Apple and Big Tech’s product launches are now just sideshows, while the real news happens on the world stage

Tim Cook, Apple Headquarters

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Hello, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of  the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech.

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This week: For Tim Cook and Apple, it’s Lights, Cameras … Sideshow!

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the latest iPad you may have enjoyed Apple’s “Special Event” on Tuesday. But to me, Apple’s big event was mainly a sign of how the scripted product launches that Big Tech relies upon to control the news cycle are increasingly impotent.

It’s not all bad. As my colleague Avery Hartmans noted, the abbreviated, online-only product launch is preferable to the bloated in-person events of years past.

But I think there’s something else going on too:

Now that tech is at the center of the biggest political and geopolitical dramas, product launches have become sideshows that can’t compete with the main event. 

On the same day as the Apple event, Google’s top dealmaker Don Harrison testified before US Senators and defended the company’s business practices, as the search giant braces for imminent antitrust charges from the Justice Department.

Reports that the FTC’s antitrust case against Facebook is gaining steam also emerged on Tuesday.
And Facebook is still reeling from a bombshell internal memo, published by Buzzfeed on Monday, in which a departing employee detailed the company’s repeated failures to stop manipulation by governments throughout the world.

And yes, there’s the fate of TikTok, caught in the middle of the US-China tech cold war, which continued to play out in real time on Tuesday while Apple streamed.

You can catch up on the latest on TikTok, Oracle, Trump and all the other players here.

  Silicon Valley's workforce is falling out of love with massive tech campuses. Experts predict what will take its place are networks of satellite offices.

Even Apple — at its own product event — couldn’t escape the regulatory clouds hanging over its business.

Spotify, a longtime critic of Apple’s App Store policies, took issue with the new Apple One bundle, which gives consumers Apple’s streaming music and TV services for $14.95 a month. Spotify, which sells its streaming music service for $9.99 a month, accused Apple of abusing its dominant position to unfairly package and promote its services. 

And Apple immediately raised eyebrows with the launch of Fitness Plus, its new fitness app. That’s because it will compete dozens of other small companies who make training and live workout classes, and who can only reach Apple users through Apple’s App Store (and by paying Apple a 30% fee on any revenue). As Julie Bort points out, Apple is competing with its own customers — on its own turf, with home-field advantages.
To be honest, it’s surprising that Apple went forward with the Fitness Plus announcement at this time, given the war against its App Store practices that Epic Games is waging.

Of course, this may have felt like a sideshow because Apple’s event on Tuesday did not feature the new, highly-anticipated iPhone. For that, you’ll have to wait until October, when Apple is expected …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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