Apple Inc. has released a new operating system for its mobile devices that is likely to have a significant effect on the telemarketing industry. Among the features included in the new operating system, iOS 13, is one that is intended to provide users with the ability to effectively eliminate their receipt of unwanted telemarketing calls and other robocalls.

No more telemarketing calls?

iOS 13’s new feature is called Silence Unknown Callers, and its application is incredibly broad. Once turned on, the feature does exactly as the name implies, ensuring that an iPhone user’s phone will ring only if the caller has placed the call from a number that: (a) the user has previously called; (b) is saved in the user’s contacts list; or (c) Siri suggests based upon the user’s email and/or text messaging application usage. In those instances where a user receives a telemarketing call from a number with which s/he has not previously interacted, the call will be sent directly to the user’s voicemail. As of this writing, the feature is not anticipated to block text messages received from unknown numbers in the same manner. While the feature is set to “off” by default, it is expected that many iPhone users will make use of the feature in an effort to reduce the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls that they receive. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it remains to be seen how widespread the adoption of the feature will be among iPhone users that experience unintended missed calls from unfamiliar, but important, callers, such as doctors and employers.

Adapting Your Telemarketing Business to Changes in Technology

There is little doubt that the iOS mobile device call feature is likely to have a disruptive effect on the telemarketing sector. The effects will inevitably compound if and when mobile devices utilizing the Android operating system adopt similar anti-spam call features. That the new iOS 13 feature is not anticipated to target text messages in the same way that it will address telemarketing calls is a saving grace for the industry, however.

The rapid pace of innovation in the telemarketing space makes it critically important that marketers work closely with knowledgeable counsel prior to launching any telemarketing campaign.