 9 and features a 12 megapixel rear-facing camera and an 8 megapixel front-facing camera. The super-retina display is better than HD quality and quite nice for its size. The non-removable battery is still an issue, as is the lack of removable storage - but, all in all, there were no surprises. It's an iPhone ... and if you want one, it will be in short supply for a week or two to drive the hype machine ... but in two weeks, iPhone 7s will be readily available.
Interestingly, Verizon is offering unlimited 4G LTE data plans if you sign up for a two-year contract and it is heavily subsidizing the phone. The 128 GB model is only $299 and the 64 GB model is $199 and you get a free cover and car charger if you pay with American Express.
My, how things have changed since 2012 when everyone was willing to break their contracts and stand on line outside for a week to get the iPhone 5! Those were the days. People were literally tearing their pockets because they could not get their money out fast enough to buy the new, new thing. That was then.
Today, there simply aren't enough new features to make anyone break their contracts. Carriers are doing everything they can to compete - free unlimited data, free accessories, and in some cases, free phones.
The price of Apple stock is still holding, but not because of the domestic US market. It's fully saturated. The big growth areas are in BRIC countries and the emerging markets. Wherever 4G is new, smart phone business is brisk. Where 4G LTE is a mature technology, there's a fight for every wireless customer.
Of course, phones are becoming old school; the trend now is toward bio-embedded devices. New wirelessly-connected lenses for your eyes, retinal implants, wireless cochlear implants and bio-sensors are starting to sell at a remarkable rate. There is also an awesome trend toward connected clothing. 4G LTE clothes are all the rage. In fact, most pundits think iClothes are going to seriously outsell iPhones in the very near future.
One feature of the new iPhone 7 that is pretty cool is its built-in bio-sensor. Breathalyzer apps are cute, but the new iDoctor app is truly amazing. You just cough on the phone and Dr. Siri will diagnose your ailment. I also like the Lancet companion app that does instant CBCs from a drop of blood. This technology should take worldwide healthcare to a new, much better place. Kudos to Apple for including the technology.
Sadly for Apple, it's a little late. There are about 30 Android devices that already have this capability and they have removable batteries and removable storage, which is much better for a life-saving technology. Oh well. Apple aesthetics always come first.
As far as I can tell, the iPhone 7 is going to sell well. But it's just another phone. People are all going to wait for their subsidized renewals before buying it. And you should wait; there are really no new features. Nothing in the iPhone 7 says stop what you're doing and buy me now. In fact, there are no phones by any manufacturer that say that.
2015 is the year that 4 billion people finally connect to the Internet. That means lots of new connected devices, but, as you know, they are not all smart phones.