Apple could make it easy to adopt miCommerce

Everyone in the tech fields has been throwing a whole lot of time and effort into convincing you that there’s a better way to buy things than with hard cash or rigid plastic.  Apple might have all the pieces in place to make it easier to do with a wave of your hand … we’ll see.

Just to set the record straight, I didn’t see any of the unclothed actress photos and didn’t even bother searching for them after my wife told me she blocked all the locations on my devices.

Just looking, staring, ogling never seemed very satisfying to me.

Were the exposed individuals really that upset or acting?

Don’t know, don’t care!

The whole thing could have been:

  • A few actresses looking for more publicity – O.K., “exposure”
  • It could have been another well-orchestrated Apple leak to prove their infrastructure is rock solid for an even bigger announcement
  • “Don’t hold the phone like that.”

But for most people, it was just a distraction, a revalidation of the worth of Apple’s infrastructure/ecosystem.

Even then, am I the only person who believes Apple wasn’t touched by the immortals but is just a bunch of really focused, really good people putting out pretty good products?

But … there are hundreds of others that can/do do the same.

With each new bit of news, researchers, brokers, analysts, reporters and bloggers tell you how the world just changed or the stock market just went to hell in a handbasket!

Folks are mesmerized by Apple’s controlled leaks on the iWatch, iPhone, iPad and strategic alliances.

Big Boost

Combined, they could propel iProducts as a huge category. And it could make the company hard to catch in the credit/debit card business.

Depending on the day, analyst or reporter, iPhone and Galaxy are the leading phones globally and with iPad, there isn’t a good #2 in tablets.

I know what you’re going to say – Android is the biggest-selling mobile OS; and you’re right … sorta.’

Market Shares – It’s a lot easier to figure out who has the biggest share of the smartphone market if you just use an overall OS (operating system) measuring stick.   Works fine, but Android isn’t just one OS … it’s roughly 150, and they’re all just a little different from the other (competitive advantages, don’t you know).  

But there isn’t just one flavor of Android. There’s Samsung Android, Amazon Android, LG … actually about 150 different flavours that are just enough different to be different.

And the thing is, iPhone users just flat use their phones differently from the other folks. They download more video, more music, make their own content and carry on business and family activities on that little sucka!

Most Used – On any given day, Samsung or Apple has someone tell you they lead the pack.  The difference is the darned iPhoners use their phones more so logic says it’s always with the owner.  It’s a lot easier to buy stuff if it’s always in your hand.

No wonder when you’re in the airport the people you see sitting on the floor next to the wall outlets all have their iPhone or iPad plugged in.

Mobile Payments

The idea of using mobile payments isn’t new and Starbucks has certainly shown how easy it is because showoffs prefer to whip out their iPhone rather than use one of the Starbucks debit cards.

To them, it’s even easier than reaching into their pocket or purse for $3-$5.

Apple is jumping to the forefront in a way most analysts (or consumers) didn’t think possible.

Apple What? –  For the past few years, everyone has been betting on who would take the leadership role in mobile payments/commerce.  No one figured we’d change the category to miCommerce.

Few people thought of Apple when it came to mobile banking because they were already making money with their iTunes, app stores and video stores.

And that’s true; but as Analyst Ben Bajarin pointed out, it’s all about keeping users in their ecosystem and creating more brand loyalty/ sales.

As long as they keep solving user’s real or perceived problems and adding features, they’ll keep the customers loyal.

And the iPhone envy will suck people into the Apple world where they’ll buy newer and newer iPhones (yes, my daughter can’t wait for the iPhone 6), bigger/better iPads and what the heck, throw in a Mac Air for the hell of it!

My daughter has tons of reasons for getting the new iPhone – it will make mobile payment easier, will include near-field communications, Touch ID (a fingerprint recognition reader) and will let her securely pay for items in a store with the touch of a finger.

Sure, Google has spent a lot of time, effort and money to create ways for people to use their Android-based phones in the store; but just look at the illustration above … those folks don’t use their mobile devices as much as iPhoneites do.

Store Credit

Of course, Wal-Mart, Macy’s and all the big stores hurried and announced they’re going to offer their own mobile wallet solution; but 2-1 says they will also have an iOS app … just in case.

Why not, for crying out loud, Apple is already working to integrate with American Express, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and even Nordy’s is on board.

Why? Because they see mCommerce growing very steadily.

Smart Shoppers – Smartphone shoppers (probably lots of iPhoners, based on the above) are very proficient in checking out products, reviews, prices and availability online and off. The increasing usage also enables companies and brands to follow consumers while they are in the store (or walking by) to offer them special prices, gifts, coupons and more.  As the analytics improve, the brands will know what you want/need before you need it … jeezz.

According to Digi-Capital, Mobile commerce will drive an estimated $516 billion in sales over the next three years.

That’s more than 70 percent of all mobile revenue.

The absolute top driver in mobile revenue is m-commerce.

Other revenue to be included will be mobile advertising, in-app purchases, and an emerging app-as-a-service, including mobile video.

With all of the boys lining up – just in case it does take off – it presents a compelling alternative to traditional credit cards.

Of course, there’s the little matter of retailers not having the POS (point-of-sale) systems that accept payments using NFC chips built into phones.

Guess we’ll have to see how persuasive Cook really is to convince them to make upgrades to support the new payments system or make them think twice about losing business to the folks down the street.

But as Richard Crone, chief executive officer of Crone Consulting, pointed out, it does rely heavily on people changing their buying habits … slightly.


It’s going to be a tough for Apple to change my wife!

Small Purchases

Crone said for small purchases, people usually use cash rather than plastic.

For purchases that are less than $5, a Princeton Research Associates International survey found preferences to be:

  • 65 per cent — Cash
  • 22 per cent — Debit card
  • 11 per cent — Credit card

The older the consumer, the more likely they were to pay with cash:

  • 82 per cent of people 65 years old and older use cash
  • 77 per cent of those 50 and older prefer to pay with cash,
  • one in five (21 per cent) used plastic
  • about half (51 per cent) of consumers 18-to-29 prefer plastic to cash
  • Gen Zers (kids who started out connected) probably don’t know there’s another way.
  • But the key for Apple to succeed with all of the announcements they’ll be making is that they have a lot of the key requirements in place and tested.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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