Forget iTV or iWatch: Apple’s next big thing is iWallet

“‘I think a year ago, when Apple stock was on its sort of unstoppable run-up toward $700 per share, a lot of people on Wall Street and elsewhere had expectations about the company that have proven to be a bit unrealistic. People really expected that Apple was going to introduce some kind of new blockbuster product, probably a television set, and that this new product category would open up a new multi-billion-dollar line of business for Apple. Obviously, that hasn’t happened,'” explained NPR’s technology reporter Steve Henn on the precipitous drop of Apple shares earlier this year,” Sterling Wong reports for Minyanville. “Henn continued, ‘[But Apple’s] not in trouble. You know, Apple’s iPhone business alone is bigger than all of Amazon, and it’s growing faster than Amazon.'”

“Indeed, investors seem to be recognizing that Apple is still an enormously profitable company with an incredible $140 billion cash hoard, and that iPhone and iPad sales are still going from strength to strength,” Wong writes. “And for all the talk about the iWatch or Apple TV being the next game-changing innovation, it might be software innovation in the realm of mobile payments that proves to be Apple’s future stock catalyst.”

Wong writes, “Apple already possesses an ultimate trump card over Google and other competitors: the ability to leverage 500 million iTunes accounts with credit cards. ‘Apple’s iTunes platform boasts over 500 million accounts with a credit card on file, and if they can begin offering fingerprint authorization on their new iPhone, which is very likely given their acquisition of [mobile security firm] AuthenTec last year, then they’ll have a huge advantage in reducing fraud transactions and activity, which makes up 5-20% of merchants costs,’ [says Adam Grunwerg, editor at Investing.co.uk]. ‘Furthermore, charge backs and fraud activity are the things that have prevented Apple from offering mobile payment solutions in the past, according to Dan Schatt at PayPal. Fingerprint identification would reduce most of these.'”

Read more in the full article here.

33 Comments

    1. While Apple has done very well by me….. I really do not trust iTunes for sales… They have messed me over several times.

      –You cannot speak to an iTunes rep if there is a problem.

      –Someone hacked my account card and I had to get another one cause iTunes forever cancelled my card for use with them!!!!! What, I am punished because they let someone else use my card???

      My bank card cares more and is safer with my credit than iTunes. I think the guys there work in india. Seriously. Someone grabbed my card number and tried to buy a couple of cheap items… The bank got ahold of me and we kept the transactions from going thru. They cancelled my card and processed another one for me at the same time.

      — iTunes says its my fault for authorizing charge… I did not, the hacker had to have sent the charged songs and movie to a seperate account and iTunes DID NOT CARE…

        1. Apple builds the best hardware and software. They work together perfectly. But as many know, they do not do services nearly as well. And I’m surprised that by now they have not improved them. I use iTunes but it is certainly less than a perfect experience. A couple of years ago I found that the name on my iTunes account was not mine. I’m not of Vietnamese descent. I contacted Apple and got things straightened out but it’s not the first time I’ve had a less than stellar experience with iTunes.

  1. Like I always said apple should focus on the software. Ease of use priority the hardware is cool enough for me I am ready for the iPhone 5 replacement as soon as it is IOS7 fitted.

  2. Apple is primarily a hardware company that sells software that boosts the hardware experience. Let’s face it, Apple can’t even get Passbook right, how on earth do you think it will get an integrated payment system right. It’ll be a right old mess.

    No, let the payment gateway providers like credit card companies (Visa & MasterCard), debit card issuers and speciality shops like PayPal handle e-wallet payments.

    What Apple can do is integrate these services into its Passport app but going from the way the Passport app is totally unintuitive to use, I very much doubt it. I really haven’t figured out Passport which remains a curiosity on my iPhone.

    As for fingerprint recognition, forget it. A PIN would be faster and less inconvenient.

    1. Lmao, yeah, I can see it now. Story in the New York Times about how some robber snatched a woman and tried to force her to run up charges with her iWallet powered iPhone, only to find Apple servers down whereby he blew her brains out. Walletgate, class action lawsuits, Mossberg and Pogue saying iWallet kinda sucks but only because we expect better from Apple, Tim Cook issuing a couple apologies, exec in charge of iWallet fired, Apple faithful pushing back saying iWallet isn’t really that bad and Google Wallet is worse.

      1. robber take old ladies phone and purse,
        sells the phone and uses her plastic credit
        to buy a flight to vagas,
        gambles and wins big.
        next day legally changes his name,
        cops cant access old ladies cellphone
        no trace of the robber.
        who says crime doesnt pay
        now forget about iWallet the russians
        already have a crack, no need to even nab a cellphone,
        every transmission is key logged and traceable

    2. BLN, people are downvoting you, but I think you’re getting at the right point. I used Passbook for the first time last week for movie tickets, but ended up printing tickets at the theater anyway because I was worried they didn’t have the proper scanner.

      On the other hand, using fingerprints to bypass password entry is something that could be done right away. So there is an immediate usefulness to the technology even without payments.

      It may be potentially dangerous for Apple to try going up against big boys like Amex or Visa. Perhaps team up with them to reduce transaction fees for those who use their Apple devices. Make it an exclusive contract. Apple will still be able to help you track and organize your transactions.

      Apple should keep its enemies to a minimum. Focus on Google and Samsung. They messed in your pie. Time to mess with theirs. I’d like to see a search engine from Apple. Take them out by their only leg.

      1. If their scanner isn’t working, they can input the redemption code for the tickets manually.

        I use Passbook for my movie tickets and it’s awesome. I order ahead of time, drop them in Passbook, and when I walk into the theater, the tickets are already on my lock screen, waiting for me.

        Passbook is the best at what it does, but what it does is only supported by a small group of companies, most of which are just serving gift cards.

        If Apple adds authentication features like fingerprint sensors, you can bet that you’ll be paying with your iPhone a lot more often in the future. Especially if shops don’t need to install fancy scanners and can instead just sign up for an Apple certification process that pings your phone when you go to pay and you can just swipe your thumb and be done.

        1. Was not aware of the redemption code. If that’s the case, then it would have worked just fine. So the issue does seem to be a lack of support.

          I want to believe, but my sense is that it will take a partnership to get payments rolling off the ground. I could see something coming to fruition between Apple and Walmart in order to combat Amazon.

          1. I’d like to disclose that I am a HUGE fanboy, but I just want to point out that Apple still has a lot of headroom in the services arena. I think payments is the next huge opportunity for company growth. And I also believe that such growth is important to the company and that it is important for Apple to become as financially powerful as possible (whilst continuing to pay their fair share of taxes–26% is a-ok). A mid-market iPod Touch 3G and a high end iPhone with fingerprint sensor will be clear winners. After that, another big, bold bet at some point would be nice.

    3. No, Apple is a Software company that controls
      its choice of hardware and structural design to the likes of its software.

      Apple has no manufacturing facilities. Even it’s chip division farms out the plans for it’s manufacturing.

      1. BLN is right, let MasterCard, PayPal, VISA all link into the iWallet… but of course that is and was the concept initially. Not to invent a new payment system but to bridge the methods already in place.

      2. Apple is FIRST a software company.
        OSX and IOS set the table for hardware to run on.
        Apple controls all the widgets – but it does not make hardware – it farms that out.

    4. You nailed it BLN! Almost, because there is a one more thing to it.

      Keywords in your last sentence are faster and less inconvenient.

      Would it not be nice to have your fingerprint recognition f ex attached to your car keys synced to your iPhone (with USB for desktops), in your iPhone/iPod/iPad and if you are working on any desktop just plug your iKey to the USB for confirmation. It would even be possible to use the Apple logo on your iKey for the fingerprint recognition. Battery time almost eliminated.

      Faster, more convenient, safer and always just works (the batteries).
      Wouldn’t it be nice? 🙂

      1. ….and from a slightly different angle: why aren’t we already using fingerprint recognition on our credit/debit cards instead of using our (or others) signatures or PIN codes?
        Signatures can be faked and PIN codes forgotten, but not your fingerprints.

  3. The long lull suggests work on big new stuff that must-be-right-going-out-the-door is going on behind the scenes.

    The old one account in and out model will be broken by this. I wallet will give you many virtual accounts for socking money away and the ability to track your spending with finesse and precision. If done right it’ll be the only way people want to buy anything.

  4. I’m hoping Apple’s Next Big Thing will be more of a constant companion, a beautiful little creature that can wake you with a song and float effortlessly around you while bringing a smile to your tired, workday face.

    Yes, we need the iSwallow…..

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