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US: Analysts criticize Apple Pay nag, call it ‘antitrust behavior’

 |  April 3, 2018

In what The Wall Street Journal described as a form of nagging, Apple is prompting users of its iPhone to enroll in Apple Pay, which has created a mixed reaction from the public. Critics said the strategy may give rivals some opportunity against the tech giant. Analysts and user-interface experts are criticizing this describing it as as “antitrust behavior.”

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 US$29 billion Apple Pay business line to US$40 billion by fiscal year 2020.

Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates said “it’s really antitrust behavior.”

Mr. Kay compared Apple Pay setup badges and notifications to Microsoft, bundling its Internet Explorer browser with Windows in the 1990s—a strategy the Justice Department successfully sued to stop on antitrust grounds saying it hurt rivals. “They used to have actual behavioral remedies and say you can’t do this,” Mr. Kay said.

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% of iPhone users link their cards to Apple Pay upon setup, with 18% having used the function in the past 90 days.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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