Tim Cook on Mobile Payments: 'It's In Its Infancy'
Tim Cook was asked during today's earnings call about his feelings regarding the mobile payments market. While he didn't address the topic directly, he did note that the mobile payments were "just getting started" and still "in its infancy."
In a different part of the call, Cook said Apple would continue to augment the existing "iTunes ecosystem with new services and make existing ones even better."
There have been persistent rumors for several product cycles that the iPhone would gain some sort of mobile payments system, perhaps through near field communications (NFC). Passbook, the system that Apple released last year to make it more convenient for customers using gift card or ticketing apps, could be a precursor to a larger mobile payments play by the company.
Apple already has a mobile payments system of sorts, allowing Apple Retail Store customers to self-checkout with the Apple Store app. The company has hundreds of millions of credit card numbers stored in its iTunes system, providing a natural groundwork for a possible future payments system.