Apple is making ripples in Web3 with its latest announcement that it will allow games and apps selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to be installed and sold in its App Store.
The App Store, which is home to over 3.5 million apps and 984,000 games, will now allow both current apps with NFTs and new apps that sell NFTs — although Apple will not accept cryptocurrency as payment. Instead, purchases must be paid for with traditional fiat currency, something many NFT and crypto enthusiasts find problematic.
The tech giant is also facing criticism because it’s charging a 30 percent transaction fee on NFT purchases — far above the rate charged by NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Magic Eden.
But despite the critics, not everyone in Web3 sees Apple’s latest move in a negative light. For example, Web3-based CEO Gabriel Leydon said that Apple’s NFT adoption could put an “ETH wallet in every single mobile game onboarding 1B+ players.”
Until now, Apple has been hands off when it comes to NFTs and crypto. The biggest move in Web3 we’ve seen from the company was news that a former Apple Executive moved to Disney to run its metaverse creative strategy. There were also rumors about the company dropping NFT trading cards at a developer conference — but it didn’t come to fruition.
That said, there are currently over 113 million iPhone users in the United States, making up nearly half of all smartphone users. Now those users will have easy access to non-fungible tokens as the space continues to grow and evolve.
Big Tech Makes Steady Push into Web3
Apple’s move to allow NFTs to be sold through apps in its App Store could bring NFTs into the hands of millions. But Apple isn’t the only big tech company to take an interest in Web3 and NFTs. Here are a few other stories from top tech companies in Web3.
Apple competitor Microsoft made news earlier in the year when it announced it had acquired gaming giant Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion. Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said that gaming is the most “dynamic” category across all entertainment platforms and it will play a critical role in the “development of metaverse platforms.”
Next, NVIDIA, a top tech company and leader in artificial intelligence, and Siemens, a pioneer in industrial automation, partnered to create a new era of the industrial metaverse. The partnership will see the joining of the Siemens’ Xcelerator and NVIDIA’s Omniverse to enable a myriad of features for companies to combine AI and digital twins.
Lastly, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. became the biggest public-traded company to invest in Web3 between September 2021 and June 2022. A report from Blockdata showed the company had invested in four Web3 companies in funding rounds that totaled $1.5 billion.
Even though Apple doesn’t appear to be all-in on Web3 and NFTs just yet, the move to allow apps that sell NFTs in the App Store shows some level of interest. We’ll have to wait and see if the App Store is embraced by Web3 companies and startups (especially considering the high transaction fees), but given the sheer quantity of iPhone users in America and around the world, we’re certain some people will take advantage of it.