Helping Like Only Apple Can
Partly motivated by necessity and partly by conviction, Apple assumed a leadership role early on in the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis. Apple’s response has included, among other things:
- Retail store closings around the world handled with obvious thought and care
- The closing of its corporate campuses, despite the strain it applies to company culture
- The first mega cap company to pre-announce disappointing March quarter results
- Offering Apple Card holders relief on payment terms for their March bills
- Free curated content on Apple’s entertainment platforms for consumers sheltering in place
- Unseen efforts from Apple and other tech leaders offering cloud computing resources in the fight for a vaccine
- Monetary and protective equipment donations to aid in the COVID-19 response
Apple and Google Partner on a Solution
Now, Apple is supporting the global recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic like only Apple can. On April 10, Apple announced a partnership with Google to enable contact tracing using bluetooth on iOS and Android-based smartphones, collectively representing virtually all of the worldwide smartphone market. For more on contact tracing, see this helpful explanation. In short, using smartphones as a proxy for people, our devices will trace who we have been in contact with and alert us if we have come into contact with someone that has tested positive for Coronavirus—all without sacrificing our privacy.
At first, in May, Apple and Google will offer APIs for apps from public health authorities to enable contract tracing. Within the next few months, the technology will be built directly into iOS and Android at a systems level, obviating the requirement for a third party app. Read more on the partnership from Matt Panzarino on TechCrunch.
There’s lots of uncertainty regarding the efficacy of the initiative (reliance on widely available testing, avoiding hoaxes and false positives, etc.), but we applaud the efforts of Apple and Google here, and encourage them to hit their self-imposed timelines.
Beyond money and masks and apps, Apple plays a leadership role in our culture, too. Over the decades, the company has shared messages of inspiration, hope, and creativity that underscore the importance of Apple products in our work and our lives.
Apple’s new ad, Creativity Goes On, is no different—an emotional appeal to connect people in a time of disconnection.
Tim Cook and his team recognize the opportunity they have to improve lives and limit the spread of COVID-19. They embrace the mission of equipping customers to do great work. They recognize what the world needs and they’re delivering.