AAccording to Matthew Ball, managing partner of venture capital firm Epyllion Co. and author of “The Metaverse and How It Will Revolutionize Everything”, some may stifle the development of the metaverse.
While Apple looks set to “thrive in the next era” of more immersive computing, its control over distribution could weigh on the industry, Ball said.
“Apple does not allow crypto-based virtual worlds,” Ball said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” show Thursday. “They succeed in thwarting a specific type of disruptive innovation and category.”
By avoiding complex virtual worlds, the tech giant exerts undue influence over “what’s available and what’s not,” Ball said.
The metaverse is an emerging category of computing, which some see as the next frontier of the Internet. According to a Pew Research Center study, more than 50% of technology innovators and developers predict that the metaverse will be more integrated into people’s daily lives by 2040.
Ball said the iPhone maker sells more smartphones in the United States than it does globally and derives a significant portion of its profits from software control over its platforms through its control over APIs. or application programming interfaces, which act as a bridge between two applications. Apps on Apple’s iOS interface require Apple’s approval and must pay a fee to Apple.
The metaverse isn’t the only sector that Apple has apparently squeezed out of its influential app market. He took a conservative stance toward crypto and porn, for example, Ball said.
“If you look at most crypto games today, they’re either not available on the iOS app, or they are, but they’re relatively rudimentary,” Ball said. He noted, however, that some of these programs not authorized through the App Store are still available as a “browser experience”.
Apple is in a unique position to shape the future of entire industries, Ball said. And his choices are not always entirely consistent. Axie Infinity, Sandbox 3D, and CryptoKitties are among the estimated 30 crypto-based games in its app store.
This could partly be due to a “repression of business models [and] cloud gaming,” Ball said. “We see them taxing user-generated contributions.”
Apple charges a 30% fee on sales generated on its App Store.
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Ball said Apple users should have more freedom over how they use their devices, citing the identification systems used on iOS devices, which are limited to proprietary options like Apple ID.
Apple limits what users can do and access in favor of curated experiences and with the iPhone’s huge market share, that likely stifles innovation, Ball said.
“No one can capture your identity, your social graph, your data, your virtual assets, and then use them to prevent competition,” he said.
Few people now know what the Metaverse is, and no one can say what it will evolve into. In fact, Ball doesn’t think that term will be around for years to come.
“You’ll find in the years to come that we’re often inside a 3D simulation” perhaps without even knowing it, Ball said. That is, if Apple doesn’t choke the metaverse today, he said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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