Apple’s latest wares and options target our greatest fears

Apple CEO Tim Prepare’s dinner kicked off the annual event on Wednesday with a three minute video illustrating how the Apple Watch saved lives by calling for help. A man described how he was skating on a frozen river when the ice gave way. Another survived a plane crash in deep space over the winter. And a high school student escaped an encounter with a bear.

Another example of the event centered on a 27-year-old former high school coach visiting the ER after his Apple Watch detected an abnormally high heart rate. According to the coach, “My doctor said, ‘It was your watch that saved your life.

Apple has long promoted its products as instruments of creativity, productivity, and a constructive, albeit ambitious, lifestyle full of family and friends, healthy habits, and outdoor activities. Some of them were still on display for this year, but there was also a new message. The company has positioned many of its products and options as safety nets in an unstable world.

Apple has introduced new car crash detection technology on the Apple Watch and iPhone which it says can decide the ‘exact second to print’ using the system’s barometer, GPS and microphone . “We really hope you never want to, but feel a little safer every time you get in a car,” said Ron Huang, vice president of sensing and connectivity at Apple, during the announcement.

He also unveiled a revolutionary Emergency SOS device for iPhone that depends on satellites if, for example, you are lost in the wild and the mobile service does not work. And he launched a new temperature monitoring device on the Apple Watch that can be used to trace illnesses, at a time when many are expected to be grappling with pandemic health anxieties.

While arguably a continuation of Apple’s focus on health options, especially with its smartwatches, its focus on these scary use cases has nevertheless raised a few eyebrows among business watchers. “It was a little shocking to see Apple take the scaremongering course and cast its devices as potential saviors,” said Ramon Llamas, research director at market analysis agency IDC.

Lately, Apple promised prospects that its products could help creating a safer digital environment for them – one with stronger privacy protections and family-friendly content. Now his height seems to have extended to the conservation of protected persons in the real world.

“These emergency options are like the safety luggage in your car: you won’t want them regularly, but you’ll be grateful,” Llamas said.

The change in tone comes as Apple faces a new financial situation that would make it harder to persuade customers to pay three- or four-figure amounts to upgrade their devices – especially when some of those products won’t be vastly different. of the previous 12 months.

The company has launched relatively few device updates across the board on Wednesday. The iPhone range, for example, Free updates to digital camera programs, a brand new interactive lock screen and on professional modes, much faster efficiency. In the meantime, the brand new top of the range Apple Watch Ultra is aimed at fanatics of excessive sports activities; while there is a market for rugged watches, not everyone wants a watch for deep-sea diving or triathlons.

“Sophistication versus revolution isn’t a bad thing, but when the exchanges tighten up with the financial system, these newsletters are a harder promotion without something revolutionary,” said Eric Abbruzzese, director of research. to market agency ABI Research.

The focus on health and safety could also help Apple strengthen its subscription services business, said Abbruzzese, which has been one of its fastest growing revenue lines of late. As it states, Satellite TV for PC connectivity is “only free for 2 years”. (Apple didn’t say how much it costs after that.) Plus, “best health devices look like another way to promote Health+ more heavily.”