Some tech giants are abuzz about the future of mobile payments, but Apple CEO Tim Cook isn’t ready to hitch the company’s cart to the mobile payment wagon. Speaking on a conference call earlier this month, Cook said he believes this new approach to commerce is “in its infancy.”
“I think it’s just getting started,” Cook continued. “Just out of the starting block.”
These comments seem to suggest that mobile payments aren’t currently among Apple’s top priorities. Some industry observers believed that near field communications would soon be integrated into the iPhone, making it possible to use smartphones as a form of payment, but the Apple CEO’s reaction has quelled that anticipation.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean mobile payment solutions aren’t on the rise. Apple is typically cautious about embracing new technology and trends until they have time to mature. It’s reasonable to think that Apple will let other companies blaze the trail in mobile payments before swooping in and implementing the feature on its own product line.
A Gradual Approach to Mobile Payments
Cook’s reluctance toward mobile payments doesn’t mean Apple is disregarding the technology. Both the iPhone and iPad are already equipped with Passbook, a commerce app that allows users to compile tickets, coupons, loyalty cards and other items into one centralized location, essentially acting as a digital wallet.
Granted, it’s not a mobile payments app, but it’s one step in the direction of using mobile devices as methods of payment.
It’s inevitable that Apple devices will be equipped with the technology to make mobile payments. In the meantime, Apple is content to let other companies work out the bugs. When the timing is right, the tech giant will make its move — and avoid the early bumps in the road.
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