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Since the advent of the smart phone, the technology arms-race between the big manufacturers, namely Apple, HTC, Microsoft and LG, has yet to die down. The battle to stay ahead of the game and at the technology forefront has never been fiercer; especially since the release of the iphone.


From the development of the first app all the way to Apple’s “3D Touch” feature; the battle to stay ahead of the game and at the technology forefront has never been fiercer. Ultimately, this inevitably leads to the real winner of the race being the consumer; which is fantastic news for us all! Without such a strong impetus to innovate and drive research and development; businesses have no pressing need to invest in improvements, upgrades and efficiencies.

New releases, launches and products

In this light, this has led to the rumour mill of new releases, launches and products, as well as features, being discussed in the hot anticipation leading up to the actual release. The initial release of the iPhone in 2007 was ground-breaking in itself; and the momentum of the enthusiasm of new releases from all the big suppliers never fails to make headlines. These companies know they have to work to what we, the customers, want to see; and they rarely fail to please. Thanks to this, we can book our taxis, pay our bills (both through our bank and in the shops), organise our flights as well as watch seemingly endless hours of entertainment from our devices. Who knows where the next big leaps in technology will take us? And to the big manufacturers, I say this: Cheers! Keep fighting each other. Keep innovating to stay ahead of the game. War is the mother of innovation, and so long as the war is purely an R&D one, I hope they keep fighting.

However, every once in a while, one of these big innovations is less altruistic upon closer inspection than the initial claim would suggest. While the promise is a feature they claim they know the market will love; the requirements for this sometimes appears to benefit the company at the expense of that consumer. Apple, for example, recently announced that the next generation iPhone, the 7, will be much thinner and lighter. Naturally this requires a plethora of technological innovations. To accommodate this, they’ve created a bespoke headphone setup that plugs straight in to the lightning port at the bottom; normally used to charge the device. This allows them to reduce the overall thickness, plus it will potentially give the user the ability to control the music via their headphones directly.


However, this comes with one minor drawback for the consumer; Anyone wishing to use any headphones will need to use a set with the lightning adaptor on them, rather than the traditional audio jack. Apple own the patent on the lightning port. For headphone manufacturers, they will need to pay a royalty to make their items useable with the iPhone; which will be passed on to the consumer, costing you and I more, benefiting Apple at the expense of the customer. Oh dear, thanks Apple!

So what do you think of this announcement? Will the benefit of a thinner and lighter phone outweigh the additional cost of headphones? Or is this a cynical ploy by the richest company in the world to make even more money at the expense of their (very loyal) customer-base? Contact us to let us know.

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