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If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
If "Energy efficiency and sustainability are on everyone's minds these days," why didn’t they make the laptop MagSafe the standard? It uses fewer materials (which probably includes smaller rare-earth magnets), takes up less space during shipping and ever after, and transfers 100% of the power to the device being charged. It’s just way better, apart from possibly seeming less futuristic to the simple-minded. I know the subject here is a “wireless” consortium, which technically answers my question, but it’s like a coal consortium claiming to be focused on carbon footprints.
It’s complicated when people get accustomed to a certain business model and then regulators decide to upend the business model for simplistic reasons. 94% of the apps on the App Store are free to download, with Apple providing a lot of support to developers and taking no commission. And a large group of developers sells apps for a price, but makes less than $1,000,000 per year, in which case they only pay 15%. Apple knows it’s in their best interest to provide a great experience at a fair price, so they do, and their pricing was thoughtfully calculated to work for everyone. It seems like the only developers who would favor a 3rd-party store would be those who either want to skirt Apple’s rules, which are mostly consumer protections, or to pay a lower commission, in which case they are probably among the small minority that is raking it in due to their success on the iPhone platform and paying 30%. I don’t foresee third-party stores catering to the “free download” market, apart from malware. So is the idea that you would get most apps from the App Store, and then go to 3rd-party stores for the big subscription apps and paid games? Sounds like a convoluted nightmare that wouldn’t do anything for consumers or anyone but the richest software and service companies.
Apple has some really talented engineers, and I’m sure they could make the batteries a lot easier to replace, without adding significant bulk or fragility, if they wanted to. I’ve replaced a number of iPhone and MacBook batteries over the years, and it’s never a pleasure, but the charge for having it done by Apple is exorbitant. The trick now is water resistance, which makes me less inclined to do it with the newer phones. If they’re looking for a way to meaningfully improve their products, that would be a good area of focus, but I guess it’s not the most marketable feature, and wouldn’t do much for the bottom line.