Apple’s newest products and features target our biggest fears

You might have wondered if you were watching an emergency response training session if you had only seen the Apple iPhone event’s opening.

Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the annual event Wednesday with a short video that showed how the Apple Watch saved lives and called for help. One man told how he was skating in a frozen river and the ice broke. Another man survived a plane accident in a remote location in winter. A high school student was able to escape a bear encounter.

Another example was a 27-year-old high school teacher who went to the emergency department after her Apple Watch detected an abnormally fast heartbeat. The teacher said that her doctor told her, “It was your watch, that saved my life.”

Apple products have been a tool for creativity, productivity, and a positive lifestyle that includes friends, family, healthy habits, and outdoor activities. While some of the old messages were still visible at the event this year, there was also a new message. Many of the company’s products and features were positioned as safety nets in an uncertain world.

Apple has announced new car-crash detection technology for the Apple Watch as well as the iPhone. It claims it can use the iPhone’s GPS, barometer, and microphone to determine the “precise instant of impact”. Ron Huang, Apple’s vice-president of sense, said that while we hope you don’t need it, you will feel a bit safer when you get in a car.

The company also revealed a revolutionary Emergency SOS tool that uses satellites to help you if your cellular service is not working. It also introduced an Apple Watch temperature monitoring tool that can track illnesses. This comes at a time when many are still struggling with pandemic anxiety.

Although it is a continuation of Apple’s focus on health features, especially with its smartwatches and smartwatches in general, industry watchers were still a bit surprised by the accent on fearful use cases. Ramon Llamas (research director at IDC) said that it was not surprising for Apple to adopt an alarmist approach and position its devices as possible life savers.

Apple has been promising customers in recent years that its products will help them create a safer digital world. This includes stronger privacy protections and more family-friendly content. Apple’s pitch now appears to be expanding to include the protection of real-world users.

Llamas stated that emergency features are similar to safety bags in your car. You don’t need them all the time, but they are always appreciated.”

Apple is facing a new economic environment that may make it more difficult to convince customers to spend three- or four figures to upgrade their devices, especially when certain products aren’t significantly different from the previous year.

On Wednesday, the company made minor changes to its devices. For example, the iPhone lineup included updates to the camera system, an interactive lock screen, and faster performance on the Pro models. The new Apple Watch Ultra, a high-end watch, is intended for extreme sports enthusiasts. While there’s a market for rugged watches, not everyone requires tracking for triathlons or deep ocean diving.

Eric Abbruzzese (a market research director at ABI Research) said, “Refinement over Revolution isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if purses tighten with the economy then these announcements will be a harder sell without any groundbreaking.”

Abbruzzese stated that Apple’s emphasis on safety and health could help it boost its subscription services business. This has been its fastest-growing revenue stream in recent years. He points out that satellite connectivity is only free for two years. (Apple hasn’t specified what it will cost after that). “Advanced health tools” seem to be another way to promote Fitness+.

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