Sep 3, 2020 - Technology

New Apple ad pokes rivals over privacy

A man's face is obscured by an Apple iPhone 11
Photo: Apple

In a new TV ad out today, Apple features people inappropriately blurting out private information in public places.

Why it matters: With this bit of satire, Apple aims to win over consumers with a privacy-first message — and also to paint itself as a force for good amid the public debate over Big Tech's power.

Details: The minute-long spot features a variety of scenes, including:

  • A man on a bus shouting that he has been browsing for a divorce attorney.
  • A woman at a movie telling the person next to her the e-mail address she uses to "login for everything."
  • A man jogging and loudly sharing his heart rate aloud as he goes.
  • A woman with a bullhorn announcing her credit card number.

The screen then reads: "Some things shouldn't be shared. iPhone keeps it that way."

Between the lines: Apple's message may be humorous, but it is not subtle.

  • The company wants to distinguish between its business model, in which consumers pay for hardware and services, from its rivals', which uses personal data to target ads.
  • Apple's case to customers is: You don't have to choose between technology and privacy.

Yes, but: Privacy still comes at a price. Apple makes billions from its high-end hardware and billions more from its growing array of paid services. It also gets billions from ad-supported Google to be the default search engine on Macs and iOS devices. You can see the ad here.

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