Apple Security, Smartphones are More Fun Than Driving

I want to share a few more thoughts for subscribers about the briefing I was at on Friday with Apple executives where they gave more depth on their security strategy and philosophy. As I sat through the list of things Apple outlined and diagrammed of the inner workings of iOS security, it hit me that security and privacy are now being “baked in” at every level of Apple’s future products. As we understand how Apple is making long-term decisions at the chipset design level, an operating system design level, and even at a manufacturing level, we see Apple is now making long-term security decisions deeply embedded into their chipsets, hardware, and software.

Prior to this meeting, I would not have included security as a part of the Apple ecosystem with the same depth I now feel it must be included. One thing Apple outlined was how they had thought through support for third-party keyboards as an example for why they sandbox apps. Sandboxing was designed to keep apps from becoming malicious but was also designed with some flexibility included. This makes it so you can have a third party keyboard but that keyboard can not go fetch your home address, personal emails, banking information, or even collect or track your use of it without your express permission. I don’t know about you but I get constant phishing emails from friends’ email addresses who own Android smartphones. Some third party app got their email, spoofed it, and sent it to their contact list. Apple’s design of sandboxing prevents this and a whole lot more from happening. Apple is integrating security built from the ground up and extending it to the every area of their ecosystem.

Even with the impressive deep dive on how Apple’s security solutions are architected, executives were still keen to point out that security is a moving target. As good as Apple’s security solutions are, Apple is clear they can not and will not stand still. Hackers get better and smarter every day. Apple is going to have to go beyond custom SoCs, security built software in iOS, and go even deeper into cloud security to truly bring their entire security philosophy to every area of their ecosystem. There are many parts of Apple’s products they don’t control as much as in the iPhone and iPad. Their cloud solution is one, but so are Macs. Apple made an effort to go in-depth on how secure the iPhone and iPad are because they design the silicon. However, they don’t have this luxury yet with the Macintosh. This has convinced me even more that, if Apple truly wants to bring their security philosophy to their products in every part of the ecosystem, they must also do what many predict and make A-series processors for Macs. Let’s just say, this briefing has convinced me even more A-series processors for Macs are inevitable.

Smartphones are More Fun Than Driving

I hope an anecdote will lead to an insight. I am the twice a week carpool for my Jr. High daughter’s track team. We take a group of kids home twice a week and during this journey I get to hear all that is trendy in the world of Jr. High Schoolers. Much of the conversation is about technology. During this trip, I’d estimate they spend 90% sending messages to friends and looking at Instagram. The experience has made it clear to me why this generation will so easily embrace self-driving vehicles. While I’m not going to suggest everyone hates driving, I certainly do and I’m sure many others do as well. But there has not been a generation that has entirely grown up with a smartphone to use while they are being chauffeured around at the same time. Sure, generations grew up with GameBoys or, in my case, a Game Gear, but in this generation, every single one of them has a smartphone. And smartphones are more fun than driving.

Ultimately at a holistic level, I think this generation’s relationship with cars (and driving) is dramatically different than generations prior. For every previous generation, cars were mainstream. But no generation had access to a pocket computer at all times. Some part of me believes this is part of the formula which changed the younger demographics’ view of driving.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

One thought on “Apple Security, Smartphones are More Fun Than Driving”

  1. A few days ago there was an interview published with the President of GM (or Ford.) I can’t find the link but he said that mobile devices will “drive” the market for autonomous vehicles because with a phone or tablet it makes less sense to spend time in the car driving when you can do work, read, watch, comminicate.

    Personally, I’ve recently found this to be true. Because of an unexpected issue I needed to replace my car about a month ago. But, I’m seeing how long I can go without it. So far, I’ve made it one month. I live and work in downtown SF, so typically don’t drive much during the week. And, so many even mundane purchases are now bought on the web and delivered rather than driving to the store. When i do need to go somewhere, I mostly rely on Uber. Especially given the traffic, parking hassles, and poor road conditions in the Bay Area, I’ve found having someone drive me is much less stressful. And, using my iPhone while I’m in the car, makes it almost like found time. I’m sure I’ll get a new car eventually. But, I’m in no rush. (FWIW, I’m 51 years old and grew up in LA. I’ve had a daily car since I was 16. So, definitely of the car generation.)

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