What's Up With Apple: Arizona Misses Vote on App Store, VR Headset Rumor, and More

Earlier this month, Arizona’s state house of representatives approved legislation that would prevent the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) App Store (and Alphabet’s Google Play) from requiring app developers to use the stores’ payment systems. The vote was 31 to 29, and the bill was sent along to the state senate, where it has apparently died.

The bill was scheduled for a Wednesday vote that did not happen, according to The Verge. The Arizona senate offered no explanation for the missed vote.

If the legislation had passed the senate and been signed by Governor Doug Ducey, app stores would have been prohibited from requiring developers based in Arizona to use the app stores’ in-app payment systems. One effect of the legislation would have been to make Arizona a much friendlier state for app developers.

App developers argued that Apple and Google are effectively forcing them to pay a 30% tax for using the companies’ app stores. Apple had countered that the App Store was built by Apple and provides developers with “an enormous amount of value” and that the 30% commission developers pay “reflects that value.”

A similar effort to allow developers to use other payment systems recently failed in North Dakota, but Georgia, Hawaii and Minnesota legislatures are currently considering similar legislation.

A new note from Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is going to adopt a hybrid Fresnel lens for its virtual reality (VR) headset that is rumored to be in the works for mid-2022. Kuo expects the headset to weigh about a third of a pound, far less than the 1.1 pound-weight of Facebook’s current Oculus Quest headset.

The Fresnel lens, invented in the 19th century to extend the distance that a lighthouse light could be seen, can be used to focus light at the very short focal lengths needed for Apple’s rumored headset. According to MacRumors, Apple’s rumored headset will be of the mixed reality sort, allowing the company to shed the weight and thickness of headset lenses.

Better start saving up now if you’re thinking of buying the Apple headset. It could set you back by as much as $3,000.

Apple announced Wednesday a new self-paced professional learning offering, Apple Teacher Portfolio, to help educators bring creativity to every lesson and any subject, no matter where learning happens.

Susan Prescott, vice president for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations and Product Marketing for Enterprise and Education, said:

To support schools in getting the most from Apple products, we developed professional learning as an essential part of our education offering. The new Apple Teacher Portfolio helps build educators’ confidence in reimagining their lessons and recognizes them for the great work they do every day. After this unprecedented year, we want to continue to inspire every educator as much as they inspire us.