According to one analyst, a mobile payment service – likely incorporating NFC technology – is in the offing from Apple, and will be implemented into both the iPad and iPhone in the not-so-distant future.
Of course, since it’s all analysis, evidence is more circumstantial than concrete, yet JP Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz, seems optimistic that Apple is preparing a mobile payment service of some description. His better judgment reckons the service to be called iPay, which would fit uniformly alongside the iPhone, iPad, and iPod names.
He believes near-field communication (NFC) technology, which allows mobile devices to communicate when placed in the same vicinity through radio waves, and will be an integral part of the service. In a note to clients, Moskowitz admitted his claims are largely unfounded with regards to the solid evidence we’d prefer to see before making up our minds about a new product, but believes that the current iOS Apple Store app, which allows users to check-in and check-out of an Apple Store, could be a potential springboard.
Since the iPhone is nearly always squirreled away in the pocket of users, the idea of NFC payment technology makes logical sense on the Cupertino company’s smartphone, but in all honesty, it wouldn’t make much sense on the iPad, which, in many cases, rarely leaves the home. Then again, we’ve come to expect all iPhone features (except, of course, the phone part), to be eventually be rethought and implemented onto its larger cousin, sans the new Retina display, sharp-camera toting new iPad.
There have also been some indications from Apple that NFC is on the horizon. The fruit company has hired NFC experts recently, as well as securing a bunch of patents outlining blueprints for a digital wallet on portable devices. With over 200 million credit card-waving accounts on iTunes (the largest number, in fact, on the WWW), it would seem like a natural step of progression, and it’s not unrealistic to predict it could even come with the next iPhone, said to be arriving in October.
It wouldn’t be the first to use NFC tech for payments, but in quintessentially-Apple fashion, it will likely be the first to really take it to to the masses, something which will no doubt bemuse the head honchos over at Google.