Rumor: Apple beginning to court enterprise markets via dedicated sales team

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:12
Category: Finance, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Rumor

applelogo1

Remember how Apple seemed like a second class citizen in the business and enterprise world?

That might be about to change.

According to Reuters, Apple is embarking on its most aggressive expansion yet onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.

Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.

Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.

Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.

(more…)

Apple making progress in forming alliance between Apple Pay and Alibab’s Alipay in Chinese marketplace

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 10:58
Category: Finance, News, retail

applepayicon

While Apple may be spinning its wheels arguing with MCX and getting Apple Pay supported by assorted U.S. retailers stuck in their MCX/CurrentC contracts, it seems to be doing ok opening Apple Pay up in the Asian marketplace.

According to AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, after officials from both Apple and Alibaba publicly expressed interest in forging a possible mobile payment deal, Alibaba confirmed on Tuesday that it is currently in negotiations to bring Apple Pay to China.

A potential deal between Apple Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay would focus exclusively on the Chinese market, where Alibaba is the dominant online retailer, vice chairman Joseph Tsai told The Wall Street Journal. He said that while the company is “positive” about the ongoing talks, details must still be worked out before an agreement can be reached.

(more…)

Apple Pay fans tears down CurrentC’s App Store rating, MCX suggests possible switch to NFC technology

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 11:53
Category: Finance, iOS, News, Software

currentc

The most recent volley in the NFC payment war between Apple Pay and the MCX consortium’s CurrentC mobile payment service has been fired.

And it has a lot to do with app reviews.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of users have expressed their displeasure with the CurrentC app, at the time of writing, the app having accumulated 2,856 1-star reviews against a total of just 30 reviews giving it 2 stars or more …

The movement to boycott merchants who are members of the MCX consortium also seems to be growing in popularity, gaining a Boycott MCX website with a full list of members. When you click on the name of a consortium member (CVS Pharmacy in the example shown below), a list of competing stores who accept or plan to accept Apple Pay is displayed.

Having been criticized for its clunky use of QR codes, MCX said yesterday that CurrentC may “pivot to NFC over time.” The company had earlier said that it was “entirely possible” that it would do a U-turn on its current exclusivity requirement and allow merchants to accept both CurrentC and Apple Pay at some point in the future, though no certainty or timeframe was offered.

MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson also expanded on yesterday’s less than convincing assurances about data security, saying that the recent hack “does not impact the rollout of CurrentC at all” – that the company expected attacks and will “deal with them.”

(more…)

Hours after citing capable security, CurrentC announces unauthorized access of users’ email accounts

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 16:35
Category: Finance, iOS, News, security, Uncategorized

currentc

Hubris, anyone?

Just hours after publishing a blog post answering some questions about its upcoming CurrentC mobile payments system and touting the security of its cloud-based storage of sensitive information, the company behind the effort, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has alerted users of unauthorized access to their email addresses.

Per MacRumors, the company released the following statement:

Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no other information.

Details on the unauthorized access have not been disclosed, but reporter Nick Arnott of iMore took some time earlier this week took a look at some of the personal information being collected by MCX and CurrentC and noted that he could ping CurrentC’s systems to look for valid registered email addresses on the system. While he did not find valid addresses, the system appeared capable of returning a substantial amount of personal information about such accounts.

(more…)

IHS iSuppli completes iPad Air 2 teardown, estimates slightly higher manufacturing and component costs

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 15:21
Category: Finance, Hardware, iPad

As is customary, the new iPad Air has been torn down to get an approximate fix on his much its component pieces retailed for.

The answer for the iPad Air 2 is about US$275.

Per MacRumors and Re/code, research firm IHS iSuppli has torn down the new iPad Air 2 in an attempt to estimate Apple’s component costs for the device. According to IHS iSuppli’s estimates, the 16 GB iPad Air 2 costs Apple roughly US$275 to build, just one dollar more than last year’s iPad Air.

The report unsurprisingly points out that Apple benefits from stronger profit margins as users move to higher capacity models, with Apple paying only about US$50 more for 128 GB of storage compared to the base 16 GB configuration while charging users US$200 for the upgrade. Still, Apple’s move to eliminate the 32 GB option and slide the 64 GB and 128 GB models down US$100 has slightly eroded Apple’s profit margins at the top end.

The latest report from the research firm IHS, shows that the base model of the iPad Air 2, the 16-GB Wi-Fi version, which sells for a price of US$499, costs $275 to build, exactly one dollar higher than the previous base model. The top-end model, the 128-GB LTE version costs which sells for US$829, costs US$358 to manufacture.

ipadair2components
(more…)

MCX responds to Apple Pay blocking controversy with questionable responses to issues at hand

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 11:46
Category: Finance, iOS, iPhone, News, security, Software

applepayicon

The most recent shot in the NFC payment wars has been fired.

And it kind of made MCX look like a bunch of jerks.

Per 9to5Mac, MCX, the retailer consortium behind the CurrentC mobile payment system, has responded to the controversy over its members being required to block Apple Pay or face fines with some unconvincing ‘assurances.’

The first sign of trouble between MCX and Apple Pay was when CVS disabled NFC functionality from its payment terminals. When Rite Aid joined in, consumers responded by threatening to boycott MCX members.

In a blog post which MCX says is designed to “set the record straight,” as it were, MCX responded to some of the recent concerns levied against it.

Responding to the fines issue, the company offered the following comment:

Importantly, if a merchant decides to stop working with MCX, there are no fines.

Nobody has suggested there are. What has been suggested–and which MCX has not denied–is that members are fined if they accept other forms of mobile payment, like Apple Pay, alongside CurrentC.

The consortium gets off to a marginally better start on privacy, with a statement that consumers “can choose to limit the information they share through our privacy dashboard, which means they will have the ability turn off location based services and opt out of marketing communications in our app.” However, that does nothing to limit the storage of other sensitive information, nor to address claims that merchants will share purchasing data amongst themselves.

(more…)

Apple CEO Tim Cook cites over one million Apple Pay subscriptions in first 72 hours

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 15:48
Category: Finance, iOS, iPhone, News

applepayicon

Apple may have gotten a pretty quick leg up in the NFC market.

Per AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a recent interview today, stated that Apple Pay received more than one million registrations within the first 72 hours.

“The early ramp [of Apple Pay] looks fantastic,” Cook said in an interview with WSJ managing editor Gerry Baker.

Cook referred to recent revelations that Merchant Consumer Exchange retailers like Rite Aid and CVS are now blocking Apple Pay, characterizing the situation as a “skirmish” that will ultimately be decided by consumers “over the long arc of time.”

(more…)

CVS, Rite Aid refusing to accept Apple Pay system, lend support to current CurrentC payment system

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 16:32
Category: Finance, iOS, iPhone, Software

applepayicon

Call it a trade blockade of sorts, but you might not be able to use Apple Pay to purchase items at CVS or Rite Aid for a while.

Per the New York Times and 9to5Mac, Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.

Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment services offered by higher-end Android handsets.

As with CVS, Apple Pay initially worked in Rite Aid stores, indicating that the company has made a deliberate decision to switch off support.

While Apple has declined to comment, MasterCard said that it was the wrong decision.

“We think consumers should have the ability to pay any way they want,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard.

(more…)

Visa, Mastercard publish list of financial institutions that will support Apple Pay in the coming weeks and months

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 24th, 2014, 07:01
Category: Finance, iPhone, iPod, News

applepayicon

In as much as I grouse about Visa and MasterCard (also known as the “Dark Sith Overlords of Ever-Climbing, Interest Monster Debt”), this might come in handy. Per 9to5Mac, Visa and MasterCard have published a list of banks and financial institutions that will support Apple Pay in the United States “in the coming weeks,” while MasterCard has its own list of supported banks arriving in the coming months. The mobile payments service officially launched on Monday, October 20th and currently supports cards issued by Bank of America, Capital One, Citi Bank, Chase and Wells Fargo Bank. A full list of banks coming soon from Visa and Mastercard below:

Visa:
1st Colonial Community Bank
1st Community Federal Credit Union
A+ Federal Credit Union
Actors Federal Credit Union
Advantage Federal Credit Union
Advantage One Federal Credit Union
Affinity Federal Credit Union
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union
ALPS Federal Credit Union
Alternatives Federal Credit Union
Altra Federal Credit Union
Amarillo National Bank
Amegy Bank National Association
America First Credit Union
American Airlines Federal Credit Union
American Chartered Bank
American Heritage Bank
American Savings Bank
America’s Christian Credit Union
America’s Credit Union
AmeriCU Credit Union
Andrews Federal Credit Union
APCO Employees Credit Union
Arlington Community Federal Credit Union
Artisans Bank
Arvest Bank
Auburn Bank
Avidbank

(more…)

Bank of America confirms double charges under Apple Pay, says fix is underway

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 13:21
Category: Finance, News, Software

bankofamericalogo

You can call it an Apple Pay startup glitch or an evil conspiracy, both statements would have merit.

Per Re/code and 9to5Mac, some Bank of America account holders are now reporting that the new service is charging them twice for some transactions. It’s also been confirmed that Bank of America is in fact experiencing a technical error that is causing the double charges and is currently attempting to roll out a solution that will resolve the problem.

The glitch was apparently the result of a miscommunication between the bank’s systems and an unnamed payment network and wasn’t Apple’s fault according to the report. The bank said that only about 1,000 transactions were affected by the problem, which is a relatively minute number compared to the number of transactions likely being carried out nationwide today.

(more…)