“No product in recent history has changed people’s lives more,” The Economist writes. “Without the iPhone, ride-hailing, photo-sharing, instant messaging and other essentials of modern life would be less widespread. Shorn of cumulative sales of 1.2bn devices and revenues of $1trn, Apple would not hold the crown of the world’s largest listed company. Thousands of software developers would be poorer, too: the apps they have written for the smartphone make them more than $20bn annually.”

“By any measure, the iPhone, which hit the shelves in America ten years ago this week, has been an extraordinary success. But it is also exceptional for a less obvious reason: it has allowed Apple to become the only consumer-oriented technology giant whose business model does not rely on collecting reams of personal data, usually in order to target advertising to users,” The Economist writes. “Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has made the company’s stance part of his sales pitch, calling privacy a fundamental human right. That distinctive approach may not be sustainable, however. Indeed, how Apple deals with data will be more important in determining its success over the next ten years than the endless questions over the firm’s ambitions for TV sets or cars.”

“To stay competitive, particularly as rival devices powered by Google’s Android operating system have become almost as good as Apple’s, the firm will come under increasing pressure to collect more data and make greater use of them. The opportunity for Mr Cook is to make Apple a model for how to balance the benefits of data and the right to privacy,” The Economist writes. “A decade from now, the world might be admiring Apple not for another ‘insanely great’ device, but for finding a workable compromise between the promises of AI and the right to privacy.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple finds and delivers that workable balance between privacy and AI, that may well be Tim Cook’s utmost and lasting achievement.

Here’s a T-shirt for those who use Google’s Android and/or any other Google product, software, or service:

I'm with stupid

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