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The best thing about the iPhone 7 launch isn’t the iPhone 7

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Ah, the iPhone 7. Apple’s “best iPhone ever”. It is funny that they always say that because they’re realistically not going to make a worse iPhone right? At least they’re not going to say it’s worse than the older one even if it is.

Still, the iPhone 7 represented a lot of firsts for the tech giant. However, despite the launch of Apple’s most stunning iPhone ever, I honestly don’t think that it is the biggest (or indeed best) news from the launch.

Hear me out.

Sometimes technology has to move backwards to move forwards. Examples of these can be seen throughout history as less becomes more and simplicity triumphs over complexity. Laptops no longer have optical drives or fans or a proper keyboard. Smartphones have smaller batteries, are more vulnerable and are made out of more fingerprint-magnet-y materials.

So yes, I accept that moving backwards is necessary for us to grow, but what I find terribly upsetting is when technology stagnates or simply goes with the flow without any meaningful innovation. That, unfortunately, was what I saw when Apple unveiled the iPhone 7.

Now, you might be thinking that I’m being way more critical of the iPhone 7 than I am of any other Android flagship, and you would be right. Why? Well, because Tim Cook himself said in Apple’s keynote that the iPhone is “the phone by which all other smartphones are compared”.

It is the benchmark. The industry gold standard. It’s the smartphone other smartphones copy from, not the other way around.

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Instead, all we get is a spec upgrade and some “revolutionary” features like the removal of the headphone jack, water resistance and the fact that the iPhone 7’s home button is no longer a physical button (which by the way many say feels awful).

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Well, news flash, it’s been done before. Even that dual-camera on the back of the iPhone 7 Plus has been done before on the LG G5 and even the Huawei P9. Sure, they went for a telephoto lens instead of the G5’s wide angle (which I think makes more sense) but the general concept is the same.

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In fact, just looking at the iPhone will get you a sense of how seemingly lazy Apple got with their “tock” upgrade iPhone 7. You can tell me that they’re playing it safe and sticking with what works, but I don’t think they’re a brand that needs to play it safe. They’ve shown us how technology is supposed to look like for a long time, so why are they holding back right now?

So no, I don’t think the best thing about the iPhone 7’s launch is the smartphone itself. I think the best thing about the launch is the fact that you can now pick up a brand new base model iPhone 6s and 6s Plus for RM500 off with double the storage.

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Think about it. You’re still getting an incredibly capable iPhone with great performance (on par with some of the best Android has to offer right now), good battery life (for the Plus variant) and what is still a great camera. It looks as good as the iPhone 7 and it’s built probably as well as the iPhone 7 with the same materials (7,000 series aluminium).

Yeah, you don’t get the two new black options, but you’re going to be using it with a case anyway so I don’t think you’ll be that bothered by it. In terms of software, Apple is pretty legendary when it comes to software support for older devices (despite some bad press) so your iPhone 6s/6s Plus will likely be supported for more years than you will use it. And for the final nail in the iPhone 7’s coffin: The 6s/6s Plus still has the 3.5mm headphone jack, which is great because don’t even get me started on the AirPods.

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What more could you want on an iPhone?