Technology

What's Up With Apple: App Store Challenge in Korea, Bigger Apple Watch, and More

A committee of the South Korean parliament has approved a proposal that would ban Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google from requiring software developers to pay commissions on in-app purchases at the two companies’ app stores.

According to a Reuters report, this is the first such move by a major economy. The Korean Assembly’s legislation and judiciary committee was expected to vote Wednesday to amend the country’s Telecommunications Business Act, but that vote has been postponed until August 30.

In a statement, Apple repeated its argument that such a bill “will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections, [and] make it difficult to manage their purchases.”

Google spokesperson Wilson White also commented: “[T]he rushed process hasn’t allowed for enough analysis of the negative impact of this legislation on Korean consumers and app developers.”

Neither Apple nor Google is getting much support from experts. Lee Hwang, a Korea University School of Law professor specializing in competition law, commented, “Google and Apple aren’t the only ones that can create a secure payment system.”

Yoo Byung-joon, a Seoul National University School of Business professor who specializes in electronic commerce added, “Dominant app store operators with large platforms should by now look to profit from value-added services, not just taking a cut from apps sold on its store.”

The Apple rumor mill goes into high gear the closer we get to the as-yet-unannounced, but expected, September date for Apple’s new product announcements.

You can’t say we didn’t warn you. Apple’s rumor mill goes into high gear the closer we get to the as-yet-unannounced, but expected, September date for Apple’s new product announcements. The latest, from MacRumors channeling a China-based leaker who goes by the moniker Uncle Pan, is that the new Apple Watch Series 7 will include two larger case sizes. The current 40mm and 44mm sizes will be replaced by new 41mm and 45mm sizes, respectively.

Apple’s rumored change isn’t much, about 2.3% to 2.5% larger. But Apple is also expected to reduce the size of the watch’s bezel and introduce a flat-edged design that will enlarge the size of the display screen.

For a full rundown of the latest iPhone 13 design-change rumors, here’s a report posted Tuesday at BGR.com, a long-time Apple follower.

Finally, Apple has been awarded a patent for a dual-display MacBook that would replace the traditional keyboard with one that is virtual. As 9to5Mac points out, “With this patent, the company could take a radical path and get rid of the physical keyboard.”

If memory serves, when the iPhone was introduced in 2007, it replaced phones that had real keyboards. The idea for a virtual laptop keyboard may not be so far-fetched after all.