Another year, another new iPhone. Since 2007, Apple has released annual updates to its bestselling smartphone. And with each numerical update comes a new, sometimes controversial, overhaul. So when one YouTuber offered a quick fix to one of the iPhone 7’s most glaring issues, it was perhaps little surprise that people ate it up – causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in the process. Read on to find out why, but be warned: you might just lose your faith in humanity.
While officially called the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the latest variants of Apple’s smartphone are actually the 12th and 13th models brought to market since the original iPhone launched in June 2007. The newest phones were released on September 7, 2016, and have sold pretty well so far.
Indeed, those sales have come in spite of the fact that the newest iPhone’s minor updates have been called “boring” by some. However, the iPhone 7 does have one major difference to its predecessors: the absence of the headphone jack.
Of course, Apple has its own solution to the “problem” it created: AirPods, some rather expensive wireless earbuds due to be released in late October. But there are still plenty of people out there using traditional headphones who aren’t able to use them with the iPhone 7 without plugging into a cumbersome adapter.
In fact, this particular feature – or lack of feature – has proved to be a controversial talking point. Apple, meanwhile, has argued that it’s been done to make space inside the phone for the improved battery and processor while also making the phone waterproof. However, the reaction on Twitter hasn’t been quite so accommodating. One user, for instance, cynically wrote, “Steve Jobs was all about efficiency and not adding anything extra. A headphone adapter in 2016? He didn’t die for this.”
“Luckily” for those who took the plunge with the iPhone 7, however, one YouTuber came up with a tongue-in-cheek solution to the absence of a headphone jack. Unfortunately for humanity in general, some people seemingly failed to see the obvious.
The YouTuber in question is a Ukrainian vlogger based in California, called Taras Maksimuk. Known on the video platform as TechRax, he boasts more than five million subscribers, so it’s little surprise that his tutorial soon went viral. In the one-minute-and-24-second video, he details exactly how to give your brand new, $1,000 smartphone the headphone jack it’s so sorely missing.
He begins by inserting the phone upside down into a clamp, at which point the screen starts to judder as it comes into contact with the clamp. He then assures his viewers that this is a perfectly normal response and verifies that they’re (obviously) well on their way to getting that much-desired jack.
Then, Maksimuk takes an electric drill and goes to town on the spot where, on previous iPhones, the headphone jack used to be. Tiny shards of plastic and metal shear off the edge of the newly created hole, seemingly ready and waiting for a pair of headphones to be inserted.
And as if to truly sell the concept to his viewers, Maksimuk then takes a pair of classic Apple headphones and inserts them into the jack before playing a song from YouTube. Of course, the music plays out loud, because he hasn’t actually created a headphone jack. No, he’s just drilled a random hole in his phone, a fact that should be obvious to pretty much everyone. Unfortunately, however, it seems that it isn’t.
Then again, simply according to the laws of probability, someone was bound to give it a go. After all, at the time of writing, the video has attracted more than 14 million views. It was little surprise, then, to find comments from people who’d apparently tried the procedure at home. People like Some Dude, for example, who wrote, “WTF??? F*** you! My screen turned black the moment I started drilling and now I can’t even open it.”
The video currently has almost 165,000 “likes” alongside nearly 100,000 “dislikes.” Obviously, there’s no way of knowing just how many of those dislikes came from people who’ve foolishly drilled holes into their phones, but judging from the comments section below the video, its seems that perhaps at least some of them must be.
YouTube user adambsk8, for instance, complained that his phone appeared to be malfunctioning after he drilled a random hole into it. “I followed all the steps you said and it won’t even turn back on,” he wrote. “Do I gotta update it or download the headphone jack app?” Elkkis 77, meanwhile, seemed to have just clocked on when they wrote, “Ummm… My sound isn’t working! Is this a bad joke?”
Whether these users were being sincere or not, though, they were soon egged on with some sarcastic advice from a handful of trolling commenters. Indeed, when one iPhone 7 owner asked why the procedure hadn’t worked, Steven Anderson advised him to microwave his phone in order to “heat the wires and re-bond them.”
Others made out as if the solution did actually work, but only if you performed it exactly as Maksimuk did. So, despite how foolish it may seem, it’s easy to see why some people may have been convinced by users such as Art Cancro, who wrote, “THIS WORKS. The reason this works is because the iPhone 7 actually has the internal components of the headphone jack (the contacts) built inside. Apple only removed the outer part of the jack for cosmetic reasons.”
Plenty of people, thankfully, saw the ruse for exactly what it was. But that didn’t limit their sheer disbelief that some people were duped by it, however. Michael Wilson, for instance, despaired, “The amount of people that thought that this is real is worrying for the future of the human race.”
The media reaction, meanwhile, has been predictably savage on those who did fall for the hoax. Mashable, for instance, warned readers, “Do not drill a hole in your iPhone 7. It will break and people will laugh at you. Just use the dongle.”
Incredibly, this isn’t the first time that iPhone users have been tricked into destroying their brand new devices. When the iOS 7 software update launched in 2013, internet trolls spread the word that iPhones were now (somehow) waterproof – seemingly causing some people to accidentally damage their smartphones.
And just a year later, when iOS 8 was released, the pranksters were at it again. This time, they were circulating an authentic-looking image advertising “Wave,” a feature that would allow iPhones to be charged inside a microwave. Subsequently, some people posted photos of their iPhones and microwaves that had both been destroyed by this new “feature.”
So while we can only hope that the majority of people claiming to have accidentally destroyed their phone by following Maksimuk’s “advice” are simply making it up, there’s no real way to know. But if you’re reading this and still haven’t quite figured it out, perhaps it’s best to end with some actual advice: don’t drill holes into your new iPhone.