Photo[UPDATE 3:15 p.m. EST]

As expected, the iPhone 7 will have no earphone jack but will instead communicate wirelessly with a new series of earpieces and headphones. The wireless earphones are being called "Apple Airpods." Cute, no?

Eliminating the jack will make the 7 more waterproof and it supposedly will get two hours more battery life than the 6. The price stays the same, $649. The iPhone 7 Plus will start at $769.

The iPhone 7 also gets a second camera, as expected, increasing photo quality.

The Apple Watch 2 will also be water-resistant.


First it was Windows 95. Twenty-one years ago, August 24, 1995, lines snaked along city streets as the first mass-market graphical user interface (GUI, pron: "goo'-ee") showed its face. Jennifer Aniston narrated an hour-long instructional video to help users become accustomed to the notion of clicking on screen icons instead of typing commands.

But with Windows 95 came the "blue screen of death," "plug and pray," and other frequent disasters that took some of the shine off Microsoft's GUI, allowing Apple to jump the queue and snatch the gold ring signifying it to be the producer of all things worth waiting for.

And so today, the world waited for the unveiling of the iPhone 7, just as England once awaited the installation of its new king, Henry VII, who among his other achievements (six marriages) managed to separate the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, sparking a schism that persists to this day.

He also invoked the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, which hasn't worn all that well. And today there are those who speculate that the Divine Right of Apple to invoke shock and awe with each new product it foists upon the world is also about to go into eclipse.

The jack's been ripped ...

If indeed the world's most valuable company is about to lose some of its luster, it will not be for anything as pedestrian as an excess of amorous partners, but rather for want of an earphone jack.

Courtiers in the House of Apple have for months now sparked rumors that the iPhone 7 has not been beheaded but dejacked -- that it will be lacking an earphone jack, thus rendering useless the millions of little white earbuds by which the Apple Faithful have long displayed their loyalty. 

The rationale for this is that removing the jack makes it possible to render the iPhone more water-resistant, thus resolving a vulnerability that has long plagued the priceless smartphone. It of course means that earbud wearers will need new buds, but Apple has never been reluctant to render peripheral devices obsolete. 

Sales of the iPhone have lately been somewhat soft, a condition some attribute to a growing "loss of cool." Others, however, blame it on the new pricing policies of wireless companies like AT&T and Verizon, who are no longer subsidizing purchases of the devices, which can cost more than $600. 

When the purchase price was buried in the monthly cell phone bill, it was regarded as tolerable. But when it appears in stark black and white, iPhoners find it more objectionable. That's the theory, anyway. 

Henry VII was a robust and charismatic figure in his youth but became severely obese, bloated, and unappealing as he aged. Whether Apple suffers the same fate remains to be seen. 

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