If Apple populated a city with all the people it has sold phones to since late 2014, that city would be eight times the size of NYC, likely called iTopia or iTroplois, and Tim Cook would be the mayor or maybe even the King. And as Mel Brooks once said, “it’s good to be the king."
This week anyway. On Apple’s quarterly earnings-call Cook revealed that Apple has sold 1 billion iOS devices since launched the first iPhone launched 7 years ago and that the firm took in a record breaking $74.5 billion in revenue during the last quarter of 2014. It’s, therefore, hard not to believe him when he says “2015 will be the Year of Apple Pay,” since Cook and Apple clearly have a track record of success to stand on.
But they will also have plenty of competition trying to make sure that 2015 will end differently for Apple Pay than it began, with Samsung and PayPal seemingly eager to take the fight to Cupertino. So how’s it looking? Mixed, but don’t worry, PYMNTS has it all, right here, broken down by the numbers.
1 Billion | The Number Of iOS Devices Sold
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed on Tuesday during the company’s quarterly earnings call that 1 billion iOS devices have been sold to consumers since the launch of the original iPhone over seven years ago. According to Cook, the impressive milestone, which accounts for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, was reached in November of 2014.
That milestone was doubtless helped by the astounding number of iPhone 6’s and 6 Pluses Apple sold in the last quarter of last year. If the number of iPhones Apple sold equaled the population of a city, that city – let’s call it iTopia- would be roughly eight-times larger than New York. Hint: that’s 74.5 million — the number of iPhones Apple sold in Q4. While that number is impressive in its own right, it also dwarfs last year’s performance at the same time.
Because Apple doesn’t release its precise inventory figures, it’s impossible for those outside of Apple’s ranks to know how many of those were iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. However, during the call Cook did note that he saw a potentially highly beneficial symbiosis developing through Apple’s devices and payment platform. Apple’s CEO hinted that the launch of Apple Pay, was designed to create the virtuous circle: Apple Pay would create more iPhone 6 customers and more iPhone 6 users would be driven by the desire to use services like Apple Pay.
Will that strategy pay off for Apple? It’s hard to know. It’s obviously the case that a massive number of iPhones sold last quarter, which includes holiday sales, which in turn indicates that a lot more consumers have the power of Apple Pay in their hands. We just don’t quite know how many of them are actually using the app. Since, at least now, there just aren’t that many places to use Apple Pay in physical stores.
13.5 M | The Number Of POS Terminals Samsung Claims Its Payment Platform Will Work With
If 2015 is going to be the year of Apple Pay, it might serve Cupertino well to keep their eyes on rival Samsung. According to reports on Sammobile.com, Samsung will be unveiling the mobile payments platform they’ve developed with Visa alongside the Galaxy 6 at Mobile World Congress this year.
This service, a straight up competitor to Apple Pay, will apparently be called Samsung Pay. (Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery…)
Samsung Pay is designed to work alongside 90 percent of mag stripe payments terminals as well as NFC terminals (whereas Apple is, of course, only NFC compatible), which could give Samsung Pay a leg up when it’s available for consumer use and help it avoid some of the technical difficulties that Apple faces as terminals have to move first to EMV and then to NFC.
Currently there are around 15 million card terminals in the U.S., if Samsung’s product is as universal as advertised, it will be usable at roughly 13.5 million of those terminals. Which is sort of a lot more than the 220k that Apple Pay is currently compatible with.
Samsung Pay was previously referred to as Project Zero because it was built from scratch. Samsung is hoping their newest phone will stop its plummeting market share, revenue and profit that happened after it launched the Galaxy S5, even though the phone got extremely good reviews.
200 K | The Number Of Vending Machines, Laundromats and Parking Kiosks Now Accepting Apple Pay
Apple Pay, thus far, has been hit or miss when it comes to vending machines and other similar self-service, standalone hardware. However, with USA Technologies’ announcement that it’s bringing Apple Pay to around 200,000 of these self-serve payment terminals – which includes everything from coffee brewers to vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment and pay parking terminals – it looks like that balance is starting to tip more firmly to “hit.”
“Our customers are excited to accept Apple Pay at the self-serve locations they operate,” said Stephen P. Herbert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of USA Technologies. “We anticipate that the millions of consumers who frequent these locations will appreciate the convenience and security of using Apple Pay for their everyday purchases, and we believe that Apple Pay will help to drive additional sales for our customers. USA Technologies has always sought to provide convenience, security and an easy way to pay for consumers who are less and less likely to carry cash."
This is Apple’s second big self-service announcement in 2015, as Chevron announced in the waning days of 2014 that it will it will be working work with Apple Pay to make it possible for customers to use their smart devices to purchase gas at the pump as well as other gas station goods.
400 | The Percentage Increase In Apple Pay Use Since Whole Foods Launched It
During the company’s first-quarter earnings call yesterday (Jan. 27), Cook gave analysts a peek into Apple Pay’s success, and in true Apple fashion he alluded to the product’s growth without providing any overly specific payment volume figures. But as he rattled off the growing number of Apple Pay-accepting merchants and issuers, Cook gave some insight into some key figures about what sort of mark Apple Pay is making on payments. He also indicated that POS providers are seeing high demand for merchants to accept Apple Pay, particularly through its partners and customers.
When asked by an analyst about the potential for mobile payments in terms of Apple Pay and customers making in-app payments, Cook discussed how the potential of mobile payments varies depending on region and demographics.
“As of today, about 750 banks and credit unions have signed on to bring on their customers, and in just three months after launch, Apple Pay makes up two out of three dollars spent on purchases using contactless payments across the three major U.S. card networks,” Cook said. “In merchants who already accept Apple Pay, the rates are even higher. Panera Bread tells us Apple Pay represents nearly 80 percent of their mobile payment transactions. And since the launch of Apple Pay, Whole Foods Markets has seen the use of Apple Pay increase by more than 400 percent."
But, one big missing data point is the base on which that 400 percent growth occurred. It could be a 400 percent increase from a base of 10, 100, 1000, 1 million. Absent that detail, it’s hard to know how significant that number is and what percentage of overall customers – and spend – that represents.
“I think we are in the first inning on [Apple Pay], and we haven’t even completed the first inning yet. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t get notes from many businesses outside the U.S. wanting Apple Pay — and banks and merchants. And of course we still have a lot of merchants in the U.S.,” Cook said. “But I have to tell you, that given that we launched in October , I am actually unbelievably shocked — positively shocked — at how many merchants were able to implement Apple Pay in the heart of their holiday season. But we were able to get a lot of different merchants and I give them a lot of credit for that. I think we’re just on the front end and I think that this is the year of Apple Pay."
82 | The Number Of Votes It Will Take To Require A Photo ID To Use Apple Pay In Missouri
Here’s a fun fact most payments’ players probably don’t know – the Missouri House of Representatives has 163 members and to pass a bill it must secure the votes of 82 of them.
Why should payments players care about that fact?
Because Missouri Representative Joshua Peters (D) introduced a bill Jan. 20 that would require shoppers to present their photo ID whenever paying for products with digital wallets like Apple Pay.
Local reports say Peters wants merchants to keep buyers’ ID numbers on file when they pay with a digital wallet; doing so, the lawmaker argues, will protect stores from being held liable for fraudulent purchases.
Critics of the proposal say such a mandate would be “overkill,” a law “that would require shoppers to pull out a photo ID and prove they truly are who they say they are before they will be allowed to continue with the process of scanning their unique fingerprint on a high-tech piece of equipment designed specifically for the purpose of verifying their identity without the need for a physical identification card."
That is sort of the understand of the year. Basically, Representative Peters is advocating for three-factor authentication – fingerprint, signature (depending on the store and amount) and ID. That must be because having a tokenized credential unlocked by only the person’s fingerprint at the POS is so much less secure than a mag stripe card with a worn off signature on the back that no store clerk ever checks to see if it matches.
Let’s hope that 83 Members of the House read this before they vote.
That’s not to say that security shouldn’t be a concern for Apple Pay and Apple. A recent Kaspersky report found that Apple Pay will be hackers’ prime target as the technology gains more foothold in the digital wallet market – not surprisingly. The cybercrooks are in it as a business and like any business person, they don’t like it when they lose business opportunities.
19 | The Number Of Hours The Battery In An Apple Watch Will Last (On Average)
Those hoping to use their iPhone 5 in tandem with a Apple Watch to access Apple Pay, will have to remember to take it off at night to charge it.
Though Apple has not yet officially disclosed any details about how long its watch’s battery will last, sources with knowledge of the Apple Watch’s development provided 9to5Mac with the specific performance targets Apple wants to achieve for the battery.
Apple reportedly opted for a relatively powerful processor and high-quality screen for the watch, which are both power drains. Running a modified and reduced iOS codenamed SkiHill, the Apple S1 chip in the Apple Watch is surprisingly close in performance to the version of Apple’s A5 processor found inside the current-generation iPod touch. The Retina-class color display is capable of updating at a fluid 60 frames per second.
The initial battery target was for one full day of usage – with a passive/active use mix tipped toward passive. Last year, Apple said it wanted the Watch to provide roughly 2.5 to 4 hours of active application use versus 19 hours of combined active/passive use, 3 days of pure standby time, or 4 days if left in a sleeping mode. Recently, however, sources confirm that it is only likely achieve approximately 2-3 days in either the standby or low-power modes.
Battery life has remained a difficulty in the Apple Watch design process, since the company wants the watch to function as a timepiece. To test real-world performance, Apple has reportedly circulated nearly 3,000 test units of the watch, mostly in stainless steel. Given how secretive Apple is about its products that seems to be a surprisingly large number..
16 | The Hole At the PGA Event This Weekend Where Spectators Can Use Apple Pay
After taking on the NFL and MLB, Apple Pay continues to run up its corporate scoreboard with its latest expansion into professional athletics – the pulse pounding world of Professional Golf.
For this week’s Phoenix Open Golf Tournament, MasterCard has cut a deal with the PGA to wire up some concessions so they can fully support Apple Pay mobile payment system. Under the deal, Prom Management Group, which provides catering to dozens of professional golf tour events, will accept Apple Pay at food and beverage concessions near the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale — the first time Apple Pay will be accepted on the PGA Tour.
While the Apple Pay-supporting concessions are only at the 16th hole, it’s worth noting that the 16th hole is arguably the centerpiece for spectators at TPC Scottsdale, and is surrounded on all sides by stadium seating. The golf tournament itself — officially dubbed the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open — annually draws the largest crowds on the PGA tour.
The Phoenix tournament started Thursday (Jan. 29), and will be the first PGA Tour event where Apple Pay is accepted. Prom Management also plans to integrate Apple Pay at other tournaments throughout the 2015 season.
“As always, we anticipate extremely large crowds this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and it only makes sense that this is the venue where we introduce this simple and secure mobile payment technology that will further enhance the spectator experience,” said PGA Tour SVP Rob Ohno. “Technology is guiding the evolution of golf from both a player and spectator experience. Our long-standing relationship with MasterCard has helped ensure that we are delivering the latest in payment technology."
MasterCard rolled out Apple Pay for the World Series in October at the baseball parks for both the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants. In December, Chase and E15 Group brought Apple Pay to select concessions at the Orlando Magic’s home court, the Amway Center.
1 | The Number Of Payments Execs That Ditched Apple For eBay Last Week
Online payments expert Bora Chung will reportedly leave Apple for eBay, marking the second such instance of eBay recruiting away from Apple to boost its own payment technologies; eBay Chief Product Officer RJ Pittman, himself once a member of the Apple e-commerce team, was responsible for nabbing Chung.
Chung’s hire is part of Pittman’s plan to boost the new division, which focuses on payments technology innovation in preparation for PayPal’s independence day. Experts see PayPal’s spin-off as a fork in the road for eBay: While the two could theoretically continue a partnership, most speculate that eBay will have to launch its own, new payments platform to stay in the game, especially as Apple Pay threatens a retail revolution.
While Chung’s exit to eBay has been described as part of eBay’s larger efforts to stay afloat in the e-commerce world as new competition creeps closer. China’s Alibaba, especially, is a looming threat to eBay as the firm readies to bring its e-commerce prowess to the U.S. along with its own payments capability – Alipay.
Reports emerged late last year that Alibaba and Apple Pay are exploring a partnership, which would expand Apple Pay into China and help Alibaba gain a stronger foothold in the U.S. marketplace.