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You want me to spend how much on a replacement pair of earpods, Apple?

Apple should watch the headlines this year, as history has a habit of repeating itself. Earlier in 2016 New Statesman Tech along with the rest of the world reported on the demise – pretty much – of the Blackberry brand. It’ll still be around but Blackberry won’t be making its own handsets any more. It fell out of favour, simple as that.

One of the things it did was to try to be too many things. The other area in which technology businesses have fallen short over the years is in telling their customers what to do.

Apropos of nothing in particular, after taking the standard earphone jack away from its iPhones, Apple is now proposing to charge people £65 if they lose their wireless earpods, that’s the substitute that will work on the iPhone 7 and presumably its successors.

Seriously, Apple, the customer is sometimes right

This might not be so bad in isolation but Apple is dropping other things. Monitors, for example. By all means third party companies are more than capable of making a good display, but given Apple’s penchant for non-standard connectors it still makes sense for it to build its own.

It no longer makes servers, and the new touch-sensitive bar on the Macbook Pro has had a lukewarm reaction from a lot of the online community.

It begins to appear that business users, the power user, as well as the consumer will have a reason to be a little disenchanted with this world-beater in a very short space of time. As it enters 2017 the company will need to be careful. By all means Samsung’s travails with the flammable Galaxy Note 7s will have helped consolidate its position as a leader in the market, and independent tests (from Which? Consumers’ Association) suggest the iPhone is still the fastest phone for people who mind about such things.

There’s a slight air of taking the user for granted happening in the background somewhere, from the look of things. This never goes well, and it would be good to see it going away again.

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