Why are There No Apple Mobile Wallets?

Apple is one of the major players in mobile app technology—so why are there no cryptocurrency wallets available in their apps store? Here's why.

Ask any mobile application developer this question, and they're bound to clench their teeth and mutter under their breath before they give you a reply. It can be a sore point for many of them, especially those who design apps for Apple exclusively, as they watch Google's Android mobile operating system corner the market on cryptocurrency wallets for mobile devices. We'll save those frustrated developers the headache and answer the question here.

The Apple Apps Store has a review team that tests all mobile applications that developers present to them; without this team's approval, the apps won't be featured in their apps store. They've gained a reputation for being very particular about the apps they approve; the design and functionality must be just right. One of the guidelines Apple has set for its mobile application developers is that approved apps cannot include third-party payment options that exit the application. We applaud Apple for setting and maintaining high standards, but the enforcement of the third-party payment guideline has been somewhat inconsistent in the past. Some developers have had their digital currency wallet apps approved and listed in the Apple Apps Store, only to have them removed a short time later. Needless to say, these actions—especially the episode concerning a Bitcoin wallet that was listed for two years and then summarily dumped—have inspired many cryptocurrency investors to dump their iPhones in turn and purchase Android mobile devices. Currently, app developers consider the category taboo, and they don't even bother committing time and resources to apps they know won't be approved.

It's a tense situation, and one that doesn't appear to have any resolution in sight. If and/or when Apple decides to allow alternative currency apps that allow the actual trading of currency, their company's mobile devices will be able to provide the functionality serious investors require. For the time being, however, the company is standing firm on its third-party payment options guideline, and seems content to allow its competitors the lion's share of the mobile apps market in this category. It's a bonanza for Android, and a disappointment for cryptocurrency investors who own iPhones.

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