“Apple Watch has become an essential companion,” CEO Tim Cook said as he kicked off Wednesday’s “Far Out” Apple Event, its marquee fall showcase of updated devices and fancy new features. “I’ve received thousands of letters from customers writing about their experiences using Apple Watch.” The broadcast then showed a new Apple Watch ad in which customers read letters to Tim Cook next to reconstructed events they supposedly would not have survived were it not for the device’s special features: a plane crash, a trash-compactor accident, sudden health scares … and a bear attack.
“Dear Mr. Cook,” wrote a 17-year-old high school senior situated in a remote log cabin. “It was a typical summer night. I looked around the corner, and a bear was staring right at me. I go to grab my phone, but my pockets were empty. As I was trying to figure out what to do, I looked down and saw my watch. I held down the button and whispered, ‘Siri, call 911.’ ” As the flannel-rocking teenager whispered the harrowing tale, viewers got to see a black bear loafing about in the cabin’s living room, rummaging through the fridge and knocking assorted objects off a desk, eventually grunting with satisfaction.
It was certainly a dramatic lead-in to the company’s “best Apple Watch lineup yet.” But we didn’t learn a lot about the much-commented-upon bear attack: The high schooler and his location remain unidentified. Luckily, the black bear reached out to us to offer his version of the events in question. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Slate: So, how’s it going? You excited for the Apple Watch Series 8? And the Ultra?
Black Bear: Rrrrroraaaaaaaggghghhhhh.
Me too. So, why’d you raid that poor guy’s cabin?
Were you aware of the powerful features contained within this young man’s Apple Watch?
It’s a pretty slick device, yeah. The framing of the watch as an “essential” device for saving human lives—whether in everyday circumstances or for those who like to trudge through the wilderness—was a pretty striking selling point, don’t you think?
The new watches rolled out in the event have a real health-and-emergency glint to them. The Series 8 is heavily focused around women’s health, with temperature sensing, cycle tracking, crash and fall detection, and blood oxygen measurement.
Meanwhile the Ultra model, which will go on sale on the 23rd of this month, is engineered to be long-lasting and water-resilient. It also features an 86-decibel siren in case you need help, a side button for emergency calls, and improved GPS and compass apps. It’s very much marketed to help wildlife explorers survive in circumstances like, well, an encounter with a black bear.
Yeah, I guess none of that really matters for you. But are you concerned at all about a whole new horde of Apple Watch–armed adventurers stepping into your terrain and calling the authorities?
Makes sense! Is it still true that the best way for humans to avoid being attacked by a bear they encounter is to slowly slink sideways, and avoid sudden movements like, say, whipping out and screaming into a tiny gadget?
[paws around in trash can and makes a loud clanking sound]
OK, I thought so.