Since the release of the first iPhone in 2007, Apple has quickly built a reputation as a company that makes bold moves that seem impractical at the time. Sure, other companies may have done some of the things it’s done before, but Apple isn’t afraid to keep at it and continue strutting forward with changes that sometimes even create a bit of controversy. The most intense controversy – which continues to create sporadic discussions here and there almost a year later – is the removal of the headphone jack. Now, there are rumors that the company has an agenda to remove all ports and buttons altogether at some point. How does a business model based on this even work?
Wait, Apple Is Removing What?
A piece on Bloomberg published on June 21, 2018, touched upon the subject of the AirPower wireless charger that Apple was planning to release. It had a couple of problems, one being that it hasn’t yet sorted out the complicated circuitry required to charge the Apple Watch, AirPods, and iPhone simultaneously.
However, once the company succeeds in manufacturing a unit that doesn’t overheat, it will continue embarking on a journey that will end in the removal of the Lightning port that the phone uses to charge. At least this is what a person familiar with the company said.
It would play nicely into Apple’s plans, too, considering the fact that every iteration of the phone has made it a top priority to remove mechanical elements and maximize screen space. The iPhone X, for example, expanded the screen into the bezel, leaving only a notch that contains the speakers, the front-facing camera, and other sensors.
Why Is Apple Doing This?
It may seem entirely counterintuitive to remove things like the volume rocker, the power switch, the home button, the bezel, and even the charging port, but there’s a method to this madness. A phone that works seamlessly without having to connect anything or have anything pressed mechanically is, in the opinion of many people (especially those who buy iPhones), futuristic.
To an Apple user who usually shells out top dollar for hardware, cables are just passé. They have no other purpose but to get in the way of the user experience. Plugging in a cable into one’s phone is seen as a nuisance that requires the clunky movement of having to untangle the cable, work out the way it’s supposed to go in (as is the case with standard micro USB cables that many phones still use today), and then carefully connect it so that it doesn’t warp the interior connection.
Now, imagine having a phone that you can charge by placing it on a surface, listen to by pressing a button on the headphones in your ears, and unlock without having to type in passwords or match patterns. This is the kind of phone that Apple wants to create, and it’s the reason why it’s hard at work to get rid of what it perceives as antiquated nonsense.
There’s also the fact that the company could simply sell more proprietary products this way. It doesn’t have to, of course. Since the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, it hasn’t required the device’s owners to use its AirPods. Nothing indicates that it will start doing so in the near future.
Still, that doesn’t stop users of the iPhone from purchasing official accessories from Apple. It’s a win-win. The user gets more branded products, and Apple rakes in a decent profit.
Do you think that removing ports and buttons is a good direction for Apple? Do you see other companies following the same model? Don’t forget to show us what you think in a comment!