U.S. banks enter horse race to become preferred Apple Pay card of choice among consumers

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 16th, 2014, 12:26
Category: Finance, iPhone, News

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With Apple Pay en route, an assortment of banks are scrambling to be the consumers’ choice as to the default Apple Pay card.

“It’s a healthy competition,” JPMorgan Chase marketing chief Kristin Lemkau told the Financial Times. JPMorgan Chase launched Apple Pay-centered marketing campaigns on the same day as the service’s unveiling, and similar campaigns from Apple’s other partner banks quickly followed.

One example, according to AppleInsider and the Financial Times, has been Capital One targeting customers using email blasts. With every bank having budgeted significant amounts for this purpose, advertising is likely to appear nearly everywhere — though Apple is said to be doling out “strict guidelines” for initiatives featuring its long-awaited payments entry.

“You want to create an incentive for people to download their card in Apple Pay and use it as their default card,” Lemkau added.

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Apple posts $37.4 billion in revenues, $7.7 billion profit for Q3 2014

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Date: Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014, 18:52
Category: Finance, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News

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Apple’s money train kept rolling into the third quarter.

Per Macworld, the company posted revenues of US$37.4 billion and a net profit of US$7.7 billion, making for a record June quarter for the company.

Those numbers were up from the third quarter of 2013, when Apple tallied US$35.3 billion in revenue and US$6.9 billion in net profit.

For the 2014 third quarter, Apple earned US$1.28 per diluted share, up from US$1.07 a diluted share the company earned in the year-ago quarter. Apple has declared a cash dividend of US$0.47 per share of the company’s common stock.

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PayPal is eager to integrate Touch ID

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Finance, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, retail, security, Services, Software

touch-id_PaypalLittle was said about Touch ID in the WWDC keynote except that the API would be opened to third-party developers for use in iOS 8. Craig Federighi did show a nice pie chart claiming that since the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, 83% of users now use passcodes, up from the 49% that used their iPhone’s security previously. Just days after this announcement, PayPal is reportedly dipping their toes into the Touch ID API with hopes of incorporating fingerprint recognition into their iOS app’s authentication system. This isn’t really surprising as it has already done this on Android with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Hopefully the process will be more hacker-proof on iOS.

PayPal may just be the first of several companies including other mobile payment services, banks, and even large retail chains, to take advantage of access to Apple’s fingerprint scanner. Getting users familiar with using Touch ID for purchases may be just the first step in Apple’s own long rumored plans to get into the mobile payments game, using it in tandem with their Passbook software. Apple is expected to start building Touch ID sensors into all of its mobile hardware soon. Here’s hoping the technology becomes more reliable than many users’ past experiences or people may get frustrated with the process and just not use it.

 

 

Does Clinkle have a shot at competing in the mobile payments game?

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 08:37
Category: Business, Finance, Mobile, retail, Services

clinkle_iconSo, you may be asking, “What is Clinkle?”. It would be a good question too since there hasn’t been a lot said about it given Clinkle’s “cloak of secrecy” about its development. In fact, during its beta period (still ongoing), employees were allowed to offer the service to friends and family with the specification that none of them could be journalists. Clinkle purports to be the next big thing in mobile payments, but frankly there is not much known about it other than some of the drama surrounding it. More on that in a moment.

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Internet News Reading Down 80% Due to Unreliable April 1st Trends

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Date: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 08:14
Category: Apple, Finance, Humor, News

Portrait of shocked business woman looking at computer in officePeople who are used to getting their daily news from online news sources and blogs have finally given up on reading anything on the web, as the yearly trend to post fake stories to the internet on April 1st continues. The online statistics service AdNumbers stated today that ad revenue from online marketing and banner ads, as of 8:00 AM EST, was down nearly 80% as workers across the country resorted to getting some work done rather than be duped by mischievous journalists and bloggers. ADNumbers representative Nick O’Parkman stated, “Everyone is just fed up. They go to the internet to read news on April 1st and they don’t know what to believe anymore, so now they don’t bother! It is really cutting into our bottom line.”

Medical health journalist, Dr. Eugene Simmons suggests that in the past this trend has been dangerous to unsuspecting news readers, in particular investors and individuals with large stock portfolios, who might read that Apple Inc. is producing a line of computers with no keyboard, Tonk Hawk is promoting a working hoverboard, or that Apple plans to acquire iFixit.* Past hoaxes included rumors that Steve Ballmer was going to become CEO of Microsoft.** “Such outrageous stories have been know to cause heart-attacks, nervous break-downs, and unwarranted stock sellouts, which could hurt our already fragile economy”, says Simmons.

In a related story, the Onion News Network posted a TRUE news story today….and nobody noticed.

 

 

*Touché iFixit, touché

**oh right, that one was real, it just sounded far-fetched

[Re-posted with permission from myself who originally wrote a version of this for April 1st 2009]

 

 

Amazon has a plan to get into the mobile payments game

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 7th, 2014, 09:32
Category: Amazon, Finance, Mobile, retail, Services

amazon-logo-150x150It looks like Amazon is determined to expand out of the “virtual” retail space to get its foot in the door of brick-and-mortar stores. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, has plans to0 equip retailers with Kindle tablets with credit card readers for accepting payments, possibly in exchange for web site development and data analysis. Trying to push its way into traditional retail spaces means Amazon will be pitting itself against much larger companies that provide checkout and POS (Point Of Sale) systems to large retailers, which may require Amazon to turn to smaller businesses. Even there, they are competing with companies like Square Inc., who have a big head start in that space. Amazon does have the benefit of allowing retailers that partner with them to offer promotions or discounts through Amazon.com or its Amazon Local daily deals offers. Amazon has a steep hill to climb, but Richard Crone who is chief executive of Crone Consulting, a payments advisory firm, makes a good point;

“At the end of the day, a merchant wants to make a sale, to drive up business. And if Amazon or anyone else can help them do that, that’s tough to turn away,”

Amazon will also be in a race with Apple, who is reportedly preparing its own blitz into the mobile payments game, offering the convenience of millions of customers with iPhones with the advantages of the iBeacon system. Even Amazon knows it’s not a sure thing. The WSJ mentions that, “Amazon’s plans remain fluid and the project might be delayed, altered or canceled, they said.”.

Will subscribers of Amazon Prime still think it’s a good value at $119?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014, 08:46
Category: Amazon, Business, Finance, Opinion, Services

amazon-money1Last Thursday, Amazon reported their holiday quarter earnings and things didn’t look good. Their overall revenue was up 20% at $25.59 billion but analysts expected sales to come in at  just over $26 billion. This sounds very similar to the report of Apple’s earnings, which were good, but given the thumbs down for not meeting analysts’ expectations?  Unfortunately, Amazon’s net income of $239 million missed estimates by a huge margin. During the call, Amazon cited the rising cost of fuel and transportation for the increase, as well as the high frequency of orders from Prime members. As a result, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak suggested that it may raise the price of Amazon Prime memberships between $20 and $40 per year (currently $79), bringing the total annual cost of the service up to as much as $119.

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Motorola Mobility finds yet another new home…minus a few bits

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 30th, 2014, 19:29
Category: Android, Business, Finance, Google, Mobile Phone, Patents

logo-moto-footerThis Wednesday, Google CEO Larry Page announced that they were selling off its Motorola Mobility division to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Google had acquired Motorola in 2012 to help boost development of Andoid, with speculation that they would use it to create more of its own branded hardware and ecosystem. At the time, Google paid $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola and its cache of patents. Apparently the division was not fulfilling its promise, hence the sell-off. However, what appears to be a huge loss for Google may not be so bad after all.

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Apple earnings good but not great

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 27th, 2014, 19:18
Category: Announcement, Apple, Business, Finance

apple-moneyThe business and financial markets are a kooky thing. You can make a ton of money, even more than the previous year, but if it’s not as much as other people expected, you’ve failed. That is essentially what Wall Street is saying after todays earnings announcement from Apple. As a result, Apple stock price fell almost 6%. That is in spite of the fact that Apple sold a record setting number of iPhones and iPads, and better Mac sales than it did in the same quarter of last year. Apple made $13.1 billion in profit on $57.6 billion in revenue, driven by sales of 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads. In addition, Mac sales in the first quarter clocked in at 4.8 million which was up from 4.1 million a year ago. That seems like it should be a win right, but the market predicted Apple to post $58 billion in revenues on sales of around 56.5 million iPhones and 24.5 million iPads. Seems a tad nit-picky if you ask me, but if you believe CEO Tim Cook, Apple couldn’t be happier;

“We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services. We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better.”

Well, I guess you can’t everybody, but as far as I’m concerned, Apple is healthy and doing great.

Apple’s iOS App Store nets $10 billion in 2013

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 10th, 2014, 09:26
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, Business, Finance, iOS, iPhone, Software

apple-moneyAccording to an announcement by Apple on Tuesday, the company took home more than $10 billion last year from iOS app sales. Christmas sales put them over the top with customers downloading almost 3 billion apps, making December Apple’s most lucrative and successful month in the App Store’s history. BusinessWire’s coverage of the record setting sales quoted Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue;

“We’d like to thank our customers for making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store. The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014.”

Apple also reported that iOS developers have now earned a collective $15 billion from sales on the App Store.