Apple’s annual iteration: Thoughts on the Sept. 7 media event

It’s an unusual step for Apple to release a third iteration of the same design, but the iPhone 7 looks and feels an awful lot like the iPhone 6 and 6S. As you might expect from a new iPhone, the relatively small changes to the exterior belie the changes that are going on in the device’s insides.

But first, the outside. With repositioned antenna lines and some new colors—not one, but two new blacks to replace Space Gray!—this new phone does look a little different from the previous 6 models. And of course, the headphone jack is gone. The “iPhone” label on the back of the phone is printed using San Francisco, Apple’s new go-to typeface.

I was a fan of the black phone option on the iPhone 5, and I admit to just not loving Space Gray as an appropriate replacement for my Darth Vader phone. Now that Space Grey has been ejected into space, we have some new black models—a bead-blasted “black” and a shiny “jet black.” The shiny sure is pretty, but I think that basic black is probably the one I’d choose. (The other iPhone colors—silver, gold, and rose gold—remain intact.)

This summer there were some rumors that Apple was going to introduce more real colors into the iPhone line, going farther beyond the relatively monochrome and metallic options it’s been offering the past few years. (I can’t even see the pink in the rose gold—thanks, color blindness!) I was really hoping Apple would use this opportunity to expand the color palette to include blue and green models, at least. It wasn’t to be.

At long last, the base iPhone storage tier has risen from 16GB to 32GB. This probably should’ve happened a year or two ago, but it’s good that it finally happened. (Now let the countdown begin for critics to suggest that it’s time that Apple move to 64GB as the base storage in the iPhone. How does 2017 sound?)

Jason Snell’s overview of the iPhone 7 launch event covers everything you need to read.

With the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7 (and no more headphone jack!) and of course the airpods, it was an interesting event.