Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple's Oct. 17 China/India Launch: A Big Deal for Apple

On Friday, Apple's worldwide iPhone 6 (and "6 Plus") rollout progresses a bit further, as that's the date it reaches China and India.  The China rollout is a huge deal for Apple's quarter, and will illuminate Apple's future competing in China now that it's got mobile carrier partners and larger screen sizes.  For the full article on this, check it out at Seeking Alpha: "Apple's iPhone Launch: Predicting A Strong 2014 Holiday Quarter?"

One thing to look out for over the quarter will be news about Apple's payment processing network rollout.  Since it's limited to the iPhone 6 – other phones lack the security hardware that enables Apple to get "card-present" treatment from card issuers – the size of the user population and the scale of the profit to Apple won't be the metrics to watch.  Look for reports on ease-of-use, availability at merchants, and merchant efforts to promote the service (Apple may be using transaction processing fee reductions as a tool to grow the network – fee reductions that Apple may simply pass along to merchants after negotiating its own discounts from issuers).  A payment processing network that cuts incumbent processors out of the picture to provide security to merchants and fraud-protection to card-issuing banks has the potential to grow significantly over time, while reducing Apple's costs on every transaction consumers have with it as a merchant.  This move – predicted here in 2011plays to Apple's existing strengths while growing its vertical integration.

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