When Apple held its annual launch event for the iPhone 13 in 2021, it began with a joyful video that includes jazz dancers celebrating the pure great thing about California (which will be captured with an iPhone digital camera, after all).
The undertone of Apple’s iPhone 14 launch this week was darker. After zooming in on Apple’s headquarters from house, it kicked off with a video highlighting customers who wrote letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that they virtually died — however had been saved by their Apple Watch calling 911.
“Dear Apple: My dad was flying our small plane to Vermont. I was asleep in the back seat. I woke up when we were crashing into the tops of the trees. The plane broke into six pieces and we were miles away from civilization in the freezing cold. Then, all of a sudden, my Apple Watch started ringing,” stated one character named Hannah.
Other characters within the quick video instructed tales of falling right into a frozen stream, getting trapped inside a trash compactor and witnessing a cardiac episode in a restaurant.
Saving lives in emergency conditions was the foremost theme of Apple’s launch this 12 months, and most of the most notable new features the corporate introduced had been oriented towards security.
The most vital new iPhone functionality this 12 months known as “Emergency SOS via satellite,” which may ship a message for assist even when there is no cell service round for miles. Users may also share their location with household or mates within the Find My app.
Apple’s instance of how the characteristic works confirmed a hiker with a damaged leg on high of a mountain ridge calling for a helicopter. Later, Apple talked about winding again roads as one other place the place iPhone customers may be out of vary.
But this characteristic could possibly be helpful in exterior wilderness settings. Wildfires, hurricanes and different disasters can minimize cell service, and being able to contact emergency companies or inform your loved ones the place you’re can actually be a lifesaver in these circumstances.
Another instance: Apple’s $799 or extra watch, the Ultra, has an 86-decibel siren that may be heard 600 toes away, and compass features that permit the consumer to retrace their steps with out the web.
As with the satellite tv for pc characteristic, Apple marketed it as a useful device for backcountry adventurers, however it is also helpful in additional mundane settings. Imagine sounding the alarm as a deterrent to an attacker, or utilizing the retracing characteristic to seek out your manner again to your automotive after a catastrophe in your group has interrupted cell service.
Apple additionally introduced this week that iPhones and Apple Watches, utilizing movement sensors, can now name 911 in the event that they detect a automotive crash has occurred.
“We truly hope you never need it, but that you will feel a little bit safer every time you get in the car,” an Apple presenter stated, moments earlier than exhibiting photos of a driver getting hit by an air bag in gradual movement after crashing.
Apple’s launch occasions are designed to do one factor: construct demand for Apple’s new merchandise. The firm now desires to make the iPhone much more “essential” for its customers by security features, giving customers causes to not swap to competing Android units.
Will these features meaningfully improve iPhone adoption and gross sales? It seems, Apple has not less than thought-about the chance previously.
In a disclosure with the ESG group CDP revealed in January 2019, Apple representatives wrote about potential enterprise alternatives stemming from local weather change, citing a earlier model of the “SOS” characteristic as an instance of Apple’s work to construct features for emergency conditions.
“As severe weather events become more frequent, consumers may come to value more highly the immediate and ubiquitous availability of reliable mobile computing devices for use in situations where transportation, power and other services may be temporarily interrupted,” Apple representatives wrote.
Apple cited the 9/11 catastrophe and “extreme weather events” like hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Harvey which might be occurring extra steadily.
“Over time, as people begin to experience severe weather events with greater frequency, we expect an increasing need for confidence and preparedness in the arena of personal safety and the well-being of loved ones,” Apple wrote within the disclosure.
Apple’s not the one client electronics firm that’s growing security features for its units. But Apple’s units even have a sturdy lineup of well being features, like fall detection for seniors and coronary heart monitoring, which underscore its general security pitch.
“iPhone is there when you need it most,” one presenter stated on the launch event. “That confidence is especially important in moments where your safety is at risk.”
We could also be seeing the beginning of a brand new messaging technique at Apple: Its units are those you need when issues go unsuitable.