It's a gigantic ad on the side of a building in Las Vegas, making a pun on the classic "what's happening in Vegas in the Vegas" line. There is nothing unusual about it, except that Apple is set up just in time for the consumer electronics show's arrival in the city, an event that the iPhone maker traditionally publishes does not even happen.
Taking over the side of a strategically positioned hotel Right next to the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Apple's multi-story ad keeps it simple: "What happens on the iPhone stays on the iPhone." Below is a link to apple.com/privacy, where the company describes the security of things such as Apple Pay, Face ID, and health data collected by Apple Watch. Every person going to CES this coming week will inevitably see this strong white and black ad.
Although he has never had a formal presence at CES, Apple has always been the invisible elephant in the conference halls, with devices and accessories committing time and resources to building the Apple ecosystem. However, in recent times, Amazon's Alexa and Google's assistant have taken precedence over CES, and now Apple is strikingly back with an expert convicted ad.
Taking just the opposite color scheme, black text on a white background, Google is with its new, massively expanded presence outside of LVCC. One corner of the LVCC parking lot is completely concerned with Google and showing off its assistant items. The local monorail, which goes past the CES site, is also pasted with Google banners, and additional "Hello Google" tags can be seen throughout the LVCC. As last year, Google is investing heavily in promoting the assistant as a strong Alexa competitor and the focus of CES. It's just that this year Apple has something snarky to say about it.
Apple is not wrong in leveraging its privacy benefits. Amazon's Alexa has had embarrassing errors on this front page: first by recording a private conversation and sending it to another user, and then by incorrectly sending a user 1,700 voice recordings from another. For Google Assistant and Android – the primary / sole competitor of the iPhone – there have been many breaches of privacy from Android device owners who spontaneously track user information (hey, OnePlus and Blu), and Google's own business model is based on user data usage for commercial gain. Apple can afford to be more noble because it sells hardware instead of ads.
Although Apple's privacy may be better than its competitors, it's not without fault. iPhone users in China, for example, are far less protected from state snooping than their US counterparts. And Apple's tardiness in implementing two factor authentication is likely to contribute to high-profile iCloud accounts being compromised in the infamous Celebgate photo leak. If Apple wants to live up to the full meaning of the words it has emblazoned on the side of a building this week, it should ensure that privacy protection is impenetrable and applies with equal force throughout the world. Otherwise this can all look a little hypocritical.
Photograph by Vlad Savov / The Verge