MasterCard exec thinks Apple definitely has contactless payment tech in the works.
Ed McLaughlin, head of emerging payments at MasterCard, has given some weight to rumors that Apple’s next iPhone will finally include near field communication technology. In a recent interview with Fast Company, McLaughlin said that he expected the use of contactless payment systems like MasterCard’s PayPass – which rely on NFC technology – to expand rapidly in the near future.
Part of the reason for that expansion, he said, is the technology’s penetration into the smartphone market. McLaughlin insisted that “I don’t know of a handset manufacturer out there that isn’t in the process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready.” When pressed on whether that included Apple, McLaughlin would only repeat that there aren’t any handset manufacturers not working on the technology.
Though still in its early days, the technology is becoming increasingly common in the smartphone market. Google Wallet, a system designed for Android phones with NFC technology, stores users’ credit card data on their phones so that they can use them with NFC-based payment systems like PayPass. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which launched late last year, includes NFC, and the major mobile phone carriers are said to be working on their own mobile payment system much like Google Wallet (which, incidentally, is likely the reason Verizon blocked Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus when it launched).
More than two years ago we began hearing rumors that the iPhone 4 would have NFC. When the iPhone 4 launch came and went with no mention of NFC, it was thought that Apple might include it in the iPhone 5. In October the iPhone 5 was revealed as the iPhone 4S, and still NFC technology was notably absent. Now, of course, rumors are flying that the next iPhone will finally have the technology built in. Though hardly an direct confirmation, McLaughlin’s statements are strongly suggest that those rumors are correct.
[Via Fast Company]
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With Apple’s two keenly awaited models due for release this year, rumours have gained momentum about what would come first.
While most pundits are betting on iPad 3 to be released first, Apple is always known for its surprises.
According to a recent report iPhone 5 could hit the market as early as June. More details are being leaked about the specifications of the new iPhone.
Quoting an official from Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer of electronics goods, that also supplies parts to Apple, reports had suggested that the new model will have a 4-inch display and the phone will be slimmer compared to previous models.
It was in November 2011 that the first report emerged about the possibility of the release of iPhone 5 in 2012. The company released an upgraded version last year and called it iPhone 4S along with Siri – the voice recognition software that responds to any query of a user.
Reports had earlier stated that the iPad 3 is almost ready for production and could be launched on the occasion of Steve Jobs’ birthday on February 24.
However, reports quoting some analysts now indicate that developers have felt the iPad to be sluggish following tests of the iBooks 2 textbook application on the iPad and iPad 2. Developers also indicated that there was a need for a more powerful processor in order to deal with the increased interactions and animations.
“Could we well see the release of an iPad 2S this year instead of an iPad 3. If Apple can do it with the iPhone why not do it again?” wondered Radhakrishnan Pillai, an avid fan of Apple products and a keen observer of new mobile technology trends.
Apple fans are flocking to sign an online petition urging the tech giant to change its labor practices before releasing the iPhone 5 in order to make the device “the first ethical iPhone.”
The campaign, launched by consumer group SumOfUs, urges Apple “to overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers in time for the launch of the iPhone 5,” which is expected in the latter half of this year.
“Apple has this brand that appeals to ethical consumers. They need to live up to that brand,” SumOfUs executive director Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman told the Daily News.
“A lot of their customers are people who want to feel like they are part of a sustainable economy, people who shop at farmers markets, who want to know they are supporting companies that are being responsible and are not hurting people,” she said.
The petition, which has received 47,000 signatures in two days, follows recent reports about dismal conditions inside Apple factories in Asia, where workers reportedly toil day and night in hazardous conditions to assemble iPads, iPhones and Mac products as swiftly as possible.
Stinebrickner-Kauffman said she wants Apple to make sure its supply chain laborers aren’t working backbreaking hours for low pay and aren’t exposed to harmful toxins while assembling the gadgets.
She also said Apple factories need to open their doors to independent auditors and charge more for their products to allow suppliers to make bigger profits.
“I love Apple, I think their products are fantastic, they just need to turn the attention to detail they pay to the usability and engineering of their products toward fixing their labor practices,” Stinebrickner-Kauffman said.
SomeOfUs has also rolled out petitions pressuring feel-good grocer Trader Joe’s to support tomato pickers in Florida and urging Coke to pull a plant out of Swaziland in Africa, where they say the soda giant’s cash is propping up an oppressive dictator.
Apple has not formally commented on the reports about their labor practices.
Last week, after the New York Times published a bleak look at working conditions at Apple partners in China, CEO Tim Cook sent an email to staffers that said the company cares “about every worker in our worldwide supply chain”
“Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values,” Cook said.
Another Apple labor petition on Change.org had received nearly 160,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.
Stinebrickner-Kauffman said she was not surprised by the response.
“I think a lot of people have been waiting for a moment when this would turn into a movement of Apple consumers, and this is that moment,” she said.