An encryption battle is brewing…

Apple revealed last Friday that the average iPhone user unlocks their phone 80 times a day. That’s an incredible statistic.

That’s 6-7 times an hour in the average 12 hour active day. Or once every 10 minutes. I think I’m falling behind the average.

Anyway, it’s a very relevant statistic in the ongoing growth and discussion around the relevance of security. The more important statistic is that almost 90% of users are using TouchID.

As I touched on here, we’re seeing a fundamental shift in the way Apple relates to the world. It’s moving quite confidently from a product-centric business, as it realises that the growth of its product empire is peaking and about to plateau, and into a services driven empire as it grabs those users by their shiny logins and ties them neatly into its experiential, security driven ecosystem. It’s a beautiful conversion, and will take a couple of years, but is quite definitively happening.

We’re seeing the trends start to happen.

Recently Whatsapp unveiled an automatic encryption service across their entire ecosystem.

The iOS app store in China has already taken over as the second highest revenue store for Apple, globally.

The Australian has a good piece (subscribers only) on the value of Apple’s products, and how there’s a visible financial shift towards their services and ecosystem, with “estimates that Apple services already bring in 15 per cent of gross profit and could reach 29 per cent by 2020” – and that’s just based on existing app store services.

I believe it’s a question of WHEN Apple decide to build their encryption into an ecosystem wide brand, we’ll see a next level revenue push. In some ways it’s building to an interesting angle for Chatbots and Siri/AI. Macobserver touched on this by saying that AI will change the relationship with our devices to a singular experience of interaction and ask/receive, rather than searching for a specific app for a specific purpose.

Google staked their claim on this vision a while ago – much of the focus of the Google ecosystem, and brands such as Google Now, is to deliver the correct information when you need it, or even before you know you need it. This contextual personalisation has an incredible financial benefit for the company that can deliver the most cohesive ecosystem to deliver it. If Siri connects all your devices to deliver the information when and where you are, then of course you’ll stick with the devices and services where Siri works best.

But it’s also got an incredible implication for the services side of these businesses, which Google realised a while ago. But Apple, with it’s much more powerful consumer closeness, could be the one to make it intrinsic. A driven ecosystem that begins to deliver us WHAT we want, BEFORE we ask for it, obviously knows us better than we know ourselves.

How much is that data worth?

It’s (to be a scaremonger) Minority Report kind of material, isn’t it? Predictive, behavioural, individualised. The data is pretty much intrinsic to who we are as people, not just who we are as credit cards, travel plans, etc.

It’s said (I heard this at an Adobe Marketing event) that something like 99% of people could be identified uniquely by the 4 places they visit anonymously almost daily. And any changes in that routine can indicate a predictive change in behaviour – eg a sudden change in behaviour on Saturdays between 11 and 3 by an identified individual could correlate to mean that they are house hunting. In mid 2015, Google let us see our personal Maps history with Timeline, a personalised map that shows, all the locations we’ve been to. It’s slightly unnerving to see it mapped out.

That kind of data ties a user to an service ecosystem. And needs to be protected by definitive encryption. TouchID, VoiceID (which we’ll probably see in the near future) will form the consumer face of the ecosystem. It’s also where the concept of Customer Experience is really going to start taking hold – as services become more intrinsic, the overall experience that we have with brands are going to be much more defined into user journeys, lifecycles and conversion points – as users we will be much more aware of when we start becoming a brand loyalist, and when that journey then finishes, and why.

We see this happening on social media every day – a misstep by a brand causes outcries of “I’ll no longer be a user”. Service driven ecosystems, are going to take that to the next level – what does it mean to extricate your entire persona from Google? Can you? What they hell did I just sign over to Apple when I created an AppleID? We’ll see an increasing clash of consumer expectations around servicing and privacy, with the ability for a company to provide a life enhancing experiential ecosystem.

hmmm…interesting. I think I’ll have to put something together on that. Or maybe you can start here.

Apple have announced that their next WWDC (WorldWide Developer Conference) is happening in June. I’m looking forward to what happens.

(I’m not going. Are you kidding? It’s a ticket lottery AND it costs about US$1700)

2 thoughts on “An encryption battle is brewing…

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