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  • Apple Retail stores will look very different in the US when they reopen

    DAalseth said:
    I suspect all retailing will look very different. Especially after this has continued, albeit at a less intense level, for a couple of years. People will have gotten used to ordering things online be default. Before this started malls and department stores were in a major slump. This is going to accelerate it dramatically. I’d give even odds that Apple gets out of the brick and mortar store business within five or so years. Would not surprise me at all. 

    I agree that the virus will increase the trend to online shopping.   But I think there are limits there -- particularly with high-cost, high-end merchandise such as what Apple sells.  You can only tell so much from specs and product reviews and sometimes you just need to see it and touch it to know which product is the right one for you.

    But that last -- "touching it" -- is a problem areas.
    Like any virus the Corona is not just spread with coughs and sneezes but by inanimate vectors where people contaminate something by picking it up and the next person picking it up gets infected -- as well as the person after him and the person after him, and the....

    I wonder if Apple will be monitoring their display products like a jeweler monitors his jewelry and, in this case, disinfect it immediately after the customer puts it down?
    Or, possibly, as implied by the story, they will attempt to disinfect the customer by asking them to use hand sanitizer as they enter the store.

    Maybe the Apple Store would be better served by handing out gloves to each customer as they enter the store.
    But, I am reassured that Apple is taking their cues from S. Korea who, unlike the U.S., has managed the virus well.
    Hand sanitizer and gloves for each customer, if they are to touch something, would be quite useful but I suspect Apple employee cleaning is to be the gold standard, simply because the the store employees ensure it is humanly done to standard.
  • Apple Pay coming to long-time holdout UBS soon

    IMO, because ebay had owned and created PayPal, even after they became separate companies, they still have a very cozy and integrated relationship.  PayPal knows if ebay allows other electronic payment systems or direct electronic bank access like Zelle, it would lose out on fee big time, IMO that’s why there is feet dragging at ebay.

    re: Current-C from Walmart/Lowe’s/Rite-Aid/Home Depot, etc., their attempt was to avoid the extra fees and transfer of fraud protection for that cost to Europay, MasterCard and Visa when the EMV mandated chip cards and EMV compliant chip and NFC enabled readers were to be deployed by Oct. 2015.

    EMV advises that after that date, merchants were responsible for fraud instead of the CC unless they implemented new readers and paid the relatively small additional transaction fee.  A ton of retailers in Europe and much of the world had complied but US retailers dragged their feet citing costs, integrating into their systems, and general procrastination.  They also liked their old, unsecure, skimmable mag stripe system because it was cheap, already paid for and CC covered the fraud costs.  

    Walmart, et. al., also envisioned a huge consortium of retailers who, banded together, would have enough clout to bypass or avoid fees, create their own electronic contactless system, collect cumulative transaction data to share with each other plus target ads and offers to you, in exchange for a system which would pay directly as a check or debit from your checking account.  What could go wrong???

    All you had to do was register your checking account info directly with the participating retailer in this MCX (Merchant Exchange) Current-C system and the retailers would be responsible and secure your bank info and contact information. (Yeah, right!!). 

    MCX came up with this system - buy your goods at cash register.  Cashier would then generate a transaction QR code and show it to you.  You scan QR code with your smartphone app.  It verifies your account.  You ok the costs and account.  You authorize the transaction.  The transaction goes through and you show cashier, she gives you receipt.  Merchant has your transaction data, what you bought and where, which they share with every other retailer, building your profile, which they may sell as customer info.  How convenient!! NOT!

    They got as far as recruiting (for a fee or dues) about 50-60 fairly major retailers, grocery stores, gas stations, etc. and took about 9-12 months to develop their system.  In the meantime, many retailers already had EMV NFC compliant readers and had allowed Google wallet/pay and early Apple Pay but then shut that function (NFC) off to discourage contactless payments!!  Pissed a lot of early adopters off.  It was only a software switch in their billing transaction system.

    But Rite-Aid buckled and started allowing NFC and Apple Pay due to demand and loss of sales.  MCX threatened to “fine” them but additional retailers like Target were getting customer blowback on social media and some boycotting.  By the time MCX rolled out a pilot testing program in a couple of small cities in the Midwest (where stalwarts Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot are headquartered, more than half of the retailers had defected, the Pilot was pretty mediocre and MCX faded from sight.  Later Chase bought their back office tech to create Chase Pay.  

    Today, Walmart, Sam’s Club (naturally) Lowe’s, Home Depot among others, steadfastly refuse all NFC payments.  I haven’t been in a Best Buy for years so I don’t know about them.  But 3/4 of the vendors and stores I frequent in SoCal accept Apple Pay and it’s growing.  The US is still so far behind in dropping mag stripe fraud-fraught 60’s technology and moving to modern digital mobile pay systems and full EMV compliance.  (Don’t get me started on similar old, old POTS landline telephone “service”, callerID, and spam robocalls!!!!)

    Apple Pay had driven and disrupted (again) the contactless payment world through its well thought out security, privacy, tokenization, CC and growing bank acceptance, and of course, it’s willing-to-spend-and-use-Apple Pay affluent demographic compared to the underused, poorly supported/connected and lower spending Android demographics of Google Pay.  Samsung subsequently bought US based Loop pay to allow mag stripe emulation through its wireless charging loop, allowing transactions with the foot dragging major and mom/pop retailers.  But Samsung’s system doesn’t monetize much for Samsung (as does little of their software “services”) so they have little, IMO, little incentive to support it well - after all, they are primarily a hardware company through and through.

    IMO, Apple is obviously the leader in smartphone based electronic POS payments through Apple Pay even with Android’s huge user base precisely because of Apple’s demographics and users, and that isn’t lost on retailers seeking an ever shrinking retail transaction and shopping market.  That’s also why some online retail systems (IMO) continue to resist Apple Pay, preferring to try to capture you, Your CC data and personal data through memberships, and use your transaction data (looking at you Amazon) for their purposes or sharing/selling, still.  

    Same old same old old school retail thinking, disrupted and clinging.  Same goes for TV, Movie, and content creation and distribution vs digital distribution via cable/satellite vs now streaming and mobile consumption.  IMO Jobs knew where Apple TV was headed for as a skinny bundleless internet distribution system but like the record and music industry saw with iTunes, the TV/Movie industry did not want its old school broadcast/cable distribution model disrupted (IMO old white guys in power positions) and wouldn’t play along with Jobs, and Cook couldn’t get focused on content till the last few years.

    now see where we are following Netflix’s lead.
  • New iPhone SE teardown reveals design nearly identical to iPhone 8

    macapfel said:
    It is a very good phone. If you want more than 64 GB RAM, you either need the big iPhone 11 or pay more than twice as much to get the iPhone 11 Pro. So that alone is great.
    But you can get an iPhone SE 128GB for $449 or the iPhone SE 256Gb for $549.  No big deal.

  • Recycling robot 'Daisy' part of Apple's effort to end mining for resources

    mr lizard said:
    Can Daisy recover cobalt, or will Apple’s suppliers still rely on children to mine that for them? 

    can recover Cobalt and Apple because it is the biggest target, can weed out child labor in its cobalt supply chain.  Now, can you say the same thing from the 9x larger Android makers supply chain or can comment on whether their suppliers use child labor in the cobalt they buy?  
  • Recycling robot 'Daisy' part of Apple's effort to end mining for resources

    jimh2 said:
    It's a feel-good move by Apple to save money when building new products. It if ever "closed loop" the company will be dying out because if you have enough coming in to support what you are selling then you are not selling enough product and/or people are buying another brands product.
    Ah, with almost 1 billion iPhone smartphones in active use, and Apple selling typically 190-200 million smartphones annually, turnover of just 20% of the existing iPhones every year (on a 4 year life cycle) could conceivably supply most of their need if highly efficient.  Think of how much more they material they could get if they started to recycle Android phones?