Apple Unveils New Line of Watches, 12-Inch MacBook and More

Details about the Apple Watch were unveiled during Monday’s product event in San Francisco. Preorders for the Apple device will begin on April 10; its availability is scheduled for two weeks later. Offered in 20 models, pricing ranges from $349-$499 for the Sport Edition, $549-$1099 for the Apple Watch, and $10,000+ for the Apple Watch Edition. The company also announced a price reduction for Apple TV; an exclsuive deal with the upcoming HBO Now streaming service; and a redesigned 12-inch, ultrathin, Retina display MacBook. Continue reading Apple Unveils New Line of Watches, 12-Inch MacBook and More

Apple Pay Mobile Payments Service Experiences Growth in Fraud

Banks are scrambling to tighten security measures as Apple’s mobile payments service experiences a growing incidence of fraud. Criminals are lifting credit card numbers and stealing identities through Apple Pay by reportedly exploiting vulnerabilities in the verification process. Some banks may make it too easy for customers to authenticate numbers when adding cards. According to one expert, fraud may account for about 6 percent of Apple Pay transactions, compare to only 0.1 percent of credit card-swiping transactions. Continue reading Apple Pay Mobile Payments Service Experiences Growth in Fraud

Google Seeks Carrier Support to Revive Wallet Payment Service

In order to help build traction for its Google Wallet service, Google is exploring how it can unite banks, wireless carriers, payment networks and device makers to carry the payment service. The company is reportedly willing to offer wireless carriers additional revenue to have Google Wallet featured on Android phones. Google’s attempt to revive its mobile payment service comes after a recent announcement by Apple claiming that its Apple Pay is now the leading contact-less payment service.  Continue reading Google Seeks Carrier Support to Revive Wallet Payment Service

Study: Apple Pay Accounts for One Percent of Digital Payments

According to research firm ITG, Apple Pay already accounts for one percent of all digital payments. The mobile payments system, introduced in October, has experienced its greatest usage with Whole Foods, Walgreens and McDonald’s. ITG also explains that consumers using Apple Pay increased their spending and frequency of use, resulting in a sales jump for participating merchants. By comparison, Google Wallet was introduced more than three years ago, and currently holds about four percent of digital payments. Continue reading Study: Apple Pay Accounts for One Percent of Digital Payments

Apple Pay Gains Momentum, Partners with More Companies

Apple recently announced it has partnered with dozens of new companies interested in adopting its Apple Pay e-commerce product, which allows customers to make in-store transactions with a touch of their iPhones. Partnerships with various retail stores, startups, and financial institutions represent the early adopters of Apple’s new product. Apple Pay has already outperformed other rival smartphone e-commerce products from Google, Verizon and AT&T.  Continue reading Apple Pay Gains Momentum, Partners with More Companies

Starbucks Order & Pay Service Links Mobile to In-Store Retail

Starbucks is introducing a new app for iPhones that allows customers to order and pay without having to visit the checkout counter. The beta service launched this week in Portland, Oregon. Starbucks plans to follow up by launching “Mobile Order & Pay” city-by-city throughout 2015, and introducing an Android version. The massive reach of a company like Starbucks places it in a position to successfully link mobile devices to in-store retail, an issue Silicon Valley has been trying to address for years. Continue reading Starbucks Order & Pay Service Links Mobile to In-Store Retail

Retailers Block Apple Pay Despite Early Popularity with Users

Major stores including Walmart, Gap, Rite Aid and CVS will no longer allow the use of Apple Pay. Instead, these companies are trying to push their own app, known as CurrentC, which would enable customers to pay directly with their checking accounts. CurrentC would save the retailers money on credit card transaction fees, but consumers seem to have already adopted ApplePay. In the first 72 hours of the Apple Pay launch, the service registered one million credit cards. Continue reading Retailers Block Apple Pay Despite Early Popularity with Users

Apple Introduces Two New iPads, 5K iMac and OS X Yosemite

During a 90-minute event at its headquarters in Cupertino yesterday, Apple unveiled two new iPads (the iPad Air 2, starting at $499, and the iPad mini 3, starting at $399), a 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display, and its new operating system, OS X Yosemite. CEO Tim Cook explained that the new Apple Pay mobile payment service will launch on Monday with more than 500 partners including American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Cook also said that the Apple Watch would be available early next year. Continue reading Apple Introduces Two New iPads, 5K iMac and OS X Yosemite

Course Reversal: eBay Plans to Spin Off PayPal Biz Next Year

Facing new competition in the mobile payment space, including the recently unveiled Apple Pay, eBay announced yesterday that it plans to spin off its PayPal business into a separate publicly traded company in late 2015. This is an about face by the online retailer, which had defended keeping the companies together after investor Carl Icahn aggressively pushed for a separation. EBay now says that a split will provide both companies with better competitive positions and allow them to focus on strategy. Continue reading Course Reversal: eBay Plans to Spin Off PayPal Biz Next Year

Apple’s Open Letter Explains Privacy Tips, Security Methods

Following the iCloud security breach involving controversial celebrity photos, Apple is trying to regain consumer trust by encouraging users to utilize their new and pre-existing security features. The company revealed how it encrypts messages and offered tips for protecting user data in a newly-launched website. In the open letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a swing at Google for monetizing users’ private data and reassures Apple users that their data is safe from the government. Continue reading Apple’s Open Letter Explains Privacy Tips, Security Methods

Apple Introduces iOS 8 with a Focus on Privacy and Sharing

With the release of Apple’s iOS 8, the company is introducing some significant privacy and sharing upgrades. Following the recent hack of celebrity photographs from iCloud accounts, Apple launched a campaign explaining the ways in which it handles personal data. CEO Tim Cook released a statement indicating that he wants Apple to be transparent about these issues. In iOS 8, the company released a feature called Continuity, enhanced user privacy, and family sharing. Continue reading Apple Introduces iOS 8 with a Focus on Privacy and Sharing

Will Accessories and Apps Make Smartwatches Indispensable?

Some analysts are suggesting that we avoid underestimating smartwatches, which could eventually become indispensable as a wide array of useful apps come to market. Major players such as Samsung, Google and Apple will release wearables that can be used for health and fitness tracking, interacting with our phones and vehicles, and much more. The platform is expected to usher in a new frontier of accessories and apps, and the ability to develop them in a more sophisticated manner. Continue reading Will Accessories and Apps Make Smartwatches Indispensable?

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