Apple continues to use our own mortality as marketing

In recent years, Apple presentations have begun to feature a new type of messaging: Without an Apple Watch, you could be mauled by a bear, drown in a sinking car, get stuck in a trash compactor, or even succumbing to hypothermia after falling into the water. a frozen lake.

These disasters have always been avoided thanks to the presence of an Apple Watch. But this year, Apple’s message has started to change again: it’s not only the Apple Watch that can save you from possible death, but also the iPhone.

During Apple’s iPhone 15 showcase, the company opened with an ad linking the lifesaving potential of the Apple Watch. And the Iphone. The video showed people celebrating their birthdays with friends and family, blowing out candles and, of course, receiving “happy birthday” wishes on their iPhones.

As the ad introduced its main players, captions appeared at the bottom of the screen, such as one that read: “Apple Watch informed her of a low heart rate.” I went to the hospital and had life-saving surgery with a pacemaker. The next described a person using the iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature to be rescued while stranded in a snowstorm, while another said a pregnant woman was rushed to hospital for an emergency delivery after her Apple Watch detected an elevated heart rate.

These follow recent ads from Apple showing how an iPhone 14 could save you if your car flips or you’re stranded on the top of a mountain.

The ads aren’t entirely false: there are dozens of real reports of people being saved by their iPhone or watch. After rolling out Emergency SOS to its Apple Watch in 2016, the company added fall detection, an electrocardiogram, and even a blood oxygen sensor. Last year, Apple introduced a new crash detection feature for the Apple Watch and iPhone 14, which automatically alerts emergency services when it detects that you’ve been in a car accident (or that you are simply going on a wild roller coaster ride). And last year, Apple added a feature to iPhones that lets users contact emergency services via satellite if there’s no cellular connection.

Fitness tracking and connectivity on your wrist no longer help the Apple Watch stand out from the competition

These are undeniably cool features, but there’s a reason Apple’s approach to advertising tends to make us uncomfortable: They’re selling us a product with concern for our own mortality – buy an Apple device or risk your life. These are ads that emphasize fear rather than hope, and they stand in stark contrast to the ads Apple used to run on its devices. A watch ad from two years ago shows people happily using their Apple Watch to improve their fitness; an early ad shows people using the device to connect with loved ones.

Perhaps there is a reason for this change in approach. Features like fitness tracking and connectivity on your wrist no longer help the Apple Watch stand out from the competition.

Competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 and Google’s Pixel Watch have caught up to the Apple Watch in terms of health-tracking sensors, but they still haven’t added crash detection. The same goes for the iPhone. Apple may have just added USB-C and periscope cameras, but Android phones still don’t have satellite connectivity (although that’s probably coming soon). Additionally, the addition of new safety features, including satellite connectivity, roadside assistance, and crash detection, helps differentiate newer Apple devices from older ones, potentially giving users a good reason to upgrade. an upgrade.

On Tuesday, Apple revealed another reason why we might want to have our Apple devices with us at all times: roadside assistance. The service, compatible with iPhone 14 and later, lets you contact AAA via satellite in case your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. While Apple doesn’t offer a worst-case scenario where you might need to use roadside assistance, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one in an ad soon.

These security features also have the potential to be moneymakers for Apple. Apple’s services business reported record revenue last quarter thanks to its more than 1 billion paying subscribers to Apple Music, TV Plus, iCloud Plus and its Apple One bundled service. Soon, this list of services will include Apple’s satellite connectivity and roadside assistance features, as the company’s satellite service is only available for free to iPhone 14 users for two years, and offers the same promotion for roadside assistance on iPhone 15.

We still don’t know how much Apple will charge users after this trial period, which ends for iPhone 14 users next year. But Apple seems confident that once it has a customer, it won’t let go of these devices. “They’re with us all the time,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said of the Watch and iPhone. “And if you left one at home, I bet you’d come back for it.” When your life depends on it, who wouldn’t?



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