The Aspirations of Apple

Apple’s presentation at the Steve Jobs theater Monday was not just a pivot to new income streams in the form of featured services. While attendees and streaming viewers waited to hear the specifics of all the rumored services to come, Apple took the time to explain much about their philosophy and vision of a future in which Apple would usher in ways their new offerings would better society, not just make money.

Through the introduction of Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and the Apple Card, the company that brought us the Mac and the iPhone explained how their latest products could make the world a better place. Oprah Winfrey, who elevated the purpose of television years ago with changes to her own show, concluded the presentation with some of her specific projects with Apple.  Apple has hired some of the best in the business, and clearly shows preference for quality over quantity.

Watch the keynote:

Apple Does Real Social

During the Apple October event in Brooklyn NY, Angela Ahrendts spoke about “Today at Apple” sessions held in all 505 retail locations around the globe. Ahrendts described the program of live sessions as opportunities for Apple users to learn in labs and walks at all Apple Stores, where they won’t just sit and listen, but perform the various tasks they learn – with other people. “It is designed to encourage human connections…” was part of how she described the program. In the year and a half since they were introduced, they have held 18,000 live sessions.

Over the years, other tech companies have tried to crack the formula to dominate social, building platforms that collect user data, which has been the real value to those who collect and use that data. But then misuse of user data, and manipulation of user behavior was revealed to be a huge problem.
Apple has chosen another path, avoiding building social platforms based on the exploitation of user data, handling user information in much more private ways, finding ways to keep most sensitive data on-device.
The most social apps offered natively include iMessage, FaceTime, and the rather ordinary mail, contacts & calendars. Admittedly, these are all important tools for staying in touch with real people you actually know.
Ahrendts update on ‘Today at Apple’ sessions reveals how Apple sees social, encouraging real people to meet face to face in friendly ways, which is much more pleasant that arguing with strangers about politics on Facebook and Twitter, or allowing our real worlds to collide when our incompatible friends are thrown in all together.
Creative sessions at Apple gathering places involve 3,000 Creatives and 70,000 Apple team members. Ahrendts said that customers who participate in walks learn new features while exploring places together “in a real social way.” It would seem that Apple has discovered what we should have known all along, that real social involves genuine experiences when people actually spend time together.