Ever since my parents gave me an iPod Nano for Christmas when I was 12 years old, I have been fascinated with Apple products. So much so in fact, I asked my girlfriend at the time to get me a copy of Steve Job’s biography as my sole gift on my 20th birthday. Even at a young age, I was captivated with how intuitive their products were and how I could seamlessly toggle through hundreds of songs of various genres. However, while Apple was once a design powerhouse, I am starting to wonder if the company has been regressing in their product design over the last few years (Rest in Peace Steve).
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors was once quoted as saying “if I asked people what they wanted they would have said ‘faster horses’” in reference to the advent of the automobile. This quote has always stuck with me and I cannot help but wonder if it applies to some of Apples recent design choices. As a 21-year-old college student that only enjoys design as a hobby, am I really qualified to question apples design choices?
Nonetheless I cannot help but feel that some of their recent choices are questionable and uninspired. I couldn’t help but question Apple’s choice to remove the headphone jack on their newest phone for the sake of making the phone slimmer. With each new iPhone, Apple has loved to add a few quarter inches to the length of the phone screen so it seemed silly to get rid of the headphone compartment for the sake of making the phone a fraction of an inch thinner. In Apple’s hay day I can’t imagine they would have done 7 iterations of the same product with minuscule feature between installments as opposed to inventing an entirely new phone. Once upon a time, cell phones and mp3 players were two separate entities, however with the advent of smartphones and the adage of more gigabytes, it has become much more common for these two devices to become one. Removing the headphone jack seems to greatly diminish the iPhones value as an mp3 player. While many cars and headphones have blue tooth capabilities, it seems almost more like a gimmick than innovation to remove the headphone port. Many great sound systems whether it be in a car or a home audio station require an auxiliary input. However, it is no secret that Apple still has the influence and clout to have a strong impact in which consumers connect their music players to their audio system of choice.
Despite all the negativity, Apple is still making some good products, even if it isn’t through their phones. Apple Music, the brands take on music streaming, is one of the best things the brand has done in the last few years. The expansive library and intuitive download capabilities reminds me what attracted me to the brand in the first place: music.
That still raises the question: why do I continue to buy Apple products? Is it the familiarity? How many questionable designs until I rebuke my loyalty to the brand?