If anything mentioned in this patent application comes into fruition, then it seems that Ping may not be the only social network that Apple is interested in introducing to their users.
A patent application published today shows that the company is interested in a social networking environment within shopping services. However, it doesn't seem to be limited to what you would find on Ping or Apple's user reviews.
In some ways, it seems to be somewhat of a cross between user reviews and forums, see the image below:
Here's the description according to the patent application:
This is directed to a system and method for providing social networking services using a portable electronic device. In some embodiments, a user may identify one or more articles of interest and transmit identifying information for the articles to mobile or other devices of the user's friends. The user's friends can review the identified articles, and provide comments for the user. For example, the user's friends can give a thumbs up/down, a star rating, a comment (e.g., text, audio or video), or any other type of comment. In some embodiments, the user can request the assistance of a salesperson using the social networking application device, for example to request recommended articles based on a particular event or need. In some embodiments, the social networking application can provide information to or from a kiosk.
One question: What if your wife, or whoever you are buying for is also one of your friends on this social network?