While the Apple Event of September 7th may not have included any announcements relating to web3, what might Apple’s strategy for the space look like?
Integrating cryptocurrency into Apple Pay is an obvious quick win, and their willingness to explore financial services has already been proven with products like Apple Pay, Apple Card (a US-only credit card) and the related acquisition of UK open banking startup Credit Kudos.
More than 1 billion people use Apple products - mostly through the iPhone. With an immense user base, comes immense responsibility. Timing entry into new markets has been key to its dominance over the last 15 years.
Delivering a smooth user experience is central to the adoption of Apple’s products when it enters new markets. Think iPhone rather than Apple Maps!
As any crypto or web3 user will testify, usability is a key shortcoming in the space. For example, the typical process of buying an NFT is clunky, unintuitive and not mobile-friendly - 3 problems that Apple would be ideally placed to address given its combination of hardware and software expertise.
If Apple can solve these problems, there’s little doubt that the solution would create millions of new web3 users overnight.
How about NFTs?
Aside from Apple Pay, NFTs are another likely entry point into web3.
Enabling NFTs to be displayed on its devices, such as the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad etc. This would be a technologically straightforward, relatively low-risk way to dabble in the space. Twitter and Instagram are experimenting with digital collectibles as profile pictures, while an Apple offering could let you use your NFTs as wallpapers, backgrounds and sharable characters in Messages and other applications.
NFTs as proof of purchase or ownership of a device or even proof of recycling of a device. Think “digital certificates” that prove that you own or you recycled your device after owning it.
Integration of music NFTs within Apple Music. Apple could let users buy NFTs related to specific artists or exclusive performances, and then display, share and trade them within the Music app.
In summary, Apple might begin its web3 journey in several ways. Although nothing has been confirmed, recent Apple marketing job postings have sought candidates with demonstrated interest and experience in web3. Watch this space!