Technology

What's Up With Apple: Future of Apple Stores, an Undo Button for Twitter, and Cryptocurrency (Again)

Earlier this week, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced that all 270 of its U.S. Apple Stores had reopened. The news came nearly a full year after the company closed all 511 of its global retail stores.

Has retailing changed in that year and, if so, how? Analysts Gene Munster and Andrew Murphy of Loup Ventures believe not only that retailing has changed, but that it has changed permanently: “Ecommerce adoption has accelerated. Crowded retail stores are less appealing. Consumer behaviors have changed, and Apple is adapting.”

The future of retail, according to the analysts, lies in three different types of selling: online shopping, automated brick and mortar, and empathetic retail. An Apple Store currently acts between the latter two types.

Munster and Murphy argue that Apple Stores should keep their empathetic focus on service, support and consultation, but basic transactions like buying a pair of iPods could be streamlined so that customers don’t have to wait in multiple lines to talk to multiple staffers: “It takes too long and little value is added.” If that’s true, then we may begin to see Apple closing down the retail stores it started opening in 2001.

While Twitter is not strictly an Apple story, this could be really big news. Twitter users have complained for years that the social media program does not have an Edit button. Tweets with misspellings, missing words or just plain grammatical and syntactical bloopers are enshrined forever as soon as you click the Send button.

According to a report at The Verge, app decoder Jane Manchun Wong has discovered a hidden animation indicating that Twitter is working on an Undo feature that would allow people to recall a tweet during the time that it takes for the Undo animation to run.

This may be the closest Twitter ever gets to an Edit feature, although Undo may only be available to people who pay a rumored subscription fee for Twitter.

About a month ago, analysts at RBC Capital issued a report encouraging Apple to add a mechanism for buying and selling cryptocurrencies to Apple Wallet. They argued that adding the capability to buy and sell cryptocurrency could generate up to $40 billion in annual revenue.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain news site Coindesk on Thursday posted a story on Apple’s history with cryptocurrencies, mainly criticizing Apple’s restrictive policies regarding crypto apps being removed from the App Store. The story also cites a 2019 CNN interview with Apple Pay vice-president Jennifer Bailey who said that Apple “is watching cryptocurrency … We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

So far, though, Apple appears to be doing little to realize that potential.