Apple announced their much-anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus during the computer giant’s “See You on the 7th” event in San Francisco Wednesday afternoon. “It’s the best iPhone that we have ever created,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said of the device.
Apple’s big surprises were spoiled in part by the many rumors – and, prematurely, Apple’s Twitter account – to leak out prior to the event, but Cook confirmed many of the iPhone 7’s advancements over its previous models: Water and dust resistance, an improved photographer-friendly camera with dual lenses, optical image stabilization and 12-megapixel sensor, the “longest battery life ever” in an iPhone and the implementation of a touch-sensitive, “Taptic” home button that’s built into the base of the phone.
For music fans that use their iPhone as their primary listening device, Cook also confirmed the long-assumed rumor that the conventional 3.5 mm analog headphone jack is no more; in its place, iPhone 7 owners can either connect with a set of headphones that insert through the phone’s Lightning port or with Bluetooth-utilizing headphones. Each iPhone 7 includes a pair of Lightning-ready earbuds plus an 3.5mm-to-Lightning adaptor for preexisting headphones.
Apple’s Phil Schiller explained why Apple had the “courage” to remove the analog jack. With all the new features in the iPhone 7, “All of that stuff is fighting for space, and it’s at a premium,” Schiller said. “We can’t justify an ancient single-use port.”
Apple also introduced wireless “AirPods,” headphones that interact with the user’s iPhones, contain Siri and voice recognition and are capable of seamlessly jumping device to device (e.g. iPhone to Apple Watch). The AirPods, which arrive in October with a $149 price tag, last for roughly five hours between charges. Schiller announced that Beats is already working on a new line of wireless headphones.
The removal of the headphone jack also allowed for room for an additional speaker on the phone itself, with the iPhone 7 boasting stereo speakers at opposite ends of the phone. This allows the iPhone 7 to produce twice the volume of previous models with increased dynamic range.
The iPhone 7 will be available for preorder starting September 9th in “jet black,” black, silver, gold and rose gold, with storage ranging from 32 GBs to 256 GBs. iOS10 will be available September 13th.
Before introducing the new phone, Apple’s first new phone since 2014’s iPhone 6, Cook appeared in a prerecorded “Carpool Karaoke” sketch alongside James Corden and Pharrell Williams where they sang One Republic and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” Cook then reminded everyone that Apple Music is teaming with Corden for the Carpool Karaoke series.
Cook also praised Apple Music – “The premiere destination for new artists and artists premiering new music,” he said – and announced that Apple’s App Store will, for the first time, feature Nintendo-approved apps, starting first with Mario Run. The popular app Pokemon Go will also receive Apple Watch accessibility later this month.