Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Managing Expectations for the Demise of the Headphone Jack

Ben Lovejoy speculates for 9to5Mac how Apple might be managing the PR side of not including the headphone jack in the iPhone 7:

Think of it this way. If Apple had managed to keep it secret until a short time before the launch, all the complaints would have been concentrated into a relatively short time leading up to the official announcement. That would have represented a lot of noise, and a fair amount of negative PR, just at a time when it would do most damage.

By leaking the fact way in advance, the same amount of complaining has been spread out over a much longer period. Effectively, what could have been an anguished cry has been diluted into low background grumbling over the course of almost a year.

By the time Tim Cook walks on stage to show us the iPhone, the fact that it has no headphone socket will be old news. The reports will be ‘as expected’ and ‘as we all knew’ … No anguished howls. No screams of protest.

This is a great — albeit highly speculative — article on some of the techniques Apple’s PR team may have used to manage expectations over the course of the past year. Remember: this rumour first appeared at the end of November, just a couple of months after the iPhone 6S was released.

Lovejoy says that he expects the iPhone 7 to ship with Lightning EarPods, but some alleged packaging1 was posted by AppleInsider today that showed AirPods included with the phone. My hunch is that twice as many SKUs will be available: the standard configuration will have Lightning EarPods and a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor in the box, while a second variant will include AirPods and no adaptor, at a higher price point. The question, therefore, is how much higher?; my bet is on $100.

  1. Not that it’s going to be super exciting, but why hasn’t anyone posted a photo of the front of the box? ↩︎