The Coming Public Freakout About iOS 7

After listening to this week's Accidental Tech Podcast episode, something the hosts talked about stuck with me.

Remember "Antennae-gate"? What a stupid name for a stupid non-scandal scandal. What about the mainstream tech press freakout over Apple's refusal to allow Flash on iOS? That even prompted a letter from Steve Jobs. Have you noticed how Consumer Reports finds a new straw-man "issue" with each new Apple product over the last few years as an excuse to generate page views?

Keeping all of the above in mind, what do you think is going to happen in October, when the iPhone 5S/6 comes out with iOS 7? The vast majority of iPhone users, who have iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 devices (and aren't even aware of which device they have) and have been holding out for "the new iPhone" are going to buy the new device which will have iOS 7 on it. These are the very same users who do not follow tech news. They discover features of iOS 3/4/5/6 months or years after it is released because they do not read all of the extensive reviews that are published when ever Apple lifts their press embargoes the night before the new iPhone goes on sale.

Now imagine what is going to happen when they see iOS 7 for the first time after having had iPhones for 2-4 years already. We all know that people hate change. But these people in particular, really hate change. They are not technically savvy and have a difficult time learning/getting used to the technology they do have. Remember the loud, public freakout every time Facebook does yet another massive UI overhaul. If like me, you rarely use Facebook and don't really remember it - trust me, it happens. Consumer Reports will probably write a mostly positive review, but wont miss the opportunity to concern troll somewhere in the middle about Apple's changes in iOS 7. CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS's token mainstream "tech" reporters will write articles pretending to care about the new phone and iOS 7, citing "concerns" about Apple's new design. They write about it simply because that's what everyone else is writing about. They can't be left out of the sheep herd of intellectually dishonest articles that the majority of mainstream tech press will write because it is the flavor of the week. They will use their standard arsenal of vagueness, hearsay, false premises, citing irrelevant facts, changing the subject, or questioning the motives of Apple rather than writing about the design itself or having insight into the changes. They will write their articles as if what they write actually means something and wont be forgotten four weeks later when these users have all gotten used to the changes in iOS 7. Three or four years from now, we will look back on October of 2013 and remember how ridiculously everyone reacted and note how, just like every other fake scandal about Apple since 2007, that it had no impact on anything of substance.

Remember people do not like change. People are superficial and vain, and thus react more loudly to things they can't avoid seeing. The changes being made in OS 7 are easy to see, and thus the reaction will be loud.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with iOS 7. It has been hashed out by many reputable designers, developers and tech press what are some legitimate issues with the new design. There has also been signs from the betas of iOS 7 that Apple is listening and making changes to fix these issues. I'm not referring to any of this in the above rant.