In recent years, Apple’s presentations have begun to show a new type of messaging: without the Apple Watch, you can be mauled by a bear, drown inside a submerged car , getting stuck in a garbage compactor, or even succumbing to hypothermia after falling. an icy lake.
These disasters are often avoided with the presence of an Apple Watch. But this year, Apple’s message is starting to change again: it’s not just the Apple Watch that can save you from possible death – but the iPhone, too.
At Apple’s iPhone 15 showcase, the company unveiled an ad that combines the life-saving potential of the Apple Watch. and the iPhone. The video depicts people celebrating their birthdays with friends and family, blowing out candles, and of course, receiving “happy birthday” wishes on their iPhones.
As the ad introduces the main players, captions fade to the bottom of the screen, such as one that says, “Apple Watch notified him of a low heart rate. Went to the hospital and received a vital pacemaker surgery.” Another described a man using the iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature to save himself while trapped in a blizzard, while another said a pregnant woman was rushed to hospital for an emergency delivery after her Apple Watch detected a high heart rate.
This follows new ads from Apple showing how an iPhone 14 can save you if your car rolls over or you’re stranded on top of a mountain.
The ads aren’t exactly wrong: there are many real-life reports of people being saved thanks to their iPhone or watch. After launching Emergency SOS on the Apple Watch in 2016, the company added fall detection, an electrocardiogram, and even a blood oxygen sensor. Last year, Apple announced a new Crash Detection feature for the Apple Watch and iPhone 14, which automatically alerts emergency services if it detects you’ve crashed into a car (or just been in a wild rollercoaster ride). And last year, Apple added a feature to iPhones that allows users to contact emergency services using satellite when there is no cellular connection.
Fitness tracking and connectivity on your wrist no longer help the Apple Watch stand out among the competition
These are undeniably good features, but there is a reason that Apple’s approach to advertising them tends to make us uncomfortable: they sell us a product using the anxiety of our own mortality – buy one your Apple device or risk your life. These are ads that play on fear instead of hope, and they are very different from the ads that Apple used to release about its devices. A watch ad from two years ago showed people happily using their Apple Watch to improve their fitness; a preview ad shows people using the device to connect with loved ones.
There may be a reason for this shifting approach. Features like fitness tracking and connectivity on your wrist no longer help the Apple Watch stand out among the competition.
Rivals like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 and Google’s Pixel Watch catch up to the Apple Watch in terms of health-tracking sensors, but they still don’t add Crash Detection. The same goes for the iPhone. Apple may have just added USB-C and a periscope camera, but Android phones still don’t have satellite connectivity (though it’s likely to come soon). Not only that but the addition of new safety features, including satellite connectivity, Roadside Assistance, and Crash Detection, will help distinguish Apple’s newer devices from its older ones, potentially providing users a good reason to upgrade.
On Tuesday, Apple revealed another reason why we want to carry our Apple devices with us at all times: Roadside Assistance. The service, which is compatible with iPhone 14 and later, allows you to contact AAA via satellite if your car breaks down out of nowhere. While Apple hasn’t set out a disaster scenario where you need to use Roadside Assistance, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one depicted in an ad soon.
These safety features have the potential to be money makers for Apple, too. Apple’s services sector achieved record revenue last quarter thanks to more than 1 billion paid subscribers to Apple Music, TV Plus, iCloud Plus, and the bundled Apple One service. Soon, this list of services will include Apple’s satellite connection and Roadside Assistance features, since the company’s satellite service is only available for free to iPhone 14 users for two years, and offers it’s the same promotion for Roadside Assistance on the iPhone 15.
We still don’t know how much Apple will pay users after the trial period, which ends with iPhone 14 users next year. But Apple seems confident that, once it has a customer, they will not put these devices. “They’re with us all the time,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook when talking about the watch and the iPhone. “And if you leave either at home, I hope you will come back and take it.” If your life depends on it, who doesn’t?