Apple does not have an official presence at CES 2019, but it is making a splash at the annual event through a billboard about privacy in Las Vegas.
The billboard, which was first spotted by Engadget’s Chris Velazco, is placed at the side of a SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel, overlooking the Las Vegas Convention Center where CES 2019 will take place.
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
The mostly black billboard features the back of the recent iPhone models, and reads “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” The text, of course, is a play on the popular saying of “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
The billboard also includes the URL for Apple’s Privacy page on its official website, where visitors are greeted with text that reads “Apple products are designed to protect your privacy.”
Apple’s focus on privacy for its customers is nothing new, as the company has previously claimed that it only makes money from selling hardware and software, not the personal information of its users. For example, earlier this year, Apple laid out new policies to help law enforcement in their requests for data and information related to criminal investigations, but the company promised that the new plans will continue to protect the privacy and data of its customers.
The billboard helps Apple cast a shadow over CES 2019, without the company officially being there. Instead of participating in such events, Apple creates its own events to launch new products and services. However, Apple is known to send employees to the show to look around, to check on the company’s rivals and products that work with iPhones and Mac computers.
The message is clear — there will be a lot of new devices showcased at CES 2019, but the companies behind some of them, if not most, will not match up to Apple’s extreme focus on privacy. How comfortable will users be on devices or services that may be selling their personal information?
The splashy Las Vegas billboard also moves attention away from lagging iPhone sales, which has caused Apple to slash its forecast for the final three months of 2018. Perhaps a bigger focus on privacy is what the company needs to get iPhones back on track.