San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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IPhone Enigma

Apple products

On September 12, 2023, a series of products were publicized that raised some questions. The products announced include the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2. With each of these products, improvements like increased battery life and overall faster performance are already expected by the general public but one of the main focal points of this release was the improvement of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro cameras. Apple has notoriously marketed their iPhones as having the top cameras available. With this launch they are taking it a step further, even claiming that the camera “can literally shoot a blockbuster film.”

A more controversial aspect of the new iPhone release is the switch to a USB-C charging port,unlike the usual Lightning port. Apple claims that the switch is due to USB-C being a “universally accepted standard that enables charging, syncing data, and playing audio and video.” Although the basis was phrased that way during the announcement, the true reason behind this switch can be heavily attributed to the European Union’s new regulation requiring type-C charging ports starting in 2024. To avoid losing such a large audience, Apple conformed to the requirements.

Apple has been using Lightning ports as a way to maximize profit since 2012 so seeing this change in the new phone is somewhat frustrating for the people who have already been loyal followers of Apple for the past decade. The relative annoyance this may cause is greatly outweighed by the varied use of a single USB-C. One customer would be able to own multiple products, both Apple and non-Apple alike, while using a single charging port. The environmental benefit surrounding this was one of the arguments provided when the regulation passed in Europe.

Another aspect includes the new A17 Pro chip in both models of the iPhone 15 with a 6-core GPU (graphics processing unit). When compared to their last chip release, the A17 has one GPU greater than the A16. So the new model promises greater graphics performance when compared to past products.

Although some may say that the new iPhones are not worth the asking price, when compared to other phones, the features seem to outweigh the high cost. From experience, Apple does deliver on its promises with products, and based on the expectations with this new model, the iPhone 15 release could revolutionize photography. Until this phone is released in stores, it will be hard to say whether this iPhone will be an exception to a history of quality, but I do have high hopes for this release simply from using other products in the past.
When asked about the new iPhone, senior Kiera Kinsella said, “I think it’s so cool and I really want one.”
Most new iPhones fall within the current price range of the iPhone 15, with prices decreasing as the model ages. For people who want the newest available technology as soon as possible, the current price of the iPhone 15 Pro starting at $999.00 is reasonable. I, however, would not encourage people to rush to buy the new iPhone if they already have a working one.

“The most environmentally friendly device is the one you already have,” said by professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland who specializes in e-waste, Josh Lepawsky.

Similarly, Apple believes in improving the environment, as seen from a more positive outcome of the announcement is Apple’s first-ever carbon-neutral product: the Apple Watch Series 9. This is the first step in their plan to become a carbon-neutral company by 2030.

But can Apple be truly successful with this goal? Some steps that they have taken are making three main processes more environmentally friendly. The first is the electricity used to create their products, which they have converted to 100% clean sources. Another way that the company is decreasing its carbon footprint is through the materials used. “Series 9 also uses 100% recycled materials in many of its components,” said Apple, a goal that they have for other products in the future. Finally, Apple is addressing the issue which comes up around transportation by shipping 50% or more without the use of airplanes. The carbon footprint around airplane transportation is far greater than by ocean freight – their new method for shipping products. With all of these changes being made it is safe to assume that Apple has heard its customers and can become a more environmentally aware company, going as far as promising to remove all plastic from the packaging by 2025.

This new product announcement is leaving people more optimistic about the future of large corporations coexisting with a healthy planet. I find the new changes commendable and a good first step towards fighting climate change on a larger scale. As the products will hit stores on September 22, sales will dictate whether these changes were worth the risk or if customers are more used to the comfort of consistency.

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About the Contributor
Avital Abramov
Avital Abramov, Copy Editor
Avital is a 12th grader at San Marcos High School. She has been a guest writer for the King’s Page since the spring of her sophomore year and is now a Copy Editor. She enjoyed writing about social justice issues and news from around the world. Her favorite subject in school is History. She enjoys time spent at the beach and with friends.
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