There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Apple’s reach and influence as a company are astronomical. Looking at the numbers alone, its sheer size and magnitude is mind-boggling. Being worth more than $1 trillion and in the pocket of billions of people around the world, it sets the precedent for almost all other tech companies to follow.
Its size and success are obviously thanks to its products, services, and software. But Apple’s hidden secret has never been anything it actually sells or offers directly, but it’s been the brand itself. Apple has an incredibly unique base of customers, in a matter of fact, according to data by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners in 2018, Apple customers are some of the most loyal in the industry.
Apple customers used to go days waiting in line outside of Apple Stores to get their hands on the latest products, flocking to update to the newest software, and craving for info. over the next big thing. Simply put, people will buy anything with that Apple made, or that has an Apple logo.
A company of this size should use its influence for good. And Apple has. In the wake of COVID19 Apple donated masks, PPE, and developed its own face-shields for frontline healthcare workers. Surely though, the company has done more behind the scenes than its willing to publicize. All of those actions were taken however while the world was under lockdown in the months following March and April.
Now, much of the world has lifted COVID19 lockdown restrictions with life returning to semi-normalcy, but that raises the question, what can Apple do now to help with the COVID19 pandemic? With the end of lockdowns, the new normal is mandatory mask-wearing. In almost every developed country in the world, it’s either law to wear a mask in public, or stores have the right to refuse you entry/service if you don’t.
Let’s face it, no one wants to wear a mask. Its annoying, feels odd, and in some cases can be inconvenient. Despite its possible downsides, its positives outweigh any of them. Their proven ability to limit the spread of COVID19 is proven, and indisputable. With it becoming a must for many, masks are also slowly becoming a fashion statement.
Many, including myself, have created custom masks with unique patterns, colors, and even name initials to offer it a distinct look. With the entirety of your lower face covered by them, the look and style of your mask can now be an extension of who you are, instead of a limitation.
Here’s where Apple comes in. Bloomberg reported in September that as employees slowly make their way back to Apple Park and Apple retail stores around the world, the company has developed its own face mask for its workforce to use.
Apple told employees that the masks were made and tested by the same team that designs the iPad and iPhone. Bloomberg reports that Apple conducted “careful research and testing to find the right materials to filter the air properly,” so, in plain English, the mask does the job.
Currently, the only way to get your hands on one of the masks is to either be an Apple employee or have some good connections. Both ways are inherently impossible for the average person. What’s more possible for the average customer is to straight-up buy one.
Apple has not stated it plans to sell these masks, but it should. As I stated above, people will buy anything that was made and/or has an Apple logo on it. Add that with the fact that almost all of the developed world has to wear masks, and Apple has a recipe for success.
Morally, it would be wrong for Apple to profit off a global pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 1 million people worldwide. So, as a substitute, Apple should donate all profits to either COVID19 vaccine research, or hospitals and organizations in need of financial support. Lockdowns in March and the months that followed broke the global economy, causing stores to shut, people losing their jobs, and governments desperate for money.
As a result, many health institutions, hospitals, and healthcare workers are struggling to get proper supplies including PPE and equipment to treat those infected with the virus. If Apple were to make their masks available for purchase and donate profits to places in need, it could save lives. Plus, not to mention Apple’s world-class marketing team could definitely help in selling the masks.
Whether Apple were to sell its masks as a standalone item or some type of offer with the purchase of a product, is up to debate. But either way and at whatever retail cost, one could only imagine the number of people who would buy one. Not even thinking about the design and functionality, but the unboxing experience for the mask itself makes me want to grab one off the shelf.
Now, it’s unknown the current scale of which Apple develops these masks and whether it would be able to cost-effectively develop millions and ship them around the world. Bloomberg cites directly in its original report that Apple wanted to ensure that the development of these masks would not disrupt the supply chain of medical PPE. That’s understandable, but if there’s ever been a company on the face of planet earth that has a world-class logistical and operational team to make it possible, it’s Apple.