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iPhone 6: A Phone, A Computer, A Wallet?

As September has rolled around again, tech enthusiasts around the world have re-started biting their nails in anticipation of the new iPhone.  Once again, we are all preparing for some facet of life to be consolidated to improve our quality of life.  I say, "once again," because this has become an annual event for anyone who cares.

When they introduced us to the 3G, a touch screen cell phone that could browse the internet at speeds comparable to the average desktop PC, the world was blown away.  When they introduced Siri, a form or artificial intelligence that could navigate your phone through voice command, the world was again blown away.

With no doubt, Apple is preparing to, once again, blow us away; but, how will they do it?  Rumor has it that, this time, they will make an attempt to move your wallet into your phone and end plastic credit card spending as we know it.  In fact, Apple is preparing to revolutionize the way money moves by monetizing a mobile application to essentially eliminate the need for the plastic in your pocket.

But how would it work?  The new phone would come with a chip installed that would make the device scan-able.  After the careful integration of your credit card info, a retail store clerk would simply scan the phone and collect payment.  Aside from the scan-able hardware, the technology isn't really new.  Apple already has some odd 750 million credit cards on file, and they have been monetizing the tech industry since the initial release of iTunes in 2001.  All they're doing is moving that technology into a smartphone by adding the chip.

With great power comes great responsibility.  Among the hurdles involved in this revolution is security.  Losing an iPhone is not a rarely reported mistake, and identity theft is reported every single day.  What will happen when you leave your phone in a cab, or when you leave it at the restaurant you just visited?  What if your phone wasn't locked?  What does Apple have in mind for boosted security?

These questions will have to be addressed next week if the rumors end up to be true.  But, the major credit cards companies don't seem concerned.  Visa and American Express reportedly have already reached agreements to work with Apple.  And, why wouldn't they?  A smartphone is a channel that transfers data from one place to another.  A credit card does the same thing, but it can't make a call.  And, while it's doubtful that a credit card will ever have the ability to make a call, our smartphones may be making credit card payments as soon as next week.


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