Apple is getting close to launching a mobile wallet for the iPhone and it may come out as soon as this fall with the introduction of the iPhone 6, according to a report from The Information. The report, citing unnamed sources, said that Apple has told some of its partners its system would use the iPhone's so-called secured element, which is a piece of hardware where sensitive information such as a user's financial credentials can be stored.
Apple's next iPhone will sport an improved LTE radio that can support faster theoretical peak speeds, Near Field Communications technology, wireless charging and a much bigger screen, according to a VentureBeat report.
Mobile wallet and payment venture Isis said that on average it has activated more than 20,000 mobile wallets per day in the past 30 days, giving it at least 600,000 members during that period.
During a recent presentation at the Electronic Transaction Association's tradeshow in Las Vegas, Google Wallet chief Ariel Bardin conceded that customers have been slow to embrace the company's mobile payments service. However, he said that Google plans to remain in the mobile payments space for the long haul, and will continue to tweak the technology in hopes it will take off.
CableLabs has developed technology that could help members such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable deliver personalized programming and advertising by relying on mobile devices used by subscribers that contain RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags or NFC (near field communication) chips, according to a recent patent application.
Two-thirds of Isis' users have installed at least one payment card into their Isis wallet, the mobile payments company said, and that group of users makes an average of six to seven NFC-based financial transactions per month.
Both MasterCard and Visa endorsed a new mobile payments technology that could enable them to bypass Isis and other hardware-based mobile payments systems. The action could also boost Near Field Communications (NFC) technology for mobile payments.
Comcast may be preparing to deploy a new device called XR8 which would allow its Xfinity subscribers to control set-tops with "Aim Anywhere" technology that uses the ZigBee RF4CE specification, according to recent FCC filings from remote control vendor Universal Electronics.
Apple is looking to expand its presence in the mobile payments market, according to multiple reports.
The idea of location-based services in a retail environment has been around for a while, but iBeacons' use of the Bluetooth LE standard means apps may soon be able to take advantage of indoor or "micro-location" scenarios. This could include not only use cases in stores, but also in museum displays, trail markers in parks, or even in the home. It could also represent Apple's response to those who have wondered if the company would ever adopt Near Field Communications technology in iPhones.