My reaction to Apple’s most recent announcement yesterday was not like most others (yes I’m looking to the likes of you Venture Beat and Quartz). They did something this week that they have never done before, and it was impressive.
Before any mention of a new smaller cheaper phone at the event, they talked about your privacy, and the planet…….a lot. Then they talked about people.
After a brief Tim Cook jab at the US Government, the event really started with a female VP - Lisa Jackson, vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives - to talk about Apple's impact on the environment. Here are the highlights:
Lisa went on to announce that, even though a lot of iPhones get reused, Apple are launching a recycling program for ageing products with a robot called Liam, that has BB8 like cuteness, but can take apart an iPhone like no-one's business.
After which Apple discussed CareKit - a framework for health professionals to build apps that help patients keep tabs on their treatments. Oh and it’s Open Source (and a big reason to maintain Apple’s encryption stance).
Let me say this again. This all went down before any mention of a new tiny iPhone. This is no longer Steve Jobs' Apple.
Perhaps people are used to the Apple events of old, with blinkers myopically focused on the latest and greatest must-have Apple products, to have heard the real pivotal message: Apple is now more than a shiny impersonal Mac. They are now a crusader for personal privacy, willing to go head to head with the US Government; an advocate of accessibility, Health and technology; and more than anything, wanting to take better care of this planet. Check this chart as to how they stack up.
With a Market Cap of about $600 Billion, and cash reserves in the Billions (andgrowing), Apple has great power and for the first time ever, showed great responsibility.
Now don’t get me wrong, they are far from being a perfect company but this is an amazing pivot in their narrative and I can’t wait for their next event. Tim Cook’s Apple now, more than ever, offers the tantalizing possibility of something unexpected.