Apple shows off new devices and sets a release date for the disputed iPhone software.
Apple on Tuesday unveiled a slew of new products showing how it continues to focus its marketing pitch on consumer privacy, to the potential detriment of other companies, while entering new markets launched by much smaller competitors.
Apple introduced a new high-end iPad and iMac desktop computer based on new computer processors that Apple is now making. Apple said it was redesigning its podcast app to allow podcast creators to charge for their shows. And he’s released a new device called AirTags, a $ 29 disc that attaches to a keychain or wallet to help find them.
Apple also made other news on Tuesday that was not mentioned in its glitzy hour-long infomercial. The company said in a subsequent press release that it plans to release its highly anticipated iPhone software next week, which will come with a privacy feature that worries many digital advertising companies, including Facebook.
The feature will require apps to get explicit permission from users before tracking them into other apps. As a result, when many apps open next week, iPhone owners will be greeted with pop-ups asking them to allow the app to track them. Businesses should collect less user data because people refuse this tracking.
Apple and Facebook were locked in a war of words on the change, Facebook arguing that it would hurt the digital advertising industry which helps fund free internet services. Apple said it was only giving consumers the right to choose to be tracked.
Separately on Tuesday, Apple’s AirTags immediately drew criticism from Tile, a company that has been making similar devices for finding lost items for years. “We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition. Unfortunately, given Apple’s well-documented history in using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we are skeptical, ”said CJ Prober, CEO of Tile.
Tile’s general counsel, along with executives from Apple, Google, Spotify and Match Group, are expected to testify in Congress on Wednesday at an audience on market power and Apple and Google’s control over mobile applications. “We believe it is entirely appropriate that Congress take a closer look at Apple’s business practices,” said Mr. Prober.