Apple is preparing to update its Apple Store iOS app that currently allows customers to buy Apple’s hardware and various third-party accessories online (via Bloomberg). More specifically, the update will bring a ‘For You’ section, making recommendations for customers (similar to the Apple Music counterpart).
It is unknown how Apple will handle this sort of system in regards to privacy. To make this work, Apple would need to collect customer’s purchase history to suggest relevant products to buy. This sort of tactic is used in larger online retailers such as Amazon.
The report says the recommendations will play a key role in the Apple Store app update. Right now, the Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad carry their own design languages with the iPad app focusing on interactive photo galleries. The new update sounds like Apple will be combining the design for the two devices.
The updated retail app could be rolled out in the next two weeks, according to people familiar with the intended revamp. It’s likely to include a “For You” tab that suggests products based on prior orders, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the project isn’t yet public. While there are currently separate Apple Store apps for the iPhone and iPad, the new app will work on both devices and have the same basic features and interface. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
The ‘For You’ product recommendations will roll out before Apple’s fall hardware announcements, which could help the company drive additional sales while customers browse.
It’ll be interesting to see how Apple handles such a system. Possibly using differential privacy to protect purchase history.
As it stands, the ‘For You’ update appears to only be coming to the Apple Store app available on iPhone and iPad. It’s unclear whether or not Apple will bringing such an algorithm to its Apple Online Store website.