Every new product announcement from Applespins up the tech blogosphere into, in some cases, paroxysms ofspeculation. It makes for entertaining reading but is only asuseful as fiction and useless for planning purposes. Apple’s sosecretive about its plans that it’s impossible to get it right nomatter how many “leaked” pictures emerge from supply chain andother “sources.”
That said, even those with fairly modest expectations for Apple’srabidly anticipated phone announcement yesterday were disappointed.Apple announced the iPhone 4S, an incremental upgrade, a move thatit’s made before. Many observers were let down, despite the factthat the new model is a world phone, has a much improved camera (noneed to haul around a point and click camera any more),andtremendous graphics capability. The iPhone 4S also leverages thepersonal digital assistant technology of Sire, an Apple acquisitionfrom 18 months ago that blends voice recognition with usefulactions, like putting appointments on your calendar based on voice.Let’s see. We now have yet another high powered computer that willlisten to us, entertain us, function as a phone and more –all inthe palm of our hands– and we’re whining. We are pitiful.
For payments industry folk, of course, the big questions was “willthe new iPhone include NFC?” Our guess (no, really, it was) wasthat the answer would be no and that’s how it turned out. For thisannouncement. Apple builds ecosystems and clearly not all theelements were in place to warrant an NFC roll-out. It will taketime for Apple to build a platform that connects those 160 millioniTunes card on file accounts to the real world of paymentacceptance. Probably about the time it takes to build the nextmodel, the iPhone 5.
In the meantime, the blogospher can stand down and pause to inhalebefore cranking up the speculation machine once more.