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Apple puts end to decades-long facade of integrity

Art by Mia Walker

Tim Cook looked on as Sheila, one of his most faithful “Special Event” announcers, took the stage. He nibbled his unclipped fingernails as a round of applause went up from the crowd, leaning forward in his cushion-less stainless steel chair. “Thank you, thank you,” said Sheila. She strode towards the center of the stage, taking steady, consistent steps. Once there, she pivoted 90 degrees and adjusted the titanium Apple Watch Ultra with Starlight Alpine Loop on her wrist. Tim flicked his tongue as she began the presentation. “We here at Apple are honored that you’ve stuck with us for this long, from the Apple-1 to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. It’s been a long journey, filled with innovation, exploitation, and above all, profit. But today, we’re announcing an update like no other—iOS 16.0.3.”

Oohs and aahs filled the theater. One man whispered to the woman on his left, “My buddy told me they’re adding a feature where, like, Apple Pay makes purchases for you! Like, you’re not gonna have to spend hours shopping online anymore, ‘cause they’re gonna, like, calibrate what you want and buy it without you even having to like think about it. Pretty darn incredible if you ask me. I wonder what they’re putting in those programmers’ coffee!”

The woman whispered back, “I bet they drink a special herbal tea. Puts them in that creative mindset.” Just then, the screen behind Sheila turned a bright red, and the words “ULTIMATE” faded on in black. Sheila cleared her throat and began. “iOS 16.0.3 will be our final update. To be completely honest, we ran out of ideas five years ago, but our investors hadn’t gotten the return they’d been hoping for so we held out.” The crowd gave a wholehearted round of applause. Sheila blushed. Luckily, she had been programmed to deal with situations like this.

As the audience settled down, a new image appeared behind Sheila. It depicted the fleshless core of a McIntosh apple. “As you all knew, we here at Apple were dedicated to a healthy company-consumer relationship. No decision was made without your wellbeing in mind. And as a last hurrah, we have decided to fund all of our retirements by selling every last drop of your data to various companies that specialize in data breaches, such as Meta (formerly Facebook), Comcast, and Yahoo.”

The crowd was on their feet before Sheila could finish. The applause was absolutely deafening. Tim slid out of his chair and slithered into the sunset, smiling and salivating the whole way.

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