5 iPhone Design Changes That Made Apple Fans Mad Over The Years
I’m currently an iPhone user. And at the present moment have absolutely no intentions whatsoever to switch to Samsung.
Yet don’t get me wrong. I’m not obsessed with with Apple products.
In fact, my last 4 smart phone were Samsung>iPhone>Samsung>iPhone.
I’m not a tech geek. But I’m not obnoxious to the more advanced technology being used in other smart phones competing with iPhone for market share. I’m also aware of the wonders (and dangers) of Android.
And even if the iPhone I’m using now has it’s shortcomings and flaws, I still love it to bits. But how Apple is constantly rocking the boat for iPhone users, especially those who are growing loyal, is leaving me thinking about switching to their fiercest competitor again.
I can understand the logic behind corporate maneuvers to prevent customers from switching and to generate more sales in the product line. But the frequency of which material design changes are made in the name of “better tech” is really annoying users like me.
And the latest changes are not one-off affairs. Apple has shown over the years that they are willing to make disruptive changes that affect the users in their “ecosystem”. And the only way we can “harmonize” hardware conflicts is to buy more accessories.
Here are 5 iPhone changes that has left a lot of users (like me) livid.
1) The switch to MicroSIM
Standard SIM cards were in use from the very beginning of mobile phones. So one wonders what were the real intentions of cutting down the size of the standard SIM card to a smaller one for iPhone 4.
Yeah… I’m sure the HUGE size savings will add a WHOLE LOT of industry defining technology into the phone. So much that inconveniencing all smart phone users all over the world is worth the trouble…
But any straight thinking person will have the obvious assumption of the real corporate intentions behind this truly inconvenient product design change.
It is to leave users with an extra hurdle to jump over if they even dare to consider switching to another phone… because obviously a MicroSIM will not slot nicely into a Samsung that uses a standard sized one in 2010.
But I suspect that there is another sinister intent behind the change.
It is to help network operators boost their bottom line. Because every user will now have to register a new SIM card in order to use their iPhones. This is really easy money in the eyes of the networks. They don’t even need to sell more products or open more lines to generate more revenue. All they needed to do was to issue more cards to existing subscribers of voice and data plans.
This change must have been a successful exercise because they did it again in 2012!
2) The switch to NanoSIM
As if pissing off a huge number of users is not enough, Apple’s design team decided to showcase how clever they are again with iPhone 5.
When the MicroSIM was introduced, I actually gave Apple the benefit of the doubt. I felt that maybe there really was something about some components design and assembly that made the smaller SIM card necessary.
So even though it was a hassle to embrace change, I accepted it.
But when history repeated itself again, this time with iPhone 5, I became convinced that my previous assumptions about the real intentions to SIM card size changes were true.
Yes… fan boys… I’m sure there was a HUGE amount of breakthrough technology that made the NanoSIM necessary…
By this time, Samsung’s latest cutting-edge phones and tablets were moving to MicroSIMs too. But because of the introduction of NanoSIM…
Yet again, loyal Apple users had to reach for their wallets and pay for a new SIM card.
But there was something more disturbing with iPhone 5…
3) Change from 30-pin to lightning connector
If there was a change that really affected the whole Apple ecosystem of user base, it is this.
From beginning of Apple’s resurrection with the overwhelming success of the iPod, 30-pin adapters were the standard proprietary “plug” in use for Apple devices.
It was on the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. This made miscellaneous accessories like speakers and docks universal. So instead of buying an accessory for just your iPod, you are now buying it for 3 devices. This made buying decisions easier.
So imagine the look on an Apple user”s face when he realized that the new iPhone will not be able to sync with the accessories he has at home.
You could of course navigate this tiny issue by… buying an adapter…
And remember that buying OEM products that were not manufactured by Apple vendors can pose a safety hazard…
Now I’m no geek and I don’t know the technology behind these connectors. But I cannot help but think that they serve similar functions. Even if there was an upgrade in performance indicators like speed, as a regular non-geek user, it is negligible and certainly not noticeable.
And come one… A geek will prefer an Android to an iPhone.
Making this design change will just shake the money tree so that more leaves will fall off.
4) Apple Maps
Google Maps had always been a mainstay on the iPhone. It is one of those apps that you use ever so often fully knowing that you can depend on it. It’s a great accurate product that serves a practical purpose.
And in 2012, together with the introduction of iOS 6, Apple announced that Apple Maps will replace Google Maps as the default web mapping service.
Now I really don’t mind changing apps. But if you are to implement something like this to the mass market, You should be sure that it is a ready, proven, and tested product, that is truly better that Google Maps.
In this aspect, Apple Maps failed to deliver on the expectations of consumers. My personal experience was that it was horrendous.
So much frustration that user were experiencing, Apply Maps became the subject of jokes and internet memes that poked fun at it.
Real customers shouldn’t be beta testers for an app such as this. Many drivers on the road make use Google Maps. And inaccuracies and confusion can cause safety hazards.
Because of this experience of Apple Maps, it will really take a lot of convincing in the future for me to voluntarily replace it with Google Maps.
5) Removal of 3.5mm headphone jack
Another design change that left much to be desired.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is the industry standard for plugging your cute earphones and heavy-duty headphone in. It has been this way for as long as anyone can remember.
SONY even revolutionized the music industry with their Walkmans. Each one using the standard auxiliary port.
This gives you an indication of how long it has been in use and it’s longevity.
Every audio accessory will inevitably be using such an input jack for connecting headphones to a music player. Even wireless and Bluetooth headsets will come with these jacks. TV sets, computers, DVD players, radios, everything uses it.
Removing the standard socket to make space for “hardware upgrades” is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.
Yes, this might be necessary in order to procure a slimmer phone. But have they asked the consumers whether they’d sacrifice all their headgear for a few millimeters of reduction in thickness?
The real reasons behind this change, I suspect is more about making more money than making more technology.
A design change like this immediately renders all existing wired headphones useless. Although the iPhone 7 comes with an adapter to connect the lightning slot to a 3.5mm headphone jack, I still cannot see how this design change is necessary.
Especially when Apple encourages us to skip the lightning port altogether and use their wireless AirPods!
An adapter just gives me, as a consumer an extra accessory to carry around. And with how small this adapter is, it will be prone to loss and misplacement. I’d even say that plugging this into the phone while traveling in public transport can make the phone prone to damage from accidents.
Before this, if you use a conventional 3.5mm slot for your headphones, bad impact from bad angles can destroy the jack. This can easily happen when you bump into people or things in transit during peak hours.
But if you are to knock into something now, you could damage the lightning jack. Which would lead to a whole lot of other more severe problems…
This is technological disruption for the sake of disruption.
Despite my obvious delusion with the merits of iPhone changes stated above, and even though I will make a stand by not getting the iPhone 7, I still cannot see myself switching to a Samsung in the near future. That’s how stupid this situation is.
In an odd way, it is like dating where you fall hopelessly in love with the iPhone during dating. But once you get over the honeymoon period, you start to realize the many shortcomings you have to put up with. Failing which, you will have to turn back to an ex named Galaxy… whom you broke up with for good reason in the first place.