FOR YEARS, APPLE has shunned CES, but like a recently dumped individual checking in on what the ex is up to, it's awkwardly making its presence felt all the same.
In fact, that's a bit of an unfair analogy, because even the most creepily needy of lovesick folk stops short of taking out a giant advert on the side of a hotel, and yet that's exactly what Apple has done.
The advert, which appears on Marriott's SpringHill Suites right next to the Las Vegas Convention Centre where CES is kicking off, is short and sweet in its message: "What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone." It then links to apple.com/privacy, safe in the knowledge that in the history of humankind, nobody has ever voluntarily read a privacy page to check everything is above board.
Apple never shows up at CES, so I can't say I saw this coming. pic.twitter.com/8jjiBSEu7z— Chris Velazco (@chrisvelazco) January 4, 2019
Overlooking the irony of posting an advert about privacy on the side of a hotel which just suffered its own massive data breach, the message here is about as subtle as a neon brick to the face. Google, Samsung and everybody else inside showing off their bits at CES have awkward relationships with privacy, Apple suggests, while its own products care. True, the company doesn't care enough to actually make the case in the convention centre, but just read the poster for God's sake.
What's more confusing about this is that Apple has already popped up at CES - and not just smuggled in via iPhones in the pockets of visitors. Samsung has announced that it has reached an agreement with Apple to include iTunes as an app on its upcoming smart TVs.
This will let you play all the content you've bought on iTunes (or even that free U2 album Apple forced on you a few years ago) as well as buy new shows. Even more confusingly, Samsung says you'll be able to operate it via the voice through underemployed AI assistant Bixby.
Using Bixby to access iTunes. Short of getting Bing to bring up your Bebo account, it's hard to think of a less demanded feature in 2019. µ
But it keeps the juicy details firmly under wraps
And Sonny and Cher is on the radio
Gets its post-Windows 7 towel on the sun-lounger