The Wide-ranging Challenges Now Facing Apple

2 minute read
| Particle Debris

Apple Park building.

The Particle Debris article of the week is from iMore.

Kudos to the freebies, but Apple will need to do much more to stay afloat.

Apple executives know full well what problems they’re facing now and will face in the future. We don’t need to delineate for them. But neither do they talk about them in detail with customers. So, from our standpoint, as loyal, concerned customers, it’s helpful to have that discussion. That’s what author Wolfe sets out to do.

With that being said, Apple is a public company first. Soon, it will face the inevitable task of offering high-quality, premium products during a time when more people are unemployed than at any time in the history of the company. For plow ahead successfully, Apple will need to do more than slash prices on iPhones.

There is focus on students. Suddenly, Apple’s tradition of premium products will come under strain as parents scramble to provide better and more educational hardware. We should be attentive to how Apple handles that situation.

Author Wolfe also thinks ahead to how/when Apple’s retai stores will once again be packed with customers, touching everything in sight.

Thinking more long-term, Apple should rethink the hands-on customer instruction it has typically offered in retail stores. No doubt, even when the economy re-opens, many will decide to stay closer to home and avoid stores packed with customers.

Eventually, things will mostly get back to normal. But some of the changes Apple is making now may become a permanent part of our lives.

One I can think of is a home pickup and (signature) delivery for repairs. Another, is a virtual retail sales experience over FaceTime. There will be other, unforeseen changes.

In any case, our relationship with Apple will change. As always, all our tech journalists will be here to help you through it.

The Week’s News Debris

HBO Logo

• Do you have a 2nd or 3rd generation Apple TV? See: “HBO gives older Apple TV owners a short reprieve.

HBO will no longer axe support for certain older Apple TV models for its HBO GO and HBO NOW apps at the end of the month, though the reprieve is only temporary.

No doubt a concession to the pandemic.

iPhone Face ID won’t work with a facemask. You can just wait for Face ID to fail, then enter your passcode. If that brief delay annoys you, you can disable Face ID for now.

• Some, repeat, a few Mac customers are having a very bad time with macOS 10.15.4 and its Supplement from 4/8. Read, digest, be aware, be backed up. Then see: “New macOS update is wrecking MacBooks: What to do now.

• Have you wondered about the “Brave” web browser? This will fill you in. “Billions Of Google Chrome Users Now Have Another Surprising Option.

• Finally, “Apple to Reportedly Release Over-the-Ear Headphones in June 2020.

Leaker Jon Prosser, who also broke the rumor on the 14-inch MacBook pro release, took to Twitter to reveal his findings. According to the tech analyst, the over-the-ear headphones goes by the internal codename B515 and draws similarities to the Bose 700. The headphones will reportedly launch at a price of $350 USD during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

But why? Here’s why…

Prosser further states that Apple’s end goal is to phase out Beats, a company they bought in 2014 from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for a whopping $3 billion USD.


Particle Debris is generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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John: Bryan Wolfe’s piece on iMore is neither the first nor even the sole article to be penned suggesting that, not only should Apple do more, but that even Apple’s fortunes are tied to such actions, during this pandemic. Nor is this confined to Apple, but has been extended to the tech sector in general. In a recent CNN interview, the question arose as to why, in particular, we expect action from the tech sector and not others. Before addressing the first question, whether or not Apple and other tech giants should be doing more, and if so, what, let’s… Read more »


If Apple comes out with it’s rumored AR glasses people could turn their homes into an Apple store. Turn on, log in, place the Apple Watch display by the fireplace, the iPad table in the kitchen, the tech desk in front of the comfy sofa, and the training table on the dinner table. Who needs brick and mortar when you could visit the Apple store in your backyard? As for telecommuting, I know some people who’s job have changed forever. For example, a friend of mine worked in an office job where the manager kept insisting that telecommuting was impossible… Read more »


Beats did give then respect in the music world. Slowly they will replace the Beats line with the AirPod line. At the end Beats will be gone but it will have served its purpose. I like the ideas you have for revamping the Apple sales experience. Apple will have to completely rethink their retail model. Society changes and times like these it changes fast. I suspect a surprising number of people will find after working from home for a couple or three months that they don’t want to go back. Professionals working from home and only going out to meet… Read more »

Lee Dronick

Some big name retailers will probably not make it. Sears I am thinking, maybe Penny’s


I thought Sears had folded completely. I just checked and much to my surprise, they still exist, with like 200 stores. I think you’re right though. The old Department Store model is broken and I don’t see Sears, Penny’s or many of the rest surviving. Walmart and Target probably, but not may others. Retail itself will change. The old idea of “Retail Therapy” just might not last much longer.

Lee Dronick

iPhone Face ID won’t work with a facemask. You can just wait for Face ID to fail, then enter your passcode. If that brief delay annoys you, you can disable Face ID for now.

Oh yeah 😀

At least ApplePay works with the double-click on my watch. And I am using it even more these days so hard currency doesn’t need to be exchanged. Home Depot needs to upgrade their terminals, at least at my local store, as they are not equipped with NFC and ApplePay.