Apple is surely not a collection of stupid people – otherwise, it wouldn’t’ve reached the status it has today. But it surely isn’t an all-knowing haruspex able to read the future from the entrails of its most dedicated fans, even if they offer their lives willingly for the cause. Sure, whatever changes, you’ll be able to use the next iteration of its handsets perfectly well to read the news and mobile pokie games on your iPhone but this seems not to be stopping Apple from experimenting on its users with some of the most interesting changes you can think of. Yes, I know, thinking out of the box is a great thing – but getting rid of the headphone jack and forcing users to invest in new headphones was nothing short of a jerk move, don’t you think?
Apple has a history of doing things differently. Sometimes, it worked for them – after all, the whole world has given up styluses and physical buttons in favor of smartphone screens that you could handle with your fingers, and is in the process of finally showing Adobe Flash the door after Apple did so. But there were other times when Apple’s choices of hardware solutions were far from being the perfect ones.
The dropping of the floppy drive was among the first moves the tech world has considered to be a stupid one on Apple’s side. Floppy disks have been in use ages after they disappeared from Apple’s computers, which often forced users to invest in external drives to be able to work. Of course, floppy disks haven’t been in use for ages (they still show up as the “save” icon in most apps, for lack of a better alternative, though) and have been replaced by thumb drives and their likes. But Apple later dropped the optical drive, too, turning their computers completely diskless. Next, Apple didn’t support Blu-ray in the most recent optical disc war. It was a big mistake, as time has shown us, since it has become the dominant choice in the world of entertainment. But this has happened after Apple chose FireWire over USB, so we couldn’t’ve expected anything else from them.
And the list could go on forever, with items ranging from using proprietary connectors to leaving computers with a single USB-C port that’s responsible both for charging and connecting peripherals to them.
Many of these decisions Apple has made over the years are supported by the company’s attempts to reduce its production costs – but many of them have also been supported by the company’s endless self-confidence, supported by the choirs of fans praising everything the company does. And even though some of these decisions have been proven to be the right ones, many of them were not – and have cost the company part of its prestige.
Of course, there are always manufacturers that copy the Cupertino giant’s moves. You can see Android phones with no headphone jacks, you can see laptops with no optical drives, FireWire has also kept showing up on PCs for years. This doesn’t change the fact that Apple is no tech prophet – and seeing it as one would be a big mistake.