Apple Enters The Wearables And Mobile Payments Markets
Written by Ken Gaebler
Tech giant recently announced the launch of its own mobile wallet as well as a new wearable device called Apple Watch. Is this a sign that wearables and mobile payments will finally become mainstream?
Consumer trust in the Apple brand is legendary. If a product bears the familiar Apple logo, a large group of brand loyalists will rush to buy it--and that makes the company's latest product releases even more interesting.
On Tuesday, Apple announced the launch of several new products including a wearable device called the Apple Watch, a mobile payments solution called Apple Pay, and iPhone 6 and 6s--the new generation of iPhones featuring larger screens than previous versions.
The launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s has been widely anticipated as a response to the popularity of the larger screen phones that dominate the mobile marketplace. But the launch of Apple Pay and the Apple Watch are particularly telling, since they demonstrate the rising influence of wearable devices and mobile payment solutions.
According to TechCrunch, the Apple Watch is Apple's way of differentiating itself in the growing wearables market. The device emphasizes a highly functional user interface that goes beyond simple notifications to provide apps and other features. Available in a variety of color preferences, the Apple Watch works in tandem with an iPhone 5 or later device to offer mobile wallet functionality through Apple Pay.
Apple Pay represents Apple's foray into the world of mobile payments. While many have touted the value of solutions that enable payment with the wave of a smartphone device, mobile wallet technology has not yet struck a chord with consumers--even though several technology companies currently offer mobile wallet solutions.
One of the benefits of Apple Pay and other mobile wallets is that they don't require consumers to store credit card information on their devices, creating a potentially safer payment system. The New York Times reports that Apple's reach with consumers gives the company a clear advantage in the mobile payments market, an industry that Forrester Research predicts will reach $100 billion in the U.S. over the next five years.
If Apple's customer base adopts Apple Pay and Apple Watch as enthusiastically as they have adopted other Apple products, it's likely that mobile payments and wearable technology will become much more common in the months ahead.
For small businesses, embracing new technology has become a fundamental part of providing a satisfying customer experience--and if Apple has anything to say about it, that may soon mean a willingness to embrace mobile wallets and wearable technologies.
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