On Wednesday, Apple did their annual song and dance, revealing three new products: the Apple Watch Series 2, the iPhone 7, and wireless earbuds, dubbed AirPods. They also (with no fanfare) sunset the “Edition” luxury segment of the Apple Watch and (with much fanfare) nixed the headphone jack on the phone. Despite the internet explosion, Apple’s stock price sank.

Apple, in the last decade, has banked on iterating on technologies that are emerging and proven to be “sticky,” but waiting long enough on the sidelines to guarantee they’re worth investing in. That makes announcements like GPS on the Apple Watch, water resistance on the Watch and iPhone, and wireless earbuds a bit lackluster. We all have that tech, and we’ve had it for a while. Granted, Apple integrates the tech in a more elegant way than most, but it also feels a little too late to the game to be “courageous.” It is, at the end of the day, playing the safe bet.

The one development that did feel bold was the iPhone 7 Plus’s new cameras, and for that, Apple does deserve recognition. The new dual-lens system promises to push the best smartphone camera in the world even farther into the lead, and perhaps that’s all that matters. Apple’s banked on a singular focus, especially for those inclined toward creativity. Now, that means two tiny cameras on the back of a jet-black piece of aluminum and glass, connected and ready to create/edit/share. I’m not sure if it’s enough to get my pulse pumping, but in 120 minutes of Apple catching up with the rest of the tech world, it’s at least one highlight to remember.
– Matthew Ankeny

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