“At this week’s annual Apple iPhone intro event, the hall was packed, as usual. As always, the program featured gorgeous photos and videos, impressive charts, a few demos, surprise guests, and dramatic claims of improved product performance and capability,” Walt Mossberg writes for Recode. “What it didn’t feature was a new design for the company’s most important product, the iPhone. There was, as I said, a new iPhone model — two of them in fact. But the iPhone 7 and its larger sibling, the iPhone 7 Plus, look nearly identical, and are exactly the same sizes, as their predecessors from last year and the year before.”

‘This is highly unusual, especially for a company that prides itself on being the world’s technology design leader. In its two-year release cycle, this should have been the year for an all-new-looking iPhone. But we didn’t get it,” Mossberg writes. “Instead, Apple is hoping you’ll buy a premium phone featuring the very nice, but aging, iPhone design it introduced in 2014. The next big design change isn’t set until 2017.”

“Now, there are actually lots of change inside these new iPhones, in both hardware and software. I was genuinely impressed — more than I had expected to be — by these functional improvements to an already great product, most of them unabashedly positive,” Mossberg writes. “And Apple will inevitably risk sales losses (on top of recent quarterly sales declines) by causing some current users to wait another year, and others — who get their thrills from sheer newness — to switch to Android. Less tangibly, but perhaps more importantly, it puts at risk Apple’s reputation for constantly churning out delightful, surprising new objects, an important part of the intangible mystique of one of the world’s most admired brands.”

Much more, including Walt’s thoughts on Apple’s removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No one who’s even partially up on smartphones is going to mistake our new Jet Black, dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus units (which are not going in cases, that’s for sure) for iPhone 6s Plus or iPhone 6 units.

Walt overestimates the “risk” Apple is taking with the exterior case design of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

We’ll greatly prefer to use the world’s most advanced smartphone for a year than to wait for “next year’s model,” which, if you did that annually, means you’d never have a new iPhone. Buy it, use it, sell it on, and get the new one.

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