There is a lot of excitement around Apple today as the company announced a new line-up of phones, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch display while the XS Max has a whopping 6.5-inch OLED panel. The two phones are faster than the iPhone X, with a new A12 chip and an FPU that is 50% faster. The phones also support dual-SIM use for the first time. They come with one physical SIM slot and one eSIM. In India, the eSIM supports both Reliance Jio and Airtel. Apple also announced a new version of the Apple Watch, which can tell if you fall down, and check your heart rate with a sensor that's been tested by the US FDA.
The new iPhones will launch in India at Rs 99,000 for the iPhone XS and Rs 1.09 lakh for the iPhone XS Max. The iPhone XR is the cheapest of the three, launching at "just" Rs 76,900. The XS and XS Max are launching in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB variants, while the XR is launching in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants. It's not surprising that if you search for Apple on Google today, that's the news you'll find.
Amidst all the excitement that these new products create, though, one important piece of news about Apple is getting lost—that even if you buy movies from the company, you don't own them. Apple deleted three iTunes movie purchases from a user's collection, and confirmed that there was no way to reverse this.
However, having Apple reach into your library and delete movies is also important news, and shows that you don't actually own any of the digital purchases you have made, via Apple, or any other digital platform for that matter. You're just renting them for a longer period.
Nor is Apple alone in doing this. For example, in 2009, Amazon deleted books from customer's Kindles—ironically enough, the company removed copies of George Orwell's 1984, as well as Animal Farm. Amazon explained that the books were not meant to be published, and refunded customers, but compare that with how things still work in the physical world. Once you've walked out of the store with a book in your hand, can someone just come and take it without telling you? This wasn't the only incident either—in 2012 Amazon deleted all the books on a customer's Kindle . For explanation, it said that the customer's account was directly related to another, which had been previously closed for abuse of Amazon's policies. However, Amazon then responded to her queries by saying it could not give detailed information. The company did eventually offer more details, but only after widespread coverage in the media.
Does this mean that people should just stick to physical media? Once you have a physical disc, tape, or record in your house, no one can take it from you, and as long as you can find a device capable of reading it, you will be able to access your content. But a better thing to do is buy "DRM-free", that is, buy media that gives you ownership, rather than a licence to use. Some publishers, such as Tor.com, for example, offer ebooks without DRM (digital rights management), and game publishers have also been following suit. Songs on the iTunes Store also fall under this category, which is a welcome step.Hopefully, this will widen to cover movies and TV shows as well in the near future.