CES is not the kind of trade show where you’d expect Apple to launch a new iPhone. Things are different in 2019 though, or at least, that is what Apple believes. For the first time, in what seems like a lifetime, Apple is making its presence felt at CES 2019, through the iPhone. No, it does not intend to launch the iPhone 11 here, but it is ringing into the new year, letting the world know how serious it is about user privacy. And rivals are (probably) not.
The Cupertino major has put up a giant ad on the side of a building right next to the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) where all the action is happening, or is set to happen, vis a vis CES 2019. With it, Apple is presumably trolling companies like Google and Amazon: two of the biggest names expected to make headlines over the upcoming days of consumer tech extravagance. Google and Amazon also happen to be two of the biggest names dealing with user data, in countless ways, in order to serve their users better.
2018 has been the year when the whole world woke up to countless privacy nightmares. Companies like Google and Amazon (and Facebook) have been associated with many of them, and even though Apple hasn’t remained without its faults, it has at least tried to maintain a consumer-friendly stand with regards to their privacy.
Tim Cook had famously said in an interview in March 2018, "The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer - if our customer was our product. We've elected not to do that." This came in response to Facebook’s infamous Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Apple has also shown solidarity with the GDPR law.
Several steps that it has taken recently, including rolling out stricter App store developer policy and a dedicated privacy portal where iOS users can find all the data that the company has stored on them, all amount to the general impression: that it takes user privacy very seriously.
The ad that it has put up in Sin City is another reminder that, “what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone,” and a subtle dig at Google and Amazon who have been caught with foot in their mouth seemingly compromising on users’ data several times in the last year alone. Google and Amazon are known to be very active at CES, since a couple of years now. This year is no different. While Google is painting Las Vegas in all hues of the Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa will be part of even more devices to be announced at CES.