Now you see it, now you don’t. Ahead of its official launch, Apple mistakenly tweeted out the iPhone 7’s sexiest specifications. We learned at that moment that the latest iPhone is a lot like the last several iterations -- but with a new water-resistant shell, dual camera system, stereo speakers, and a darker black color scheme.
As was widely anticipated (and feared by many), the iPhone 7 also lacks a dedicated headphone jack. In other words, the iPhone 7 might not be shiny and new enough to sufficiently brighten Apple’s struggling hardware outlook.
During a scheduled press event on Wednesday, we also learned that Apple’s app marketplace recently surpassed 140 billion downloads. And the Apple Store is still growing. Over the past two months, in fact, the store saw a 106% annual increase in downloads.
Apple on Wednesday also debuted its second-generation smartwatch -- which, like the iPhone 7, isn’t radically different from its predecessor. The Apple Watch Series 2, so-called, does boast a water-resistant exterior, and a GPS chip.
Like the original, however, the new Apple Watch can’t do much without the help of a nearby iPhone.
After 13 years of growth, Apple revenue recently fell for a second quarter in a row. This was largely due to sagging iPhone sales.
On the bright side, quarterly revenue was “near the high end of our guidance range,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts at the time.
This “reflected stronger customer demand,” Cook said. Specifically, “we had a very successful global launch of the iPhone SE." And, "overall, we added millions of first-time smartphone buyers during the quarter,” Cook said.
Last year, the company enjoyed a sales surge driven by the launch of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
Over the past year, analysts have been hanging their hopes on strong demand for the iPhone 7 to turn around Apple’s fortunes. Whether the wish will come true remains to be seen.
This column was previously published in Moblog on September 7, 2016.