When you think of some of the largest electronic cigarette companies in the world, several Big Tobacco brands come to mind such as Blu and E-Lites. Perhaps a few large online retailers like V2 Cigs, UK E Cig Store and JacVapour also ring a bell. So when news that Apple filed a patent for ‘vaporizer’ technology, we were shocked.
Yes, Apple is one of the largest companies in the world. Forget about actual employee size and their distribution network; we’re talking about their famous cash position of over $230 BILLION USD. So yeah, Apple can get into any industry they’d like. And, they have been doing so. However, Apple has largely stuck to industries that are at least somewhat related to their own market: smartphones and apps. You may be quick to respond that vaping is now tech-friendly, and we are seeing e cigarette companies put out new vaping apps (and even smokeable smartphones). But while you may be right, let’s face it: vaping has almost nothing to do with smartphone technology.
So why would Apple spend over half a year creating and ultimately applying for this patent (they filed it in June 2016)? Simple: because it’s Apple, and they file for patents on a regular basis, many of which end up dying out and never making it to market.
What’s interesting to note is that virtually at the same time, Apple recently rejected any updates to apps that have to do with “tobacco” (i.e. vaping and tobacco – shockingly lumped together). Section 1.4 of their guidelines only mentions that apps should not encourage tobacco usage amongst minors; it does not mention e-cigarettes or nicotine at all.
This is obviously an interesting way to make headlines. Is Apple trying to get into the vaping industry? If so, they are surely annoying thousands of vapers with their new ban on vaping app upgrades.