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Second bite of Apple

Could not resist it: Apple’s recent product launches represent a good example of how giants can trip (and, despite of that, still become stronger in some areas).

Jobs era has ended
It was “not wise” to launch - at the same time - iPhone 8 and 10 on the product’s tenth anniversary. Hard to see any logic to it. Something like X and X Pro would have worked much better - especially if X was priced below the main competition. Apple could have cornered that market segment - and exploit the fact that it’s very hard to shift iPhone users to another brand once they experienced the beauty of iOS.

That ugly “notch” on iPhone X signifies, sadly, the end of the “Jobs” (and Ivy, for that matter) era. Whom are they kidding, touting the diagonal size of a “dented” display?.. Steve would have never let that happen. Ditto.

The King of UA
It still remains to be seen whether FaceID is any better than TouchID (my guess - it IS). However, Apple has indeed been driving and setting the global "gold standard" when it comes to ubiquitous user authentication (UA). Yesterday, I paid for a tank full of diesel with Apple Pay. Diesel is not cheap in the UK, so we are talking about a three-digit sum. Yet the transaction did not require PIN - just TouchID. The same rule applies to ApplePay when used for online payments - which are, to the best of my knowledge, are treated as "cardholder present".

FaceID will make user authentication even more intuitive and transparent, driving the adoption - at both sides (user and corporates) - through the roof.

QR is ON
It was NFC that drew a lot of attention when iOS 11 was released (iPhone 10 with iOS 11 - what have Apple's marketing people been drinking lately?), yet there was another new feature which went almost unnoticeable - QR. I’ve been saying for years that lack of QR capability within the standard camera interface makes it hard for QR to shine. The need for a dedicated app made adoption difficult. That will change now. If implemented correctly, QR can be more powerful than NFC: real-life speed is similar; QR can be made secure; you can scan QR from a greater distance; QR can be printed; importantly, QR works online.

To sum it up, my dusted-off crystal ball shows bright future for multiple interfaces when it comes to payments (including PSD2), both online and offline: NFC, BLE and QR (Google recently introduced to masses “digital QR” - rather cute). Biometrical user authentication has entered the mainstream and its adoption is about to explode. PIN could soon become RIP - since user authentication becomes mobile-centric, a transaction can be completed on a mobile too.

Off to polish my crystal ball some more.

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Alexander Peschkoff

Alexander Peschkoff

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