Isn’t it annoying how this industry works sometimes? Many manufacturers and tech companies work hard to innovate and bring new concepts to market, yet Apple always runs with these ideas years later and manages to take all the credit.
This has been no secret. The Cupertino Giant is known for playing it safe. They only adopt new ideas or technologies once these have been introduced and fairly well established in the market. The clue word here is “fairly” – they don’t wait for competitors to make it big.
Apple may not be good at innovating (at least not anymore), but they sure are good at taking half-baked concepts and pushing them into the mainstream market. In short, they are good at proliferating new technologies.
Let’s look at some examples. The fingerprint reader has been around for a while, yet it didn’t really become “cool” until Apple introduced Touch ID with its iPhone 5s. Now we have a plethora of fingerprint reader-clad smartphones. The same phenomena was seen with screen sizes. I know many Apple fans who swore by Apple’s smaller displays and said they would never consider such a large phones. Now I see many of them rocking those huge iPhone 6+ handsets.
The same could be argued with wide screen ratios, many services, wearables and more. If you joined the latest Apple quarter earnings call, you will know that Apple made record profits of $18 billion, the highest number they have ever reported.
The call went as expected: a lot of numbers, promises and the announcement that the Apple Watch would come in April. There was one thing that really got on my nerves, though. It seems Apple has already taken another technology and stolen credit (and customers) from the competition – mobile payments.
Apple Pay has blown up! Tim Cook mentions their new service has already become a leader in contact-less payments. The Wall Street Journal reports 2 out of 3 dollars spent via mobile payments are credited to Apple Pay. Let’s put that into perspective for you.
Mobile payments services release dates
- Apple Pay: October 2014
- Softcard (previously known as Isis): November 2013
- Google Wallet: May 2011
Google Wallet was promising, but not many phones supported it (officially) and we needed more vendors. Then Softcard came along the way, backed by 3 major US carriers. I mean, carriers are the most powerful mobile tech entities in the USA! Yet they still weren’t able to convince users to use their mobile payments solution.
Apple Pay competitors have fallen along the way like domino pieces, all trying to make it in this new market that so far only Apple has been successful at. And that is only after a few months of Apple Pay’s release.
Now, those are some impressive results for you. And I am not sure I am quite liking the way this is going. Is Apple Pay really even better than the competition? Arguably, but only because they just happened to get much more support from stores and their large number of iOS users. The thing is that those are pretty huge factors in this case.
Somehow Apple users are much more eager to try the new features that their iPhones have to offer. Even if they have been scoffing at the same features for years, since they were introduced by other manufacturers. Apple is leading the way into the future of technology, while all the other manufacturers are building the road.
Scary concept, right? What will it take for the industry and consumers to see what is really happening and make some changes?