Apple recently announced that more than a dozen new banks and credit unions have added support for Apple Pay, adding to the 98+ banks and institutions that have come on board with the payment plan.
The new banks and institutions are as follows:
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
American Airlines Credit Union
Bank of Hawaii
Baxter Credit Union
If nothing else, the iPhone industry is profitable for Apple.
The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that Apple continued to dominate in global smartphone profit during the fourth quarter of 2014, capturing a record-high 88.7 percent share of profit during the three-month period ending December. Apple earned quarterly operating profit of US$18.8 billion on iPhone sales, up from US$11.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2013.
“Global smartphone operating profit grew 31 percent annually from US$16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to US$21.2 billion in Q4 2014. Android hardware vendors combined took a record-low 11 percent global smartphone profit share, down from 29 percent one year ago. In contrast, Apple iOS captured a record-high 89 percent profit share, up from 71 percent in Q4 2013.”
It never hurts to have the infrastructure in place.
Visa Europe has announced that its European contactless payment terminals will support the tokenization service used by Apple Pay by mid-April. This would allow Apple to introduce Apple Pay to Europe anytime from this point on.
Tokenisation technology will be at the heart of new mobile payment solutions and has been hailed as one of the best data protection and fraud prevention methods available. The new service will be available for European financial institutions from mid-April 2015.
Although Europe has had contactless payment cards for several years, these currently transmit the actual card details to the terminal. Apple Pay, in contrast, transmits single-use codes which card companies can map back to the actual card, a functionality currently only available in the USA. As of mid-April, that functionality will be available in Europe too–at least for Visa cards…
It never hurts to be part of the payment infrastructure.
Only two months after rumors surfaced that Samsung was considering becoming an Apple Pay competitor, the South Korean conglomerate has reportedly acquired mobile payments startup LoopPay to bolster its efforts.
Samsung began talks with LoopPay in December to integrate the latter’s magnetic payment technology into next-generation Galaxy devices. That partnership has apparently turned into an acquisition, as noted by Re/code and the Wall Street Journal.
Apple may have a few roadblocks before it can get Apple Pay into the Chinese marketplace.
As introduction efforts proceed, China’s central bank, UnionPay bank-card service and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are standing up to Apple’s effort to bring the Apple Pay no-card-no-cash payment system to iPhone users in China.
At the same time, Apple has not yet “acknowledged regulators,” and as a result, “it’s unclear whether the product meets the government’s requirements” for a commercial operation.
Apple is also struggling with its relationship with UnionPay, China’s state-owned credit- and debit-card system operator. Sources close to the companies said that talks aimed at an agreement that would open China to Apple Pay have stalled.
This is sort of cool.
While assorted vendors are lining up and adding support for Apple Pay, JetBlue Airways has announced that it has become the first airline to use Apple Pay to purchase things in-flight starting next week.
Starting next week, passengers on select JetBlue Airways flights can use Apple Pay on their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets to buy food, drinks and certain onboard amenities when the plane reaches cruising altitude. You’ll be able to upgrade to available premium seats via Apple Pay as well.
Remember that whole sapphire iPhone screen thing? When an idea goes south, you can still use the intended facility for something.
Following GT Advanced Technologies’ plans to file for Chapter 11, Apple appears to be swooping in with a plan to invest US$2 billion to convert their Arizona factory into a data center.
The more than 1.3 million-square-foot building, which was once a solar-panel factory, was a key part of Apple’s efforts to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. after years of relying on Asian suppliers to build the company’s iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. While Apple had promised to bring jobs to the area even after the bankruptcy, the data center will probably employ fewer staff compared with an operation churning out components for iPhones.
iPad sales may be on the decline, albeit Apple CEO Tim Cook says not to worry.
Per 9to5Mac and Macworld, Apple’s recent financial report noted “all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store,” while remaining silent on iPad sales. With year-on-year sales down 18%, and a reduction in average selling price meaning revenue was down 22%.
Tim Cook acknowledges that the switch to larger-screened iPhones mean the iPad is being squeezed from both sides.
“There’s probably some level of cannibalization that’s going on, with the Mac on one side and the phone on the other,” said Cook.
It was a good quarter for Apple.
Per 9to5Mac, Apple announced its Q1 2015 earnings results today, the company reporting US$74.6 billion in revenue and earning US$18 billion in profit during the three-month period.
The results showed a gross margin of 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.