Duncan Wilcock


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Monday, March 07, 2011

Two Predictions about Apple

I have two predictions about Apple for the months ahead, and I decided I want to write them down to make a public record of them.

First - A bigger iPad in September.

Others have suggested that Apple is going to ship another new iPad in September, with higher resolution. I think that is quite likely to be true, and I think it will also be physically larger than the original iPads. This will start to flesh-out their iPad product line in terms of price and selection.

iPad is the new flagship of Apple's product line. iPhone is still the biggest revenue source, but iPad is Steve Job's baby. His legacy to the world after his passing.

A physically larger iPad will also enable other functionality. A larger keyboard for the new GarageBand app for instance. Also think about Microsoft's Surface computer - I'm not saying it will be a full on coffee-table size, but there is certainly a use case to be considered for having a larger screen. I would guess physically it will be around the 17" range, and it might have to be a bit thicker to provide adequate physical strength for the glass. They might even start with a couple of options - 15" & 17" or so to start.

Second - iTunes Store payments via Mobile-Phone Accounts.

My second prediction is about mobile payments. Rumors are hot & heavy that NFC payments will be built into iPhone 5, and I think it's pretty likely. Probably we will be able to choose to associate the payment system with your credit card, or have the amount billed to your mobile phone account.

This is big news, and in time it could massively disrupt the credit card companies, and I'm sure they're well aware of it. Currently around 2% of every retail transaction charged to a credit card goes to the credit card companies. If Mobile phone companies charge merchants less - say 0.5% - this will be the beginning of some much needed competition for the credit card companies.

Apple probably has something clever up their sleeve to give iTunes customers a clear benefit for using mobile payments, but I haven't figured out what yet. Perhaps they will manufacture a benefit - such as fewer clicks - or else an offer a monetary benefit after a year or so.

Anyway - this is my prediction - Apple uses Mobile Payments to undercut the credit-card companies on their iTunes Store accounts.