Apple wants you to leave your wallet at home. Word is that the folks at Cupertino are developing a ‘Killer App’ for next version of iOS, which they will unveil at Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The new app is a digital wallet, and will be a key part of iOS 7. The new iOS would give Apple a chance to reinvigorate the iPhone, which some critics say has lost its edge.
We’ve speculated previously that Apple would be including support for near-field communications (NFC) in iOS 7. NFC is a form of wireless data transfer over short (up to 4-inch) distances, which would be used to make purchases with a mobile device. NFC is already supported by Android, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone 8.
There are some analysts who believe Apple’s digital wallet solution may use a technology other than NFC. Such a solution would be required to work with existing mobile payment solutions.
A successful digital wallet would put the iPhone at the forefront of a small, but rapidly growing (and potentially very lucrative) field. Smartphone makers know that the more they can integrate their device into a user’s life, the more money there is to be made in the future with that consumer.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.