Intentionally controversial Apple: the power of invisible PR



Rosie Kenyon | Managing Director


September 7th; the day Apple dominated a great deal of the world’s media with their new releases. But have they actually done anything to deserve such excitement?

They had millions of people talking about the fact that they have removed their traditional headphone jack. If people are going to invest in the new iPhone 7, they have to accept the daunting new headphone life facing them. Man alive, that is a big deal for tech and Apple fans across the globe.

Apple’s headphone jack in place across their products, which Apple users are well accustomed to, is a neat 100 years old and Apple moving forward is not something that people are objecting to. However, they didn’t actually need to get rid of the headphone jack to produce an impressive piece of equipment. When the iPhone 5 was released, people were up in arms about the change of input method for charging your iPhone – the Apple brains had a reason for doing so though – the reduction from a 30pin charger to a 5pin, saved room which could be put to better use for fancy, improved technology. This latest update has been acknowledged by Apple as not actually improving the iPhone or serving a necessary purpose, it is simply a symbol of ‘courage’. Maybe it is courageous, maybe their PR team knows a thing or two about what they’re doing.

The iPhone 7 has a new finish, a better screen, a better camera and is water resistant. The camera is impressive but ultimately, Apple hasn’t re-invented the wheel. Yet, most people I spoke to on ‘Apple Day’, had something to say about the tech giant’s wild changes. The Internet was abuzz with Apple chat – confusion, complaints, CRISIS. Apple could have released their Air buds (wireless headphone alternative to its traditional ear pods) without removing the headphone jack on the iPhone, and they could supply an optional lead with their airy buds but they took away the jack and supplied people with ammunition to complain. Every new feature on the iPhone 7 could exist without the removal of the headphone jack. But they move forward and they create an almighty buzz. Every time someone complains about no longer being able to use their £400 headphones, Apple gets a bit more publicity. Every time people pose the question; “how safe are wireless headphones?” in connection with the new Air buds, Apple is getting attention… Any press is good press, right?

With a commotion ruling the Internet, will Apple actually see any negative effect on iPhone 7 sales? We think not. The world was up in arms when the Apple MacBook Air was released without a CD-ROM but somehow it still manages to be their biggest selling laptop of all time.

Maybe we will have forgotten the jack woes come their next release…

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