Apple's new iPhone enters our biggest fear

Apple’s new iPhone enters our biggest fear

Gone are the days when minor camera updates, sleeker-looking user interfaces, and violet finishes were enough to warrant a $1,000 phone upgrade. Now, your new iPhone will come with a file lock mode (In case you need protection against cyber attacks), satellite Emergency SOS (When you find yourself in the woods without a signal), and even a file walking stability Feature – so you always know when you’re at increased risk of falling.

The Apple product positioning wrap is an example of the company playing the long game of marketing and tapping into deeper human needs. Apple’s new model is aimed at a global population in desperate need of something deeper emotionally, that captures more cognitively than fun little phone features.

Today’s user needs psychological calm.

We are collectively in a state of anxiety. take a look around. In 2021, we witnessed 20 climate disasters registered In the United States alone. In 2020, 22. There are fires, hurricanes, floods and wars all over the world. If there was ever a time for a company to monetize the need for a satellite- and network-independent SOS signal on mobile phones, now is the time.

By turning on security features on its new devices, Apple is tapping into our deepest psychological fear responses. Here’s how it works according to science.

irrational rational

Economists like to coldly portray humans as rational decision makers. This is partially true. After all, we prefer the good to the bad, the happy over the unhappy, and goals identical to purpose — most of the time.

But people are actually efficiently rational. This means that rational action is only good as long as it is not a huge drain on our mental resources. Once that becomes the case, we are as irrational as might be expected.

What does this have to do with iPhones?

It turns out that we Extreme events are mentally overly representative (such as climate disasters) even if their statistical probabilities are low. This is not a very rational thing, but it is much less of a drain on our cognitive resources in the long run. And for a company that wants to sell safety equipment, it is ideal.

born to choose

The need to exercise control over our immediate environments is essential to our biological survival and psychological well-being.

This was most evident during the early stages of Covid-19. The Chaos unpredictability It led to a welfare crisis, and no one wants to feel that again – if they can help it.

Enter Apple. By giving us strategies for getting out of horrible situations — such as asking for help, protecting our identity, or keeping an eye on our vitals — we can feel more secure in knowing that, when the rain comes or shines, we still have at least more control over what we can do. . an act. This is worth every penny in a $1000 device upgrade.

Shiny new game

No matter how much you cut it, we still love new things.

Our psyche need novelty It relates to how much ownership and agency we feel over the course of our lives. New things focus our attention, spark our curiosity, stay longer in our memory, and provide topics of conversation with which we can communicate with others. All of the above feels good.

By rolling out new features, Apple is also pairing its quest for novelty intuition with something we all experience — FOMO (Fear of losing). The typical case of FOMO is not about fear per se. It’s more about missing an opportunity or feeling jealous. But with Apple’s new product framing, we’re talking about actual fear and anxiety.

FOMO: Fear of children playing. Real fear, fear of danger – FAD – is something we will do anything to avoid, including break the bank for the latest tech gadget that promises to protect us and our loved ones. And Apple knows that.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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