Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg.

The Flaw in Apple’s Safety-Focused Marketing Push

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg.

How do you make a must-have device like an iPhone feel even more essential? If you’re Apple, you shoot a cool video showing people stranded on a mountaintop, using their trusty iPhone to communicate via satellite with a rescue helicopter. The satellite connectivity feature was one of the big new additions to the iPhone franchise, unveiled today along with the iPhone 14. And there is no question it adds value, solving a longstanding problem with dead zones in remote areas. Kudos, Tim Cook.

There’s just one issue. If you really were stranded on a mountaintop, you would probably have been hiking all day, which means your iPhone’s battery might very well be dead and the satellite feature would therefore be unusable. That’s hardly a reality Apple wants to show in the slick marketing videos that now dominate its product events (although it would be great fodder for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch). But there’s no question that if Apple really wants to make the iPhone more useful, it has to make the battery last even longer. Apple has made progress on this front in the past couple of years, to be sure. But 12 to 18 hours is still about as much as anyone can expect to get from the device in normal use.

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