Burying the lede: The headphone non-issue


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There are so many ways to write a story but it turns out the one most used is to highlight whatever reflects negatively on Apple. And not just in tech, pick up a copy of Knitting Today and most of the stories start off with how dull the iPhone 7 is. True story.

Writing for Fortune, Don Reisinger says “Most People Have No Interest in Buying iPhone 7.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

This would be shocking if it weren’t for the years and years we’ve been told how Apple is losing the market share war. “Most people” don’t own iPhones. They never have.

Now, readers with weak constitutions are advised not to venture further into this article because some jerking back and forth will occur, possibly resulting in nausea, vomiting and wondering when everything stopping making sense. For instance, here’s the first paragraph:

Apple might have some trouble getting customers interested in buying its new smartphone, new data from research firm Morning Consult shows.

But, jump to the ninth paragraph and you’ll find out this:

The company’s preorder day on Friday went off without a hitch and its early supply of all iPhone 7 models quickly sold out, pushing shipment dates back as far as mid-November just an hour or so after preorders began.

OW, MY NECK. Yes, scarcity doesn’t necessarily indicate high sales, but it’s probably pretty safe to assume that the iPhone 7 is at least selling well enough and the fact that “most people have no interest” according to some survey is irrelevant.

Might there be some kind of problem with this survey?

Nearly 2,000 people were surveyed in the poll, which was conducted between Sept. 6 and Sept. 8.

Roughly half of the survey was conducted before respondent even had a chance to see the iPhone 7, which was announced on September 7th. In other words, roughly half of the survey is meaningless.

Out of that group, 60% of respondents owned Android phones and about 37% were existing iPhone owners.

Is it a little weird that Reisinger chose to round up Android’s 58 percent to 60 but kept Apple’s 37 percent precise? Seems a little weird.

One could just as easily have put this news up top:

…the Morning Consult data shows that most people don’t care that the iPhone 7 doesn’t come with a headphone jack. In fact, 28% of the survey’s respondents indicated that they might be more likely to purchase the iPhone 7 because it doesn’t have a headphone port.

If one were not looking to put things in as negative a light for Apple as possible. If that were a thing. Which it apparently isn’t.

Personally, if the Macalope were going to write up these results, he’d probably put the fact that a shocking 6 percent of respondents said Apple including more storage would make them less likely to buy the new iPhone. “6 PERCENT OF PEOPLE GET THINGS EXACTLY BACKWARDS.”

Although, thinking about it, that actually seems low.

Still, despite seemingly hitting the right notes, the iPhone 7 doesn’t have the kind of momentum that even last year’s iPhone 6s had. A Morning Consult spokeswoman told Fortune in a statement that last September, 33% of respondents to the survey said they would likely buy the iPhone 6s, easily topping the 25% of those who said they were likely to buy an iPhone 7.

The results of last year’s survey don’t seem to be on Morning Consult’s web site, so the Macalope can only speculate as to the cause for this difference. But conducting all of the survey after the announcement could easily account for it.

What’s unclear, though, is why consumers are so far not as impressed by the iPhone 7.

You know, other than buying it out and stuff.

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