The Scoop: Apple faces high-stakes announcement today

Plus: South Korea retaliates against North with K-pop; meme stock rollercoaster hits a bump.

Apple faces a major test.

Apple finds itself in an unaccustomed situation.

It’s falling behind.

The company has been the very definition of technological cool for decades now, ushering in the smartphone revolution and making our devices aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

But now its trademark iPhone is stagnating, failing to roll out new features that inspire people to shell out for a new model every year. And it’s perceived as falling behind on AI, even as rivals like Microsoft eagerly cash in.

That could change today.



Later today at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple will need to put on a classic “and one more thing” presentation that gives people a reason to buy in a time when money feels tighter than ever.

“This can’t be another, ‘Oh, we’ll do something cool later on,’ kind of presentation. They know that,” Gil Luria, an analyst at D.A. Davidson, told CNN. “For Apple’s stock to work, for the business to grow, we need to hear from them why we should buy iPhone 16.”

It’s expected that the big “wow” will come in the form of an AI-supercharged Siri virtual assistant who can recall pictures taken years ago, converse easily about the weather or news, and even learn a user’s personality.

Investors hope these new technologies will be exciting, compelling and only be available on a new iPhone — so everyone will have to rush out and purchase a new model.

Why it matters: The time for technology is done. Whatever will be announced today is locked and finished. Today is the moment when PR has to shine through.

Tim Cook and other executives will need to convey information today with a showman’s flair that would make the late Steve Jobs proud. Whatever they announce must sound indispensable, something you’d be a fool not to purchase immediately. They need to make whatever tech they’ve built over these last years seem as revolutionary as the iPhone itself once was.

It’s no easy feat at a time when people are increasingly becoming jaded, hearing AI rolled into every product imaginable.

But how well they’ve been media trained, how well their presentations were prepared and just how exciting they sound could have grave financial implications: CNN says that depending on how today goes, Apple stock could rise — or fall — by as much as 20%.

Editor’s Top Reads:

  • Over the past few weeks, North Korea has made its displeasure with its rival nation South Korea known by sending balloons bearing bags of trash and poop floating across the border. Yeah, it’s a choice, all right. South Korea is responding with its own PR measure, one calculated precisely to anger Kim Jong Un: blasting K-pop across the border. Indeed, South Korea played BTS, one of the most popular bands in the world, along with messages about the popularity of its Samsung Electronics brand in an effort to flaunt the freedom and global relevance of the South. It’s believed that both North Korean soldiers and civilians would have been in earshot of the song, though their chosen track, “Dynamite,” is sung in English, so it’s unclear how much would have been understood. Still, it’s a classic, Cold War-esque tactic designed to answer provocation with provocation. And they’ve certainly gotten a reaction: Kim’s sister called the music “the prelude to a very dangerous situation.”
  • GameStop’s stock continues its tumultuous week after a livestream with meme stock mastermind “Roaring Kitty” (aka, Keith Gill) failed to impress. Gil’s hyping of the stock had led to massive gains as online investors scrambled to follow his advice. Ahead of his livestream, the stock spiked again as the market anticipated news, wisdom and insight. Instead, they got what the Washington Post called “a rambling soliloquy that was light on financials” but which did feature Gil cracking a beer and showing off his brokerage total. The stock began to sag just after the livestream, and by the end of the day Friday, it had dipped 39%. It just goes to show that even meme stock lords need solid media training and PR skills.
  • Scammers are using X to fool desperate travelers seeking help from airlines, the BBC reports. People might tag a legitimate airline account on the platform, only to receive a message back from another account that seems right, uses the right language … and asks them for a WhatsApp number to continue the conversation. That’s where the scam begins. These fake accounts exist for every major UK airline, the BBC reports, and many complain that X is too slow to take down the bogus accounts. X infamously gutted its trust and safety department, with an estimated 43% reduction in staff since Elon Musk took over in late 2022. The lack of protection again raises concern for brands still operating on the platform, but there’s only so much they can do without bolstering their own customer service teams and scrupulously monitoring every complainants’ replies — a daunting task, to say the least.

Allison Carter is editor-in-chief of PR Daily. Follow her on or LinkedIn.


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