Apple will not include crypto innovations in product line any time soon

Apple will not include crypto innovations in product line any time soon

Major corporations across the globe have research and development teams hard at work figuring out ways to take advantage of blockchain technology and all things crypto, but there is one innovator in the market that has elected to stay on the sidelines to the amazement of everyone in the Fintech industry. Apple Corporation (NASDAQ:AAPL) just refuses to budge or has chosen to remain very tight lipped about what it is doing internally. The firm has obviously felt the “heat”, so to speak. In a recent CNN interview at a private event in San Francisco, one Apple executive explained that they view crypto as a long-term issue.

Jennifer Bailey, a vice president at Apple Pay, despite the payment industry “sizzle” over using blockchains to speed up and make more efficient the entire cross-border payment market, admitted that they are interested, but they have no plans to incorporate any crypto variations in their various product lines:

We think it’s interesting… We think it has interesting long-term potential, but we’re primarily focused on what consumers are using today.

For a corporation that has always prided itself on leading on the innovation front, rather than being a follower, this comment could possibly make Steve Jobs turn over in his grave. He was known to tell his Apple troops that:

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower… Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to be. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.

It sounds as if Steve’s legacy has been cast aside somewhere.

To build a design staff is one thing, and incorporating crypto ideas in existing products is another, but reporters have noted that, even though Apple has done neither, it has also gone out of its way to block crypto in several ways. For example, you cannot use your Goldman-Sachs credit card to buy Bitcoin or any other altcoin. They have also deployed strict rules within their Apple Store platform to prohibit any type of crypto app for sale.

Such tactics would seem appropriate for an old enterprise intent on protecting the “status quo” and undermining its competition, which has embraced all things crypto. When quizzed about what crypto technologies appeared to be “interesting”, using her own words. Ms. Bailey alluded to “Quick Response” (QR) code innovations, the use of a visual type of matrix to encode payment information or plane reservations, as something she was following:

If you look at QR code payment solutions, if you look at the long-term potential of cryptocurrency, I think you’ll continue to see that change over time.

It could also be that Apple is so far behind its competitors in adopting crypto technologies that there is no point playing catch up. Other giant companies in similar situations that have chosen a “wait-and-see” approach typically acquire an innovative leader in the industry down the road and then try to leap ahead of market leaders with ideas that do not have to deal with legacy systems. Years ago, IBM was known to follow this strategy, as did large banks, but at least IBM has learned, perhaps from Steve Jobs’ example, that if you do not lead, you could fall too far behind the technology wave.

What are Apple’s competitors doing? Samsung, its chief phone rival, has been including crypto wallets and various related apps on its new service lines. Its new Galaxy Note 10 model is expected to be more user-friendly than all of its previous versions. The HTC Corporation, a smaller rival that must run faster, just released its new Exodus, which focuses on blockchain technology, has a built-in wallet, and several other crypto features.

Crypto industry analysts are now speculating as to what it would take for Apple to jump into the fray. Obviously, their product development folks are waiting to see crypto adopted by the mainstream before they act in any significant way, but when they do, the impact on all things crypto could be enormous, making Facebook’s Libra project look like some sandbox game involving children.

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