The announcement of Apple Pay reflects Apple’s investment in Customer Experience:
This is a long-term investment by Apple, and possibly one of the most important since it first built the iTunes Store. Apple is putting its muscle behind improving the user experience of making payments, and using that to sell more devices. It won’t make much directly from Apple Pay now. But as more people use supported devices and push more merchants to support the user experience, odds are that those small per-transaction fees will grow into a significant source of revenue.
Because Apple’s incentives (and culture) are aligned with Customer Experience, and User Experience, that’s what Apple is focused on. Consider:
- No need to unlock the iPhone/Apple Watch to pay
- TouchID sensor used to verify identity for phone, presence on wrist for Apple Watch.
- Signed up major credit card providers and retailers for the announcement
They also had some good examples to learn from and improve upon, like Square. With the particular advantage of having hardware design at Apple’s disposal that will be in the hands of 100’s of millions of people in a very short period of time, and not just as an accessory or add-on. If the point isn’t to make money with the payment system itself, it is to make money by creating a better experience with Apple’s devices than with others’ devices.
Then consider the other announcements…
- Not just providing a bigger screen, but thinking about the hardware included to make a good scalar practical (custom chip design).
- Having control over Xcode allowed Apple to make it easy for developers to compile/adapt to different architectures, screen sizes, and other Apple evolutions. (note, for example, how the Xcode monopoly allowed Apple to make an easy switch to a 64-bit architecture last year. This helped Apple adapt apps to 64-bit last year, and to screen resolutions this year.
And consider just the photo and video features:
- Image stabilization – a common problem when shooting photos or videos… Especially videos. Virtually renders redundant the real innovation behind stabilizing the image in hyperlapse.
- Time Lapse – a popular feature in third party apps.
- Better focus and Auto-focus
- Burst Mode – improved to help you pick the best picture quickly. No more “1… 2….3!” ?
Perhaps a further sign of the focus on experience… as an owner of a previous generation of Apple iPhone, I’ve already installed iOS8 and I’m already enjoying many of the benefits of the new platform (those that are supported by my version of hardware). No other phone manufacturer provides this kind of runway of support for their old hardware.