What's Up With Apple: Touch Bar's Future, First Marijuana Delivery App and More

Five years ago, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) introduced the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, replacing the ubiquitous top row of function keys with a horizontal display panel. Controversy ensued.

Now, according to several rumors, Apple is expected to eliminate the Touch Bar.  According to analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants, the company cites sources who believe that Apple is going to kill the Touch Bar:

Touch Bars continue to be the #3 application with a 18% unit share and 1.2% revenue share in Q1’21. We expect Touch Bars to be exceeded by tablets when Apple starts the adoption of the 10.9” AMOLED iPad. Further, our sources suggest that Apple may cancel the Touch Bar in the future.

Apple is expected to unveil an all-new MacBook Pro series later this summer and then we’ll know.

On the legal front, an Australian federal court reversed a lower court ruling that granted Apple a stay of a case against the company brought by Epic Games. The issue is the same as that in the trial in U.S. District Court that concluded in May and is still awaiting a decision from Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers: is it anti-competitive for Apple to require that apps be funneled through the App Store and paid for only through Apple?

Meanwhile, back in the United States, Barron’s, Eric Savitz suggests that Apple may be the next to face a lawsuit similar to the one launched earlier this week against Alphabet, alleging that the Google Play Store is anti-competitive. Attorneys general from 36 states and the District of Columbia have filed the suit in federal court, and the only surprise is that Apple wasn’t the initial target.

Last week, a U.S. federal court tossed out an antitrust complaint against Facebook brought by the attorneys general of 48 states and the Federal Trade Commission, saying the plaintiffs had failed to prove that Facebook had a monopoly on the personal social networking market in the United States.

In early June, Apple changed a policy that banned marijuana delivery apps from being available in the App Store. The new policy now allows “facilitating the sale of controlled substances,” including through “licensed or otherwise legal cannabis dispensaries,” not just licensed pharmacies. Cannabis delivery service Eaze announced Thursday that its app for ordering and paying for cannabis products is now available through the App Store. The previous version of the app allowed consumers to shop (but not order and pay) for cannabis products.

Finally, Stephen Hackett, co-founder of podcast network Relay FM, launched a Kickstarter site to fund the development of an Apple wall calendar. He told potential investors that he had found that “the best way to keep my entire household on the same page is a good, old-fashioned wall calendar.” Hackett’s goal was $5,000. So far, he has raised more than $28,000.

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