Now that Apple has officially revealed the much-anticipated date a few conditionals can be eliminated: in Cupertino on September 9th Apple will reveal its novelties. While the arrival of iPhone 6 is imminent there are still doubts, however, about whether Apple’s smartwatch (possibly named iWatch or iTime), which has been talked about for months now (most recently about the price), will also be simultaneously released.
Here at SmartMoney, though, we are waiting for another official announcement from this event. It is already almost certain that the latest phone from Apple that should be in both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes will also have NFC technology (the latest indiscretions from Wired.com), thus signifying the official debut in the mobile payments sector.
In the past, the company founded by Steve Jobs has watched from the sidelines the efforts made by Google and PayPal, like with PassBook, to offer a way to archive tickets, reservations, and loyalty cards on smartphones. Some examples of this are the boarding cards for Easy jet and British Airways, or reservations made on Booking.com. One step that has already been taken by Apple is the Touch ID on the iPhone 5S and an opening towards developers last June to use an authentication system of their choice. Payments made with fingerprint identification, as Samsung and PayPal have already shown us (we discussed this here), seem to be the natural evolution. But there’s more: uniting all of the points that are now available, from the upcoming NFC to iBeacon and iTunes accounts, there is a true strategy that is not just about launching a single technology or adhering to Near Field Communication.
Apple’s base is its over 800 million accounts registered with iTunes: once iWallet, as we are calling it, arrives it will already have “acquired” all of these clients. And in the U.S. there has been a lot spent on diffusing iBeacon in order to use smartphones in shops with the BLE signal (we talked about this here). There is a hypothesis of a coexistence between NFC and Beacon to complete transactions and money exchanges from one apparatus to another memorizing the data from cards that are verified with touch ID. No physical cards, no SIM, no mobile phone operators, and the roles of other sector actors resized for security management. Next Tuesday, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will also be present at the Apple event to collaborate in defining this new solution. And the business market angle of this launch should not be underestimated: with an agreement with IBM for the possible launch of a 12.9 inch iPad, and the probable arrival of Touch ID on tablets as well, Apple has demonstrated a desire to work with businesses. iWallet could be part of a strategy to manage data and financial information. And, if iWatch or iTime also arrive these options will become available right on one’s wrist.
So, there may even be too much to go around. In just a few days we will find out all that is being be served up. And this is certainly a delicate moment that Apple wants to take advantage of. If data from the Business Insider and IDC are taken into account, it has a serious rival with Android, which continues to increase its impressive presence on the market.