O'Grady's PowerPage » retail

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.


Amazon raises Prime pricetag to $99

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 20th, 2014, 09:50
Category: Amazon, Business, News, retail

amazon-money1Back in February, we wrote about rumors that Amazon might be raising the cost of its Prime service as much as $40. Amazon decided to split the difference rather than alienate all its customers by only raising the price by $20, but it seems that was enough to rile up a lot of Amazon Prime customers into threatening to stop paying for the service. An email was recently sent to current subscribers to notify them of the change which included an explanation for the price increase;

“Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”


Shipping estimates for the Mac Pro get push back again

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 11th, 2014, 12:25
Category: Apple, Desktop Mac, Mac Pro, News, retail

Mac Pro assembly lineIt appears that the shipping dates for the new Mac Pro have been knocked back to April as Apple struggles to meet the demand for the new trash can cylindrical tech wonder. Apple’s only response?

“Demand for the all new Mac Pro is great and it will take time before supply catches up with demand.”

I think we knew that. Looks like everyone will have to struggle with their aging, silver behemoth for a few more months.



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.”.

Apple starts repairing iPhone 5C screens in stores

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 23rd, 2014, 09:28
Category: Apple, AppleCare, Hardware, iPhone, News, retail, Retail Store

AppleGeniusBarBack in November we mentioned Apple’s plans to start offering in-store screen replacements for the iPhone 5S and 5C. This week, Apple started its roll-out of iPhone 5C repairs, so if you’ve got an iPhone 5C with a cracked or broken screen, the Geniuses at the local Apple Store can replace it while you wait, rather than sending it out. This makes two models that can be repaired in-store, the iPhone 5 and now the 5C. The 5S, for now, still needs to be sent into Apple for repairs, possibly due to the added complications of working around the Touch-ID sensor/home button. No news yet on when the 5S plan will get rolled out. As we reported before, the in-store replacement cost should be $150, with the price being $80 if your iPhone is covered by the original warranty or an AppleCare plan. The policy should be rolled out to all stores by the end of this week, but could take a little longer if the store is not in or near a large city.

Holiday gift round-up: Part Deux

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 20th, 2013, 08:16
Category: Accessory, battery, Consumer Electronics, Gadget, Hardware, Holiday, retail, Review, Software, The Apple Core

Christmas-GiftHere’s part 2 of my Gift Guide, which may turn into that “what I get when I return my Christmas gifts for credit” list, seeing as how it’s only 6 days until Christmas. The second half includes a number of gift ideas that I’ve stolen borrowed from some other gift guides because they are really good suggestions for things I’d like to get for myself. I’ll throw in a couple more of my own at the end.


Holiday gift round-up: Part 1

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 16th, 2013, 08:27
Category: Accessory, Apple, Apple TV, Consumer Electronics, Fun, Gadget, Holiday, iPad mini, retail, Television, Wearables

Christmas-GiftIt’s that time of year again, when everyone is scrambling to fill their gift giving list for the holidays, and for those that have tech geeks in their family or other circles, it is getting more and more difficult to find that perfect gift. Thankfully it is also the time when every magazine and blog is posting their holiday gift guides, and the PowerPage is no exception. So here then are 10 or so items that aren’t crazy expensive, culled from other gift guides or my own product wish list, that offer a nice range of items and that I wouldn’t mind seeing under the tree (if I didn’t have it already).


Walmart is selling the iPhone 5c for $27 this Friday!

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 13th, 2013, 09:53
Category: Announcement, Apple, Consumer Electronics, Holiday, iPhone, retail

iPhone-5CWalmart is cashing in on the holiday spirit and people’s desire for colorful tech. The iPhone 5C has not been a big seller for Apple, but retailers are doing what they can to bring customers onboard. The LA Times reports that Walmart is making some deals to move the 5C;

“The iPhone 5c has struggled to sell and Wal-Mart has been discounting it since it was released in September. Friday’s sale price won’t be as good at what Wal-Mart offered on Black Friday — $45 for an iPhone 5c with a $75 gift card thrown in — but you’ll be hard pressed to find the iPhone 5c for cheaper than $27.”

Walmart’s Friday sale includes other Apple products, as well as other electronic items, games, and clothing. The sale begins Friday at 8 a.m. local time. Sale prices are in effect through Dec. 24 or while supplies last.

iBeacon rollout in Apple Stores

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 12th, 2013, 08:28
Category: Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, News, privacy, retail, Retail Store, Services, Software

apple-store-ibeaconLast week Apple started rolling out iBeacon, Apple’s location based technology that offers a “better user experience”. What they mean is that when you are in a store with an iPhone, they can track your location to the foot, allowing iBeacon to send you notifications with info on the product you are standing in front of, coupons, sales, or general info on the store. It has been pointed out that Apple use coupons and rarely has sales (except Black Friday), but since the iBeacon technology will be sold outside of Apple, it is sure to be used by the likes of Target and Walmart.