13th September 2016

Technology that Apple Killed

Apple goes out with the old, in with the new

On 7th September 2016, Apple announced the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. As expected, the big talking point was the removal of the headphone jack.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has killed off a much loved technology but looking back they tend to make the right choices. We look back at the technology we once thought we’d miss.

Floppy Disks
At Lease Loop we love the iMac. After all it was the model that saved Apple, but when Steve Jobs launched the iMac G3, it did away with floppy disks. For a certain generation, floppy disks were handy tools which allowed you to transfer or achieve files. At the time, the decision to remove it seemed huge but when you now consider that a floppy disk isn’t even big enough to store a single photo from your new iPhone 7, it was clearly a good call.

DVD Optical Drive
On the first iMac, the floppy disk was replaced with a DVD Optical Drive. This was the future right up until 2008 when Apple launched the MacBook Air. At the time the design was revolutionary and so incredibly thin, but to achieve this, Apple had to lose something. That something turned out to be the DVD Superdrive. It wasn’t long until the whole Apple range came without an internal DVD Superdrive, save the old 13” MacBook Pro.

This showed Apple’s desire to make our lives more wireless. The removal of the headphone jack in the iPhone shows that this philosophy is still core to the company today. It also had a knock on effect for software. When was the last time you bought software in a box? Nowadays, we are used to downloading apps from the App Store.

Where to start here? We could concentrate on Apple’s Firewire that last appeared on a Mac in 2013 or going back to the first iMac that removed the industry standard Parallel and the Serial Ports. What did they replace them with? USB. Of course we have had Thunderbolt but when Apple launched the MacBook it came with just one USB-C port. Adaptors allow you to connect USB or HDMI and Thunderbolt devices. Whilst the jury is still out on USB-C it is hard to argue with the success that USB has had in connecting our devices.

30-Pin Dock Connector
In terms of connectivity perhaps the most controversial decision was when Apple dropped the 30 pin dock connector from the iPhone 5. For almost a decade we had been using this connection to charge our iPhones and iPads. Most homes had a plethora of accessories that utilised the 30 pin connector and then when Apple included Lightning on the iPhone 5 these were made redundant overnight.

However, as with all of these changes there tends to be an initial uproar, followed by acceptance, followed by why did it take this long to make the change?
Headphone Jack

Time will tell whether Apple removing the headphone jack will meet with customer’s approval. Apple have decided to keep the initial sales secret but we do know that the Jet Black iPhone 7 has sold out. I guess the real indicator will be the number of people you see wearing the new Air Pods.