The Into-the-Phone Edition Sunday, August 18, 2019

Apple Is Going To Be The Company That Kills The Wallet, by Mike Murphy, Quartz

There’s something about Apple entering a market—which it is rarely the first to do—that tends to cause a tectonic shift. It could be, at least in the US, that Apple has around 40% of the smartphone market share, far more than any single smartphone producer. It could also be that Apple is such a massive, profit-generating company that others want to be in any industry it’s entering.

Which is why Apple seems uniquely positioned to kill off the wallet. It’s trying to kill off the credit card with Apple Pay and its own digital card. It’s already brought tickets, boarding passes, loyalty cards, and cash cards out of the wallet and into the phone. How much is left?

Titanium And Ceramic Apple Watch Variants Spotted In watchOS 6 Beta, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

Two new images contained in the most recent run of beta releases the Apple Watch clearly show titanium and ceramic model nomenclature. Data about the new models has been determined similar to how a September 10 date was extracted for the "iPhone 11" launch event.

Apple Donating $10 To National Park Foundation For Every Apple Store Apple Pay Purchase From August 17 To 25, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple's new Apple Pay promotion comes ahead of a National Park Fee-Free day, which takes place on August 25. On this day, admission is free for all national parks that normally have a fee for entry.

Ikea Goes All In On Smart Home Tech, by Thomas Ricker, The Verge

Ikea is formalizing what has recently become all too obvious: the company is making a major bet on smart home tech as a source of new revenue. To do this, Ikea announced that it will invest heavily in a new “Ikea Home smart” business unit with end-to-end responsibility for its burgeoning portfolio of smart devices. With access to 780 million shoppers who visit Ikea stores each year, the announcement also serves as a wake-up call to smart home incumbents like Google and Amazon.

The Pain Of Losing A Local Record Store, by David Sax, New York Times

June Records wasn’t the oldest record store in Toronto, the largest or its best known. It was a small place, and opened only in 2012. But it meant the world to me for several reasons: it was a block from my house; the selection was eclectic and sweeping; the prices were fair; and its staff members were the kind of knowledgeable, highly opinionated music geeks that possessed a soulful recognition engine more powerful than any algorithm.

Still, it was just a store that sold pieces of melted plastic, which you could theoretically purchase at other record stores or online, often for less money. Why did hearing that June Records was closing make me genuinely sad? Why do we shed tears over businesses that shut their doors, when we know that the nature of businesses is ephemeral?

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