Critics said the strategy may give rivals some opportunity against the tech giant.
The prompts to enroll in Apple Pay are tied to the iPhone’s most recent operating system update, yet they’re subtle, reported the WSJ. The strategy works thusly: Users who do not enter their credit card information for Apple Pay upon setting up their phones will see a red circle that denotes incomplete setup. Some users also get notifications that stop only after entering the data. Apple, it should be noted, hopes to bring its $29 billion Apple Pay business line to $40 billion by fiscal year 2020.
The move is one that not only seeks to get users to adopt Apple Pay, but, of course, to staunch the efforts of its rivals, all by dint of hardware. In one interview with the WSJ, Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said the tech giant’s actions — which were similarly undertaken by peers such as Amazon and Google — are tantamount to antitrust behavior. He likened Apple’s efforts to those of Microsoft’s bundling Internet Explorer with Windows decades ago. Kay said for the Department of Justice, in cases like this, “They used to have actual behavioral remedies and [said] you can’t do this.”
The WSJ even highlighted that Apple’s guidelines dictate developers should use badges sparingly to “present brief, essential information and atypical content changes.”
In the meantime, the newspaper, citing 451 Research, said only 34 percent of iPhone users link their cards to Apple Pay upon setup, with 18 percent having used the function in the past 90 days.