Windows 95 = Macintosh 87Well, I suppose we could trot out a similar gag now, but with Apple as the butt of the joke. You see, there are rumors that users of the new iPad 2 or iPhone 5, which will reportedly come out in mid-winter and late spring, respectively, will be able to use the devices like a credit card. This, of course, is a technology that has been a success in South Korea since 2003 (it was actually introduced in 2002, but didn't take off right away) and widely used in Japan since 2004.
Anyway, here's the Bloomberg story:
Apple Inc. plans to introduce services that would let customers use its iPhone and iPad computer to make purchases, said Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group.Prior to having an iPhone, I was content to use my various LG cellular phones in Korea and in the US just for calling and texting, even though the Korean ones apparently did a heck of a lot more. There's something about the iPhone, though, that just lends itself to doing these complicated tasks easily and with confidence. (Another part of the reason was that continuing to use my good old-fashioned Asiana Airlines credit card gave me beaucoup miles.)
The services are based on “Near-Field Communication,” a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2, Doherty said. Both products are likely to be introduced this year, he said, citing engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.
Apple’s service may be able to tap into user information already on file, including credit-card numbers, iTunes gift-card balance and bank data, said Richard Crone, who leads financial industry adviser Crone Consulting LLC in San Carlos, California.
However, now I may give this mobile payment system a shot, but I don't see myself getting an iPhone 5 when it comes out, just because my iPhone 4 still feels very new and it does pretty much everything I want it to do, and a lot of the new stuff will be iOS-related anyway, and thus will work on the iPhone4 anyhow.
But still, some of these possible changes sound sweet, and I will be tempted to get the iPad 2, especially if it does end up with a retina display (the iPhone 4 has spoiled me).